Vanessa Cheryl Chidembo - Bachelor of Tourism Management (3rd year )

Brief: Recently attended the Future Leaders Forum at Meetings Africa Johannesburg, South Africa

How did you get to know about the Forum you recently attended, what was it about and how did you become a part of it/ how were you selected? I get to know about Meetings Africa through our lecturer Ms Green. Meetings Africa showcases Africa’s diverse offering of services and products where African associations and meetings industry professionals can partner to help transform our continent. Meetings Africa gives exhibitors in the business events industry opportunities to network with key decision makers in the industry, as well as a platform to showcase their products and services to hundreds of global buyers and event planners. This is an industry that cuts across the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) sectors, and this year was hosted under the theme of Shared Economies. We were asked to write an event proposal by our lecturer Ms. Green as an assignment and the best and creative five, where chosen and that’s how we were selected.

What knowledge/experience have you gained and how is it beneficial to you and the NUST community at large? I gained so much during the two days. Learned about the tourism industry at large. The experience was phenomenal. I learned that as students we should get out of our comfort zones and take chances and work hard towards our goals. To never procrastinate, believe in yourself and have fun. It benefits NUST because in the sense that not a lot of people know Namibia hence its does not only put our school on the map but the country at large. It encourages other students in my department to work hard and work towards these conferences because really it’s a wonderful opportunity. If they do well they will end up in Germany or any European country and getting scholarships from prestigious universities.

What is the Future Leaders Forum in your own understanding and how will you use it to motivate others? The Future Leaders Forum to me is a platform for African students to shine and to be creative, a platform to meet the top best experts in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. I shall also use my experience there to motivate other students. It really opened up doors for me.

What are your plans for the near future? I plan to further my studies, venture into Events Management after my current degree in Abhu Dhabi and hopefully work there as well and later International Relations. Ooh yeah I cannot die before I become a lodge owner. Tourism is at heart.

Share with us your success quote! Make the most of every opportunity and learn (a lot), experience and behave like a professional