Liina Mutilifa - Master of Environmental Engineering (Specializing in Water Engineering)

Brief:NUST engineering student received an international recognition at the water conference

Share your achievement/success story in detail. I recently received an international recognition at the water conference. I was the only student from Sub- Saharan Africa, I use the term Sub-Saharan Africa because we are among the group of countries that will become the most water stress by 2040 (Luo, Young& Reig,2015). Hence, water resource management has become a prerequisite for the future. International recognition did not only come to me as an individual but to the Institution as well, particular my supervisors and to the country at large.

Winning the third prize after competing with other international students, was a great achievement. Initially, when I submitted my abstract for the conference, I did not expect it to be approved, but it was nominated as one of the best for the poster presentation. As the conference draw close, we received instruction on the preparation. My most worry was on the time zone which was different. The conference took place during the evening and early morning hours (17h00 pm to 05h00 am). This was a hectic time for me as the next day I was expected to be at work and deliver valuable work to my Senior. But by the Grace, It all unfolded in my favour. I praise God for that. Indeed, hard work pays off.

Tell us more about your journey leading up to this moment. I am a NUST Alumni, having obtained my undergraduate Degree with the Institution in 2015 and soon I will obtain my Master in Environmental Engineering. My journey toward obtaining the Master was not easy. This is because I am a full-time employee and a commuter between Windhoek and Okahandja. Late evening drives became an order of the day as a class would knock off around 20h00 to 21h00. Getting home, meant continuing with schoolwork, resting and waking up early morning to get to work. It is a journey that requires time management as a vital skill. In this journey time is priceless and should be used efficiently.

What does this achievement mean to you and how will you use it to motivate others? Well, this achievement means a lot to me. It is a true reflection, that indeed what the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve, despite the challenges encountered. One need to focus their mind on what they want to achieve in life (VISION) and be crazy enough to believe it 100%. Your vision should be the alarm that wakes you up and drive you back to bed when you are finished and not when you are tired. Many of us, after a few sleepless nights, condition our mind to “I am Tired”, (This set a limitation in your mind, which the body eventually obeys). The result is Procrastination (Enemy of Success). My motivation is this, learn to control your mind and be tough-minded, yet soft in heart. Only then can you be focused and be able to defeat any obstacles that come your way.

A simple example is this, (A woman in the labour room has only one focus, which is to push and deliver a baby). She has Zero time for other business but focuses on the baby (Your achievement). Hence, fellow students are like-minded in your academic journey, do not let anyone disturb your focus. Your vision must be accomplished. It must be birthed.

What are your plans for the future? The future looks promising, and I will wait for it to unfold.

The success quote you live by is... ’’ Be smart, Be strategic ‘’ - First Lady of Namibia, Mrs Monica Geingos