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MEET OUR MANAGERS

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Johanna Somses

Housekeeping Manager

I started on Okonjima in January 2005!!  After 12 good years at Okonjima,  I now have the position of managing the room/services staff,  which I achieved through hard work and commitment to the Okonjima long-term vision of improving oneself and reaching new heights.  I enjoy working with the Okonjima team and am grateful that my daughter had the chance to complete her primary schooling at the Perivoli Okonjima Country School as well.

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Jason Kombada

Manager at Bush Camp

In January 2007 my dream became true when I got a job at Okonjima Lodge as a kitchen general/assistant,  but was luckily when I was later promoted to a waiter and barman in August the same year. In July 2014,  I started training as an assistant manager and with hard work and dedication, I became a Bush Camp manager in 2015. I am so grateful to be able to continue my career with the beautiful Okonjima Family.  With this good team we never stop learning, and we are encouraged to set new challenges daily so that we are able to give the best service to our guests.

My favourite quote: “To be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone”

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Tobias Koiti

Assistant Manager

2008,  I arrived on Okonjima and at first worked as a waiter and barman.   Then in 2011 Okonjima promoted me and I became a Receptionist, welcoming all our guests with my big smile.

2016 was a remarkable year in my career,  since my dream came true and I was promoted to Assistant Manager.

Okonjima made everything possible for me and taught me a lot. I really like my job,  specific being with guests, introducing them to the conservation work we do here and chatting about nature. I am very willing and keen to learn more in every aspects that Okonjima can offer me in the future. . . .

I have been working in the Tourism Industry for 7 years now. I do like meeting different people from different countries, telling them about Okonjima & AfriCat and about our beautiful country. I also like joking and entertaining our Guests ( . . . and colleagues)

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KONDJENI MARTIN DOESEB

F+B Manager

I was born in Omaruru,  a small town in central Namibia.

My career changed from a passionate chef to becoming one of the Kitchen and F+B Managers, when Okonjima gave me this chance to move up the ladder.

I started at Okonjima in 2001 as a chef at Bush Camp, where I worked for 8 months.  Then I went to Europe to broaden my horizons and returned to Okonjima again in 2010 as a Head Chef with a lot more experience that I gained abroad.

I have worked myself up to Kitchen Manager.  I love trying new recipes and dishes and teaching our kitchen staff new dishes.  Okonjima is my Home and Passion. My daughter, Elretha Hangara, also lives here and is one of the Okonjima managers. We are now part of the Okonjima Family!

My favourite quote: “Relax. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are living and Learning. Forgive yourself and grow from the Experience.”

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Sielona Grobler

Reservations Manager

I started with Okonjima in June 2010 and as a young receptionist had to work hard to prove myself.

I have since worked my way up to my current position as manager of reservations and I believe that my team is the best!

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Zanelle Lepen

Reservations

I started with Okonjima in May 2014 as manager of Bush Camp and loved what I did as well as the people I worked with.

I moved to Reservations in March 2016 and can now carry my passion forward by dealing with the private market as well as our large collection of travel agents.

Having grown up I in the bush I have always had a passion for animals as well as the tourism industry.

Okonjima is such a dynamic environment with a myriad of components, all working together for the good of conservation, tourism and education and I love being part of the works!

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Erika Marceline Awaras

Lodge Manager 

Started working April 15th 2016

I started working in tourism almost straight after school . . . .  I remember my first interview was under a tree,  as my future ‘bosses’ got a flat tire and I was lucky as I passed by and met my first employer just by luck!  I never regret that day and I started as a waitress and “loved it so much”.  My journey in this field never stopped and for the past 15 years this is what I love doing!  I started at Okonjima in April 2016.   I ‘travel’ every day with different tourist,  learning different cultures, sharing their love and passion for Africa, mostly Namibia  – our pride.  What makes me happy in my work is when I make guest smile and they leave us happier than what they were on arrival . . . ready for their next destination “that’s my pride”.

I now have the incredible and humbling opportunity to join Okonjima team, experiencing every day different challenges that make me feel that I am finally growing up and am moving into another level.  I’m so impress with the Okonjima family with how much love and passion they share the ‘Okonjima journey’ with me/us…it’s my powerful new challenge that will never end.

My quote: “Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession”

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Esmari (Essie) Jacobs

Kitchen Manager

I started with the Okonjima team in August 2016!   I am a creative and ambitious young lady who grew up in the south of Namibia on a cattle farm!  With my friendly personality that loves baking, for me it’s like Art, Freedom of Expression, Precision, Care and Perfection.  Making people happy with my creations in the kitchen is what it’s all about for me.  I love seeing my inventions come to life in the kitchens even more when it’s enjoyed by the guests.  Working for Okonjima lets me take a step closer to my dream becoming reality.   “Everything worth doing can be done”