2015 Speakers

2015 sees our line-up expanded to 16 speakers, who will be speaking under four different subthemes – Leadership, Innovation, Transformation and Science

Playing to Your Strengths

Michael Amey

Michael Amey, a Los Angeles native, moved to Windhoek, Namibia four years ago because of his passion for wanting to make a lasting difference in people’s worlds.

His commitment to inspire all generations with real and relevant talks is evident in his weekly messages, inspirational notes and approachable, infectious personality. Michael is known for discussing real issues in unique and creative ways, while providing practical solutions, to inspire people to see life in a way they never thought possible. He is a voice to this generation; teaching them that living a remarkable life isn’t based on a set of rules, background, race or education, but rather an opportunity that one takes to leave an impact in their worlds.
Michael is a firm believer that losing is not an option and will do whatever it takes to inspire others to win every day. Michael is the founder of Koi International, a church known for its creativity and innovation and challenging norms in society.


Jerry Muadinohamba is a passionate transformational leader who continuously energises and inspires people around him to tackle new challenges and reach greater heights.

He has successfully turned around the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund where he served for 10 years as the first Chief Executive Officer.

He is considered as an innovative and thought leader and his passionate support and belief in people separates him from many of his peers.  Muadinohamba serves on the boards of Standard Bank of Namibia; NIPAM and NAMPORT.  

Muadinohamba holds several post graduate qualifications public administration, business leadership and development finance from University of Namibia, Stellenbosch Business School and School for International Training in the USA.

Daisry Mathias

A CEO under 30, Daisry Mathias is a marketer with a burning passion for brands, adding value and for Namibia. Her professional experience ranges from advertising, digital marketing and social marketing. In her various capacities she has been exposed to a cross-section of Namibian organisations and to domestic, international trade dynamics; giving her valuable insight on the factors affecting Namibia’s business climate and sensitizing her to the opportunities available.

A part-time lecturer at the Polytechnic of Namibia, she is a young and dynamic leader; re-calibrating environments with her energy and her vision.

She has been quoted saying: “just like Namibia, I feel young, loaded with potential and very positive about the future”. 

Graeme de Bruyn

Graeme de Bruyn is the Managing Director of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundations of Namibia, Swaziland and Botswana. The Foundation believes that high impact entrepreneurial leaders will dramatically contribute to positive economic, social and political change.

The Foundation therefore identifies, selects and invests in potential greatness over the long-term through its Scholarship and Fellowship opportunities. Graeme is an alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar in Austria, and has completed a B.Ed Hons studies in training and development and a Master of Management from the University of the Witwatersrand. Besides working as a secondary school teacher, trade union educator and project officer for the Centre for Policy Studies, Graeme has worked with the Careways Group, FranklinCovey Southern Africa and the Futures Group, and has served as a consultant for amongst others the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB-ED), and a number of other national and local government entities in South Africa.


The Art of Play

Sepo Haihambo

Sepo Lamaswala Haihambo is a creative deep thinker with diverse interests and love for life. She is a mother, wife, economist, keen runner and aspiring author.

Sepo grew up in Lusaka Zambia and spent time in France, UK and USA during her formative years, before settling permanently in Namibia.


Sepo L.
Job Amupanda

Job Shipululo Amupanda is a Namibian radical activist who has served as an activist since high school, both in Namibia and South Africa (where he lived for 3 years). A Political Scientist by training, he holds Honours & Master degrees in Political Science and is the author of the book “Truth is Truth: Selected Works of an Activist”, published in 2014.

After completing his master’s degree in 2011 at the University of Stellenbosch, he rejected lucrative job offers in South Africa and Namibia, choosing to go to his village, Omaalala, where he established the ‘Omaalala Youth Development Club.’ In 2012, he was elected with the highest votes to the central committee of the ruling party youth wing, the SPYL, later becoming its spokesperson. He was suspended by the top four SWAPO leaders (including President Pohamba and PM Geingob) in 2014 for championing the struggle for the landless youth under the banner of "Affirmative Repositioning." He has been a Quality Assurance Coordinator at the Center for Quality Assurance and Management (CEQUAM) at the University of Namibia where he also lectures political science.  He likes reggae/dancehall and conscious music. He loves writing and has been one of the youngest political columnists in Namibia.

