Wisy Namaseb '09
Consultant, Impact Strategy Consulting
B.Com., University of Cape TownPostgrad. Diploma, Business Administration and Management, Wits Business School
Wisy moved to Canada from Namibia in 2007 and enrolled at Greenwood. His family remained in Namibia; while in Canada, he lived with a sponsoring family. After graduation, he returned to South Africa to continue his educational journey. Here’s how Wisy describes his path after leaving Greenwood.
“After graduating from Greenwood in 2009, I enrolled at the University of Cape Town and completed an equivalent of a 3-year Bachelor of Commerce degree (majoring in Economics and Management Studies). I then took a gap year in 2015, and worked within civil service as an operational consultant on a national turnaround project for Home Affairs & Immigration in Namibia. It was an opportune project for me to employ not only all the theory I learned at university but also my experiences in a first-world country. This project unearthed my passion for being a public servant - through our work, citizens could now obtain identity documents within two weeks, as opposed to three months.
“I then enrolled at Wits Business School in Johannesburg with the goal of broadening my knowledge base and improving my critical and strategic thinking skills. During this phase of my life, I was extremely motivated and I ended up completing the 4th year of my undergrad degree in Management Studies cum laude. Deloitte then recruited me to join their Public Sector Solutions team that offered niche professional services to various government agencies/entities/departments. This was the perfect place for me, as it created a platform for me to really try and make an impact that matters for society. My motto in life is “people over profit” - and the various projects that I worked on at Deloitte left me with a good feeling when I went to bed at night. Our work revolved mostly around strategy and project advisory. It was a wonderful platform to learn many methodologies and toolkits on how to approach various organisational challenges, and how to present them in a the most effective manner for the client.
“Apart from my academic and professional career, I've been actively engaged in our family business as a business developer and entrepreneur. As recipients of restituted land post-apartheid, my mother started a tourism and agriculture business which we are trying to get off the ground. This has kept me busy after normal working hours, and is very near to my heart. I’ve developed our strategic documents to obtain funding from government, and continuously invest my time and energy in the business. It is looking promising and I am hoping to incorporate some of my learnings at Kilcoo at our farm. I try and play social soccer at least once a week, at the local Discovery Soccer Park in Sandton. I also make time at least once a month to volunteer my coaching skills to local youth soccer teams in my neighbourhood.
“Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Toronto again. The short-lived 2 weeks was an opportune moment for me to catch up with my sponsor families, Greenwood and old friends. They were ecstatic to see how I have grown, and I was even more inspired and motivated to continue on my life journey. This was a monumental experience for me: having been away for 10 years, it was a moment that I needed to renew my direction and intent.
“The next phase in my life is to improve on the building blocks that I have so far. My vision is to spend two years in Toronto, enrolled in the full-time MBA programme at Rotman School of Management. My undergrad directly paves the way into this programme and I believe the curriculum will contribute to both my aptitude and attitude. The programme structure is an enabling block in my journey, as it offers an internship and a 3-year work permit after successfully graduating.
“For the past 5 months, I have been working on a turnaround plan for South Africa’s national energy utility, Eskom. The burning platform and the crisis that the organisation is in has made work 12-hour shifts. I don’t mind. The way I see it is I am working on a project which aims to ensure the uninterrupted supply of electricity to all South Africans. Load-shedding has become a reality in South Africa and every hour spent working on this project feels as if I’m contributing to the greater good.
“I am on the journey of applying for my MBA. I believe there is a lot of work to be done at home. Many challenges within the public sector exist, and within it, many opportunities. My plan would be to return to South Africa after my time in Toronto to tackle these challenges head-on. The puzzle pieces are on the table - I think it is a matter of rearranging them in a way that creates a clearer picture.
“I am very thankful for all individuals who had a hand to play in my journey this far. My words cannot describe the extent of my gratitude. The best way I could probably portray my gratitude would be to become a success story and to create value not only for my current generation, but those that are still to come. To that end, I would say as my Khoisan forefathers would have: Kai gan-gans ti tara mi, //gerebasens !hama.”