At home with Valencia Katjipuka

Valencia Katjipuka is a certified Neuro-linguistic programming life coach. She is also a qualified Economist – having served in public service before resigning to pursue a career in Psychology at Unam full-time. She has a heart for people, and she loves to uplift and inspire others. She is passionate about personal development and all things psychology – mental health.

Who is Valencia Katjipuka?
Valencia Katjipuka is God’s daughter. I firmly place my identity on a higher power. And that’s where all the roles and the titles I carry trickle down from. I am a wife and a mother of boys. I am also the last born of three daughters from my mom. I have eight siblings from my dad.

I am what they call a “campaigner personality”. The word ‘campaigner’ is associated with a person who takes part in organized activities that are intended to change something in society. I’m someone who embraces big ideas and actions.

I love socializing and I love connecting and relating to people. I consider myself to be a teacher at heart as I love sharing knowledge and information. I recharge in solitude. Being alone is somewhat of a party for my soul.

Can you tell us about your family and upbringing?

I grew up in a household of a single mother, in a home of women only.

For most of my childhood, l grew up in Okakarara and it was mostly my mom and I.

My sisters grew up between my mom, my late aunt, and my grandmother.

Later on, we moved to Windhoek and lived in Katutura where I attended school at Theo Katjimune Primary School, and later Matriculated at Windhoek High School.

How has your background and upbringing influenced the person that you are today?

Your background and upbringing are the foundation of your roots. They form your programming. As much as I am the lastborn, I don’t know what that’s like, I learned very early in life to be independent, and I think not growing up around my siblings taught me to do so many things by myself and for myself. As a nurse, my mom spent long hours at work.

From an early age, I did my homework by myself.

I remember when we moved to Windhoek, I had to navigate being at a new school and make sure my homework was done all on my own. This taught me independence and to just take initiative. I would read up on things and would decide to try it out sometimes before I got permission from my mom.

As a teen, the term ‘potential’ rang a bell but it was just that I didn’t realize that it was actually defined as the capacity to develop into something meaningful. So, I tried different things as a teen, from doing French courses to once joining a modelling agency (laughs). I would go out and chill with my friends and when I got home, I journaled in my diary about growth and striving to do better. Always aspire to become a better version of myself. My grandmother loved God, and she expressed it through singing hymns and praising. She spoke highly of Him. I value spirituality. Attending church which cemented my relationship with the Creator has been a source of grounding for me and contributes to my moral standards.

You are accomplished academically. Was education always something that was emphasized in your family?

I think many of us come from an era of phrases like, “Education is Key” and “Education is the greatest equalizer”, so yes school was emphasized a lot at home. If you knew the lyrics to any song, you had to make sure that you knew your schoolwork too.

My dad was the first black head boy in Okakarara where I grew up and his father was the headmaster of another school, so being a teacher at heart and valuing.

academics and my love for learning is inborn.

You are a qualified Economist – Do you mind sharing this journey with us?

As I explained earlier, I had to figure out a lot of things on my own, so without much career guidance after matric, I enrolled for a Bachelor of Economics and later did an Honours in Economics degree as well. This academic choice was simply influenced by a subject course, that I was doing well at school. Nonetheless, in my heart, I always knew it was a mismatch for me but pursued it anyway hence the importance of career guidance in schools today.

I served in the public service for eight years before resigning in 2020 to pursue an academic course in Psychology.

I also enrolled for online certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming Coaching which I am pursuing on a part-time basis while studying for a full-time career in Psychology at Unam.

How do you apply your qualifications daily?

I offer one-on-one coaching sessions.

Is economics something you would recommend anybody to study?

Yes, the field of economics is quite broad and intriguing. The country needs specialized economists who yearn for a positive and sustained growth trajectory.

You may specialize as a trade economist, development economist, financial economist, macro-economist, or industrial economist.

However, we should be mindful of the impact Artificial Intelligence is going to have on the world going forward… where areas of robotics, blockchain technology, cloud computing, programming, etc. are becoming important. The world is changing very fast and we have to remain focused and be adaptable.

As a trained economist what is your personal opinion about the current state of our country’s economy and that of the sub-region?

The seasons we are in are called “tighten the belts” seasons.

The year 2023 has been a very difficult year for Namibia and the region. We are still emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation was further compounded by the Russia-Ukraine war that caused inflationary pressures on energy and basic foodstuffs and resulted in interest rate hikes worldwide. These developments put pressure on consumers in terms of food security and made borrowing expensive.

However, it was good news for those who had some cash/liquidity to put away in savings.

For 2024, according to the IMF, the regional economy will rebound and forecast growth of four percent though some inflationary pressure may persist for a while. The year 2024 could be a year of disinflation and where interest rates could start coming down as well. The outlook is somehow positive.

About gender and representation, do you think women are well-represented in the field?

I believe so, that there are enough women qualified as economists- what is key is to see and acknowledge their capability through appointments and assignments in more influential executive positions across the various economic sectors in the country.

You are also a certified Neuro-linguistic programming life coach. What is that?

Neuro – Your thinking process- the way you use your senses to understand what is happening around you.

Linguistic- Your Words. The way you use language. How you talk to yourself and others and how they influence your life

Programming – Which is now your life, your behaviour. The way you organize your ideas and actions produces expected and unexpected results.

What inspired your journey and passion for personal development and all things psychology and mental health?

This journey chose me. I am born a counsellor. Uplifting and inspiring others is something that comes naturally to me. My family and friends would always approach me to talk and express that it made them feel better even without offering wise counsel. Some would tell me that you know what you said the other day helped me a lot and then someone would question: “Why didn’t you study psychology?

Following that, my second job while studying Economics landed me in a social affairs department. My colleagues were social workers and psychological counsellors.

I love reading and most of the books I read are written by psychologists or personal development/leadership written by people using psychological tools.

In 2020 I was diagnosed with depression. That was my turning point and I have now reframed it as redirection to who and what I was meant to give to the world. Everything changed then, and with a lot of help from my therapist and a coach, here we are. Do you see the pattern here?

This is why I pride myself in helping others turn their pain into tools because potential not used turns into pain, numbness, a life of no direction, and being controlled pretty much by life, you get stuck and stagnant, you stop growing and that causes frustration, anger, and pain.

“Pay attention to the patterns of your life”

Is it fair to assume that you empathize with the power and importance of purpose in your coaching work?

The purpose is the foundation of it all. Your purpose is your WHY. The reason for which something is done or created, and when the work you do has that foundation you will move past the barriers with grace, compassion, courage, and confidence.

How does one discover your purpose?

Look at the patterns in your life alternatively, book your coaching session with VK Rise Life Coaching.

Who will be your typical client in your coaching work?

Both males and females in their early adulthood life to mid-grown ups.

How does VK relax?

I love my rests, my solo and family times, Reading and Journaling, walking and light jogging.

I love socializing, networking, being authentic, and laughing at almost everything.

Lastly, I relax by having hearty and uplifting conversations.

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