Zodidi Jewel Gaseb

Zodidi Gaseb is the owner of African Naturals, an initiative dedicated to the cultural preservation of the African aesthetic as well as debunking stereotypes on natural hair, encouraging self-acceptance and sharing African views.

She is also a mother, a social activist, an entrepreneur and an events management officer at the Namibia Business Innovation Institute. She believes that by bringing people together in dialogue, there is an opportunity to change negative perceptions on how we look within Africa and the Diaspora. She sets out social experiments to entice debates and a different view of natural hair. Her initiative also sets out to share African stories, product information, showcase local upcoming women entrepreneurs as well as provide a platform for young talent. Her goal is not to only illuminate new and different perspectives on the continent but to also emphasise the necessity of a habit of cultural preservation among us that goes beyond what we see on TV.

African Naturals
Tanya Stroh

Tanya Stroh is an award-winning multidisciplinary designer and arts practitioner living and working in Windhoek, Namibia.

After completing an art exchange residency in Berlin, Germany, she started her own design studio in 2011 and now works with diverse clients and projects. In her capacity as a designer she has taught a pilot design course at the University of Namibia’s Visual Arts Department, conducted production design for award winning local films, and worked with private clients on large-scale typographic installations.

Since 2011, Tanya has volunteered as an organizing member of Spoken Word Namibia, a poetry platform currently celebrating its tenth anniversary.

After returning from the International Visitor Leadership Programme exchange in the USA, focusing on arts-driven social change, she partnered with activists in the art community to create Art Nam, a voluntary association furthering the Namibian arts industry

Tanya Turi

Beyond Boundaries

Tshuutheni Emvula

Tshuutheni Emvula is the founder of thetechguysblog.com, and has made music and soundscapes across the globe, from Africa to the United States, but is not only a sound engineer. He has a passionate interest in technology, physics and in the aerospace industry.

He considers himself an autodidact; he believes in the act of teaching oneself about a subject to which one has little or no formal education.

From an early age, he has always wanted to go to space. In everything he does, the sky has always been the beginning of a dream.

This is where the Tech Guys comes in; their aim is to turn Namibia into a space economy.

Bruno Nebe

Bruno Nebe claims to be no expert on anything, but has experience gathered during time spent in the bush. He studied art and then photography and worked as a photographer internationally and locally. But most of his time was spent out in the veldt.

He has been involved with rhinos for the past 40 years and together with his family set up a sanctuary for them.

Five years ago he realized the ever increasing threat to the pangolin and decided to devote some of his time to try and find a way to study these elusive creatures.

With the help of others he now runs a release and study program to try and learn more about them which hopefully will lead to better protecting them.

Helvi Wheeler

Helvi Wheeler is an Instructional Technology Designer with the Teaching and Learning Unit (TLU) at the Polytechnic of Namibia, and a published author of books for children.

Helvi founded Yambeka Children Media.  Yambeka is a term which literally means “Blessed” in the Oshiwambo language (for the benefit of international visitors, this is the language spoken by the Ovambo people of Namibia).  Yambeka Children Media was created to promote Namibian and other African languages and traditional stories for children between 3-13 years.  

Helvi is working to make sure that in five years’ time, Yambeka Children Media puts Namibian and African stories on the map of the world. “I also hope to have children’s cartoons, toys, clothes and books that reflect this pride in the rich cultural heritage that we have in Africa.”

Helvi Wheeler
Hugh Ellis

Hugh Ellis spent his childhood in the UK in the 1970s and 80s, the son of Namibian exiles. He was 12, going on 13 when his family returned to Namibia shortly after Independence. After completing school in Windhoek he registered at Rhodes, where he got a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2000 and a Masters in 2008.

