Challenges are part of every human being and they come in different shapes and sizes. No single person living under the sun can safely say they dont have any.
However, with every challenge there are ways of surmounting every single one of them. Mauriza Fredericks faced a number of them, but she never succumbed. Instead, she soldiered on against all odds defining and redefining the meaning of her life. Today she can safely say the sky is the limit.
Come the 6th of January this year, Fredericks was appointed as the new Public Relations Officer at the Pupkewitz Group of Companies, a first of its kind since the Group was formed decades back.
She has her job cut out for her as she is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the communications strategies of the Group, as a means to strengthen and promote relationships with its vast and diverse groups of stakeholders.
Fredericks said obtaining an education was not easy for her at all, as her parents were under financial strain and with the weight of unpaid school fees hanging over her head she took up a holiday job to pay for her final education.
The fearless and bold Fredericks had her eyes set on greater things; driven by a powerful current of determination and aiming for great heights, she managed to complete her secondary education.
She then took a year off to join Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Worcester, South Africa.
According to her, YWAM as well as the Interdenominational Youth Society in Khomasdal at the time, were fundamental in instilling firm Biblical principles that would guide her future decisions.
She says that through the mentorship of good friends, she later enrolled at the Windhoek College of Education, and at the same time landed her first communications job as a freelance radio presenter at Channel 7.
After graduating, Fredericks taught at MH Greeff and Van Rhyn Primary Schools respectively. During her teaching profession, she was recruited by Kosmos 94.1 FM as a full time news anchor.
She said since she only worked a few hours a day at the radio station, it was an ideal time to advance her studies so she took up Journalism and Communications at the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN).
“I was very impressed with the curricula approach the Media Department at Polytechnic of Namibia took, where two distinct disciplines (Journalism and Communications) were merged.”
She adds, “This does not only enable students with essential knowledge and skills for a journalistic career, but to proceed into the broad world of public relations.”
Fredericks says that nothing in life comes easy, thus juggling between her work, studies and personal life during that time would have been impossible without a strong support system of family and friends.
During her final year of studies, she was presented with the opportunity to do a three month internship at the Communications Department of the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and was eventually employed full time.
“I count myself honoured to have worked at the Central Bank of Namibia, it is not only an economic and financial hub, but a unique environment, where Management humbly leads by example,” says Fredericks.
Fredericks graduated from the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) with a Bachelor’s Honour’s Degree in Journalism and Communication Technology adding yet another feather in her academic cap.
Her knowledge and experience as a trained teacher, communications practitioner and radio and television personality were obtained during her further professional grooming at One Africa Television.
She adds that the public relations field is wide enough to stimulate her creativity in a rapidly changing media world.
According to Fredericks, the management at the Bank of Namibia made a lasting impression regarding their leadership style, accompanied with sound values of course.
Now that she is at the Pupkewitz Group of Companies, she is confident that she is in the right place. Her belief is based on the indelible reputation the Group has imprinted on Namibia based companies and clients and regards it as a welcome extension of her professional environment and development.
“The Pupkewitz name is a strong and established brand of excellent service amongst its diverse customers, suppliers, internal and external stakeholders across various industries as established by the iconic Mr. Harold Pupkewitz,” says Fredericks.
She insists that her role essentially is to interactively enhance and build on that very foundation.
“I work closely with a great team of Managing Directors who are committed to take the Pupkewitz brand to the next level, through effective communication strategies that should ultimately boost our financial performance,” she adds.
According to Fredericks being appointed in her current position is her biggest learning curve. This is due to the fact that the Pupkewitz Group of Companies participates in various industries across the country that includes amongst others, motors; building and construction material; electrical and industrial products; tailor-made catering solutions, home appliances products and the Pupkewitz Foundation that blossom on promoting the welfare of the Namibian people.
“Only by fully understanding our broad business operations and interests, and with the support of a professional and open-minded leadership team, will I be able to be effective in my workspace,” she says.
Fredericks says that what keeps her grounded is that she values good advice and feedback from mature and trusted people. She also chooses her friends on the basis of their characters and according to her, she keeps grounded by admitting her short falls, while taking responsibility for her actions. However, she says that working with people could be a challenge as each has different opinions and ways to handle situations which might create indifferences at times.
She says that although the development of interpersonal and inter-relational skills are part of the basics in any communications studies, these qualities can only be perfected over time and with practice.
“I believe that in a professional environment personalities should be left at the front door, and picked up again after work,” she advises.
Fredericks describes joining the Pupkewitz Group of Companies as an amazing and historic moment in her career.
“Should circumstances permit, I would gladly serve this Namibian jewel with my time and skills over the longer tenure,” she expressed.
She also would like to pursue a MBA sometime in the near future and perhaps look at tutoring upcoming communicators at her former Alma Mater, she says. PF