Who is Dr Julita-Kitwe Mbangula?
Julita is a young woman born in Ongwediva but the place I call home is a small village called Okatana.
I come from very a humble background and I romanticize it because I’ve truly been shaped my circumstances and it’s the reason why I have such great ambitions. I’m a qualified medical doctor however I’m involved in many other things that spark my interest. I’m heavily intertwined in beauty pageants, creative spaces and all things girl power. I’m just a young woman navigating my way through life.
Where did you do your schooling?
I started school at Charles Anderson Primary School in Ongwediva, where I completed my primary education Grade 1-7, then I further completed my secondary education at Etosha Secondary School in Tsumeb. I spent the rest of my young adulthood in UNAM School of Medicine here in Windhoek for 6 years getting my Bachelors Degree in Medicine and Surgery.
What can you tell us about your childhood?
Mine was no different from the common Namibian child. Im grateful to have been given all I needed to grow and reach some level of personal success. I’m one of 3 children and I grew up quite different from my siblings, I’m definitely the adventurous adrenaline seeking and curious type. I’ve always questioned theories and looking to involve myself in radical changes.
What prompted you to study medicine?
When choosing a career path, we are mostly shaped by our environment and obvious influences in our lives. One of my greatest aspirations in life was to be like my mother who’s a nurse but of course being academically inclined the decision to be a doctor happened naturally. Moreover, As i grew I looked at it more pragmatically. I wanted to get into a profession that is indispensable, to be able to harness Essential skills that I can use anywhere in the world as a doctor.
This line of work is very interesting to me, what do you mean you can use science to bring someone back to life? I’m ready to be taught how.
It takes a good 6 years to qualify as a medical practitioner. What were the highs and lows
To be honest there are more lows than highs. This career is down right depressing (Failing objectively difficult exams, patients dying on a daily basis, watching the system fail patients, the personal sacrifices, the workload, the stress, the mental health issues) it’s a lot. But it’s a matter of perspective which derives from the big WHY. The reason why someone chose this career path helps guide the experiences that they have. A personal high for me will always be mastering a nee skill or that moment in a resuscitation when the patient comes back to life after so much effort and they go out to live a full life, nothing beats that feeling. It’s a God complex all doctors have but it’s truly what selflessly drives most of us to do what we do.
Why would you encourage anyone to study medicine?
I wouldn’t. What I would encourage is research. If someone had to look at medicine as a career option I’d love for them to sit with atleast 10 doctors and ask pertinent questions and see if they align with their life goals, I’d also encourage them further to spend days shadowing these doctors and seeing their lives. If they are satisfied with what they see then they can go ahead and persue the career, if not, truly medicine isn’t the “second option” job , it’s all or nothing. You either love it or you’ll spend the rest of your life just surviving. No one wants to be treated by a doctor that isn’t passionate about what they do.
You’re currently a medical officer do you have any plans to specialize?
Of course! That’s the ultimate goal. It’s gruelling and requires an additional 4 years depending on the specialty but Specializing means I’ll be an expert at a particular thing and that’s what we mostly work towards. I’m looking into a few specialties that have sparked my interest and I’m just gaining clinical skills before I step into that space.
An interesting aspect of your life is that you have participated in several beauty pageants, how did you get involved in beauty pageants?
I started when I was very young, say 6/7 years old doing local pageants in my neighborhood. those opportunities allowed me to discover and solidify my confidence very early on in my life. I soon gained momentum as I grew older and started placing more meaning to pageants than what appears at face value. I saw it as an opportunity for growth and everything just blew up from there.
What are some of the pageants you have participated in ?
• Miss Namibia 2019 – 1st Runner up
• Miss Africa 2020- 2nd Runner up
• Miss Supranational Namibia 2022
• Internationally I placed in the TOP24 overall
• Top 10 best Interview and Top 10 best content creator.
• Awarded woman of substance 2022 (the second in the history of the pageant since 2009)
These are the formal ones I’ve participated in, I’ve done a few others at school and university.
