My career

Delila Katanga

Delila Katanga (DK) is a new integrated communication specialist at MultiChoice Namibia (MCN). She recently shared her career journey with Walter Kariko (WK).

WK: Who is Delila Katanga outside of the office?
I’m a bright and bubbly person, and the youngest of eight children, but many people see me as a big sister because of my strong propensity to take care of others. I love travelling, detest camping and have great affection for my family and community. I’m also insatiably curious and love to discover new things.

WK: What does your role as an integrated communication specialist at MultiChoice Namibia involve?
It mainly involves creating and implementing effective digital public relations campaigns, including generating leads, conducting market research and actively engaging with the business.

WK: What experiences have shaped your career?
I started working in the media industry at 11, hosting a children’s TV programme. At 18 when I was ready to apply for a degree in accounting, my family sat me down and asked me to follow my passion rather, which was to have a career in the media and broadcasting space.
Every experience since – from being at a campus radio station to joining a commercial radio station – has been a great learning experience that has cemented my passion for this industry.

WK: What new ideas are you keen to implement at MultiChoice?
MultiChoice Namibia has a great digital presence and I intend to enhance that.

WK: What are the three top skills one needs for a future in the communication sector?
Learning how to network the right way. Mamy people believe networking should come naturally and all you need to do is walk into a room and start talking to people. However, there is a particular way to network effectively and that is an acquired skill.
Mastering non-verbal communication is also crucial. The way we walk into a room and hold ourselves says a lot about us before we even start to speak. There is a need to be mindful of your resting face. When you aren’t in active conversations with people, do you look approachable?
Finally, I would say adaptability is vital. It is easy to get trapped in a space of ‘this is how we’ve always done it’, but when you condition yourself to adapt and embrace modern-day ideas, you can better move with the times.

WK: How do you incorporate evolving technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in your role at MultiChoice Namibia?
I would like to relate this to the time when the first computer was invented. It aimed to make many tasks easier through typing instead of writing, or making information more accessible through digital copies rather than rooms stacked with paperwork. Similarly, there is a sweet spot of synergy between AI and the current way of working.
The best way to deal with these changes is to embrace them and ask how to make them work for us, without compromising our quality of work.

WK: How does it feel to be a communication specialist at such a big corporation?
It’s pretty new, compared to what I was used to in the media space, however, the organisational culture is everything I have ever dreamed of, which makes everything easier. I thrive in fast-paced environments and this has been a match made in heaven.

WK: Which community outreach or corporate social responsibility initiatives are MultiChoice Namibia involved in?
Since 2018, MCN’s flagship shared-value initiative, the MultiChoice Talent Factory, has developed the talents of Namibian aspiring film-makers to sustain themselves in the Namibian creative industry and beyond. Some 11 creatives have graduated from this programme and are currently excelling in the Namibian creative industry, with some starting their own businesses and I’m so proud to share that.

WK: What advice do you have for young people who want to enter the communication and public relations field?
Network at every opportunity you get and have conversations based on the career path you’d like to pursue. Secondly, hard as it may be, find a mentor who can help you on your professional journey. Some negative experiences can be avoided if you have the right guide.

WK: From whose well of wisdom do you draw?
Being the youngest of eight, I draw a great amount of wisdom from my older siblings. They have been instrumental in shaping my thoughts and way of life. My mentors have had an influential role in my professional growth – from constantly scrutinising my CV, to advising on how to create a work-life balance.
Another well I draw from is that of successful women in the global space, such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Priyanka Chopra. It takes a village to raise someone and I firmly believe there is no such thing as a self-made person.

WK: Recommend any three good reads.
‘Freefall’, by Jessica Barry. This book is such a page turner and has kept me unproductive for a good minute. It truly reminds me of how deep and selfless a mother’s love is. Also ‘Purple Hibiscus’, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It tells the story of a young Nigerian girl, Kambili and her family’s struggle with oppression and abuse.
Lastly, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It has taught me that it is never too late to start over and that prioritising self-care is very important for both one’s mental health as well as productivity. When you are at your best, you produce the best.

WK: What do you do in your free time?
Aerial yoga comes in first. It is a blend of yogic philosophy and postures with aerial arts and I enjoy it because it relaxes me. I also love fine dining, attending occasional concerts and being in the social scenes.

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