Self-doubt and lack of confidence are the only things standing in the way of women aspiring to be leaders and entrepreneurs, these are the views of Modern World Company owner, Norma Uazengisa, who is busy building a solid career for herself in the business world.
She tells Prime Focus Magazine that being able to be comfortable about a business idea and executing it plays an important role in being successful. Uazengisa believes that women should follow their dreams by being confident and go getters.
“I believe in hard work and dedication as the main keys to prospering in life, many young women believe in sitting at home and waiting for a rich husband to marry them or waiting for parents to buy them cosmetics, although it feels good to stay home without a future at a young age, the reality of not being able to pay bills will kick in some day and when it does don’t let it be too late, do not wait for someone to build a future for you,” she explains.
While encouraging fellow women to immerse themselves in their work until such a time when results become palpable, Uazengisa warns her peers particularly those venturing into specific entrepreneurship not to be discouraged by many other players in the game.
“When a person comes up with a business idea and share it among others as part of doing market research, many would tell you that there are already businesses similar to yours and it is not a good idea to pursue into the same business, however, do not listen to anything that could discourage you from pursuing your business idea,” she says.
Equipped with a Diploma in Human Resource (HR) from the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) she established her company in 2009 after moving to Windhoek from Grootfontein to further her studies.
Uazengisa explains that, “When I first came to Windhoek, my aim was to finish studying, however, I have not managed to complete all my studies in time because I got pregnant and got married but at the same time I was also running my business, so it became difficult being a mother, business woman and student at the same time that is why I am only finishing my Master’s Degree this year.”
Although she admits that being a woman in charge of the kitchen and changing diapers has been a challenge for her, she has never given up on her dream of becoming a successful business woman in a male dominated industry.
Through hard work and dedication, Modern World (Design and Manufacturing) employs close to 15 people on a temporary and permanent basis. The company which focuses on designing and manufacturing safety wear for many construction workers, miners and many others as well as do in-door and out-door promotional products has also contributed to society through donating winter goodies for the Red Cross Association of Namibia on a yearly basis.
“I strongly believe in giving back to the community through our social responsibility projects therefore encouraging and uplifting other Namibian women has always been part of my dream,” she says.
Through passion, Uazengisa employs grade twelve drop outs and sets targets for them and pays for their school fees as a way of motivating them to become independent and prosperous.
“When it comes to employing people I target the young women who are unable to pay for their studies and encourage them to enrol and I pay for their exam fees because I know how it feels to grow up aiming to go to school but financial constraints not allowing, “ she reveals.
While explaining how she has not gotten anything on a silver platter, she explains that her inspiration comes from her parents because she would help them sell maize at home.
“My dream has always been to be able to negotiate and make clients happy, I used to sell chewing gum when I was still in primary school as a way of earning bread money for the next day and that experience taught me a lot, today, I make sure that I build a good relationship with my potential clients and that is what makes my business more unique,” she says.