Producing more local content is an important focus for the national broadcaster following their successful and timely transition into the digitalisation era in June this year.
Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) was one of three African companies which reached the digital milestone with an Analogue Switch Off (ASO) on the 17th June, the date agreed by the International Telecommunication (ITU) members in 2006. Furthermore, Namibia switched to digital with a 70% digital coverage compared to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) target of 67% digital coverage. Currently NBC has seven channels on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) bouquet.
The current acting Director General, (DG) Vezenga Kauraisa, noted that having reached such a milestone is a proud moment for the national broadcaster and it avails a platform where they can further emphasise on their mandate to inform, educate, entertain and unite the country.
With various channels at their disposal, Kauraisa said it is time to let Namibia tell Namibian stories.
“From now on, we need to produce more local content and bring in more private sector partners and collaborate to uplift local producers and make sure we have got Namibian stories told from all over the country, there should be a consistent budget for that. We have started with shows such as Tutaleni or Tupopyeni; now we need to do more local shows. Furthermore we need to make sure we educate our nation in all ways possible.”
Kauraisa who was recently chosen to replace former NBC Director General Albertus Aochamub, who left NBC after his appointment as Govenrment Spokesperson, stressed that prior to the introduction of the DTT a lot of changes had to be made concerning introducing the right technology and training the staff on the new technology system. It was also important to market the new, technologically advanced DTT throughout the country.
“Our staff had to travel a lot to make sure the nation knew what DTT entails and all the changes that ensue,” he said.
With the new system, NBC viewers had to purchase decoders. Although viewers were skeptical at first, Kauraisa stresses that the national broadcaster has already sold about 80% of decoders countrywide.
With digital coverage still spreading, the acting Director says the team is currently busy in the South, namely in Mariental and Keetmanshoop, with the switchover. After, this focus will switch to regions such as Omaheke before concentrating on remote areas, which require more attention towards the improvement of infrastructure before a switch over can happen.
In these exciting times for the broadcasting company, acting DG Kauraisa said that the NBC team in charge of the making sure the digitalization coverage is received is very excited about the mission.
Kauraisa, who is also the Chief Officer of Human Resources, notes that keeping the staff motivated is a good way of encouraging them to perform to the best of their abilities.
With over a decade in the HR department, he stresses that the key to being a good HR Chief is to understand what type of business you are working in, to listen to what your workers are talking about, and to also use common sense in solving problems.
“It is one thing to master all theoretical approaches of HR and applying them on the ground because it differs according to situations,” he says.
He also accentuates that various work meetings, staff workshops and training opportunities are necessary to inspire strong workplace performance and to make sure employees understand the core values of NBC.
Before joining NBC as HR chief officer in 2012, he worked within the banking sector in various bank institutions including the Central Bank (Bank of Namibia) from 1989 to 2012.
Kauraisa’s experience in the banking industry taught him to have a rigorous and disciplinary approach to his work. He has learned to be meticulous and to see through each project before starting another one in a timely, yet thorough manner.
The Mariental born executive argues that the popular idea that HR managers are just paper pushers is wrong and that they normally also have high level roles; “We are a support function for various areas and we make sure that through our support, those areas are successful in what they are doing, thus taking the company such as NBC to overall success.”
Passionate about his work in HR and the impact it can have on the company as a whole, Kauraisa is proud to have a Diploma in human resources from the Polytechnic of Namibia. He has also attended various leadership programs in the country and abroad such as in Washington D.C. in the United States in order to strengthen his knowledge.
Kauraisa was appointed as acting DG in the beginning of July, but he notes that the search for a new director general is already on the roll out. He will probably have a new boss soon, but he is thankful for the support he currently receives in his temporary position.