Monica Geingos

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Even before Monica Geingos was the First Lady of Namibia she was named by Namibian newspaper The Villager as one of the twelve most influential people in the southern African country. Then Monica Kalondo, she was a model businesswoman, Managing Director of private equity investment company Stimulus Investments Limited and a member of the President’s Economic Advisory Council. Strangely enough, her journey into finance wasn’t intentional. “...I parked at the Namibian Stock Exchange as a Listings Assistant in order to fund a postgraduate law degree,” she tells the New Era Newspaper. “As life happens, I fell in love with what I was doing at the NSX and that resisted any desire to practice law. The moment I fell in love with my work at the NSX, my destiny path was set and the whole universe conspired to ensure I gained the right experience and exposure to bring me to where I am now.”

Monica broke barriers as the first woman chairperson of any commercial bank in Namibia (EBank Namibia), but to her, the accomplishment was overshadowed by the climate in which it was earned. “The issue of being “first female” or “first black” is a bit of a poisoned chalice as it should not make us celebrate the few individuals who break barriers but rather question what these barriers are and focus on removing them so more women may enter,” she explained to Brandt. “While breaking barriers is a positive sign, we must celebrate when we can see many competent women in top management positions and not be surprised by it.”

Geingos became First Lady of Namibia in 2015 and stepped down from her role as Managing Director at Stimulus as well as her positions on the public and private sector boards on which she served. Her advice on success? “The most challenging part of success is managing it and the biggest thing that you need to manage is your ego because you will believe it when everybody starts telling you that you are great,” she said at last year’s Mentorship in Business Forum event hosted by Ndalo Media in partnership with Standard Bank in Windhoek. “Make a conscious decision to manage your success.”