Your brand is strongly associated with miss supranational Namibia, what is Miss Supranational about?
Miss Supranational is an annual pageant, one of the top 5 international pageants (Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, Miss Earth). The word itself means having power that transcends natural borders. The narrative of Supra that differs from other pageants is the social cause each delegate must be able to demonstrate from scratch, so beyond the superficial glitz and glamour of pageantry, they really look at what Tangible changes each representative can bring about in their country.
You were Miss Supranational Namibia 2022, what did that mean to you?
That was so surreal. It was an incredible and unexpected win. After everything settled, as cliche as it may sound, I really looked at the whole journey as an affirmation that I can do anything I set my mind to. I tried my best to utilize the platform according to what my management and I felt was the most natural and logical way to bring about the changes we want to see. I’ve since handed over my title but I continue to push the needle forward because I believe in the “aspirational, inspirational” expression of the organization.
You were recently appointed as the First Vice National director of Miss supranational namibia, what does that mean?
Every international pageant has a national director to manage the operations of the pageants, encompassing all logistics leading up to the crowning. I have been appointed as the Vice National Director for Miss Supranational Namibia a first of its kind and I’m extremely humbled and honoured to serve as part of management to help push the brand forward.
Your charitable event in Namibia, is one of the most recognized that caters for The Namibian girl child, tell us about this event?
As a beauty queen, a social responsibility is assigned to the title holder to advocate for their year of reign. It is against this background that the Hermosa Mimosa Affair was established. This initiative was started as a social project because I believe the education of a girl child should not be compromised and young girls should be given every opportunity to thrive and become great contributing members of society, thus continued with it long after i have handed over my crown.
The Hermosa Mimosa affair is all female empowerment social gathering that aims to bridge the knowledge gap about being a female doctor among young aspiring girls in Namibia. The event highlights the importance of good female influence and connecting with established female leaders in the medical profession. Our goal is to cultivate a relationship of mentor-ship to aspiring young girls with an interest to study medicine and equip the learners with the necessary information from qualified female doctors as they journey to become our future leaders.
We address issues such as mental health that greatly plague health care workers and discuss ways to navigate through difficult times in a supported environment. The platform holds space for women to be empowered and encouraged to become leaders in their personal capacities. We also advocate for them having a voice and facing adversities with such stellar confidence. The content of this event will cover guidance as it pertains to navigating struggles in medical school, addresses misconceptions and challenges faced as a female physician.
As it stands, we have successfully hosted four editions, with the most gratifying testimonies from the attendees. We were able to reach young girls from various socioeconomic backgrounds in and outside Windhoek.
1st Edition was in 2022, We were honored to have Dr F Shidhika a Specialist Paediatric Cardiologist as our first Keynote speaker,
The 2nd Edition, Dr F Shigwedha Specialist Anaesthetist.
The 3rd Edition, Dr Helena Ndume a well-known Specialist Ophthalmologist, Multi-AWARD winning Humanitarian and decorated Philanthropist.
4th Edition, Dr Carmen Fuentes a General and Digestive Surgeon from Spain was our guest speaker.
We pride ourselves as a team that surrounds the young girls with high value women with great hope that they will be molded and inspired to pursue their dreams as future doctors or simply as contributing members of society.
You’ve done 4 editions of the Hermosa Mimosa, how has it been received so far ?
The reception has been absolutely incredible. Everytime we host the Hermosa we are left looking to plan for the next edition. It’s really incredible how well the girls gravitate towards these events. This tells me we have so many girls what want to be doctors and would like to contribute positively to the society if only a platform is given to them. We have also picked up an interest in corporates to participate, sponsor and collaborate with us as we create opportunities for the Namibian girl child. The dream is Ofcourse to grow bigger and get more corporates onboard.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
We hope to continue with our social projects and expand on them. The dream is to host the Hermosa Mimosa in every region in Namibia & discover young girls that are truly looking to change the circumstances. Furthermore, we would like to involved young boys in this initiative and rope in progressional in other careers aswell.