He has worked as a journalist at The Namibian and as a UN communication officer, as well as freelancing to help put himself through college. In 2010 he joined the Polytechnic of Namibia as a lecturer in the Communication Department. Hugh also teaches digital journalism and print media design at the Poly, but his ‘first love’ and ‘favourite subject’ has always been photography, which he has practiced since his parents bought him a tiny 11mm film-cartridge camera when he was 10 years old.

He is currently working on his PhD through Wits University in Johannesburg where his thesis topic concerns the possible uses of photography as a means of social empowerment in Namibia. Hugh’s hobbies include poetry and African contemporary dance.


Beyond Imagination

Michael Linke

Michael Linke is a social entrepreneur and an advocate of human-powered mobility.

He has worked in Namibia since 2004, when he founded an NGO called the Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia (BENN). Through BENN, Michael has spearheaded the creation of Africa’s largest network of bicycle retailers, all of which support local community projects, and has distributed more than 40,000 bicycles in Namibia. Thanks to this work, Namibia also boasts the highest number of women bicycle mechanics of any African country.

Michael once made a living as a bicycle rickshaw rider and manager for a rickshaw hire company in London, and is now involved in a project to improve the 500,000 bicycle rickshaws in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also working with local partners to adapt the Namibian bicycle shop model in Madagascar, Kenya and Zambia. He is convinced that if everyone rode a bicycle every day, the world would be a much better place.

DeeDee Yates

DeeDee Yates is a recognised world expert focusing on vulnerable children and families including those affected by HIV and AIDS. Starting in 1985, her passion for children brought her into the field of early childhood development.

Her career started as the early childhood development coordinator for the Anglican Church in Namibia, supporting their twenty-five kindergartens in rural areas of north-central Namibia as well as in Katutura. After that she helped establish the Children’s Desk at the Council of Churches and acted as the coordinator from Independence in 1990 to 1996. After working for the Ford Foundation in Namibia, she became a full time consultant. She has done several studies on the quality of programs for children in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, and has several publications. She also has served to the Government of Namibia for several years as a Technical Advisor in Early Childhood Development. DeeDee Yates is a permanent resident in Namibia. DeeDee Yates is married to Reverend Mike Yates, the founder of KAYEC. They have two children and one granddaughter, all living in Namibia.

Sam Shivute

Sam Shivute is a multi-skilled professional with expertise in the areas of authentic leadership, currency management, central banking services, security management, investigation of crimes, law, taxation, public and motivational speaking.

Sam is currently serving as a Director: Banking Services Department at Bank of Namibia, Director (BoD): Junior Achievers Namibia and Trustee of Unam Foundation. Sam is also a Franklin Covey Namibia Facilitator. Sam had served as a Detective in the Namibian Police, Deputy Chief of the office of Professional Standards, United Nations in East Timor, and he recently concluded an 18 months secondment as Commissioner of Inland Revenue Department at the Ministry of Finance.

Sam is a Law graduate. After attending leadership, business and financial management courses at Stellenbosch, Wits, London, Saïd (Oxford) business schools and at Bangalore Institute of Management, he was inspired to develop his own motivational concepts that he uses in his motivational engagements. Sam is passionate about authentic leadership and inspiring people. In 2015, he co-founded Estia, a company specializing in motivational speaking and executive coaching.

Sam Shivute 
Marie-Jeanne Ndimbira

Marie Jeanne Ndimbira has been working in youth development for 12 years. She co founded the Physically Active Youth program at the end of 2002. This journey has led her on a path that is advocating for quality and competency based education for all Namibian and African youth.

She is of the strong belief that her generation should build on the unique characteristics of the African people and the rich resources of Africa. In order to maximise the continents human and economic potential. Therefore, she works to meet the need of the continent which is to provide Africa's youth with a set of holistic and critical reasoning skills. That allows each individual to create a livelihood for themselves using their own talent.

The premise of her organisations Physically Active Youth and Twamanguluka are a driving force of innovation. What has set her work apart is her values and unconventional methodologies.

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