In May 2022 we set out to find our proudly Namibian airline’s first ambassador. After narrowing over 300 entries down to 10 finalists, Namibia voted for Joyce Nghiishililwa. And what a stroke of luck that was for FlyNamibia! With her tenacity and zest for life, unrelenting enthusiasm for new experiences and tangible patriotism, Joyce embodies the nation we wholeheartedly serve. 

Because all good things must eventually come to an end, Joyce’s year of exploration concludes this month. It is with a heavy heart and great appreciation that we bid farewell to the very first Face of FlyNamibia. Joyce reinvigorated our love for travel and showed us how much fun can be had in the often overlooked small towns of Namibia. 

Here, Joyce tells us about her unforgettable year celebrating FlyNamibia. 

In three words, summarise your experience as the very first Face of FlyNamibia. 

New, exhilarating, adventurous 

Which of your trips with FlyNamibia would you single out as your favourite? 

My trip to Rundu! The north-eastern part of the country has definitely been my place of tranquillity. There is something about the waters of the Okavango River that makes one feel at ease. It’s very soothing, calm and dreamy. 

During our amazing stay at Taranga Safari Lodge we were on the river almost all the time. That feeling of drifting on the water just captivated my soul and that scent of nature that filled the air was honestly an experience I didn’t know I needed. The beautifully painted sunset skies in hues of orange and pink that created mesmerising mirrored canvases were sights that will never leave my memory. I loved it there, it absolutely stole my heart. 

What are some of the opportunities/experiences that came your way as a result of being the Face of FlyNamibia? 

During the voting period, even before I won the competition, I was already recognised almost everywhere I went, and that increased after I had become the Face of FlyNamibia 2022. People would randomly come up to me and say ‘’Are you the FlyNamibia girl?’’ It was funny to see their faces when I confirmed that I was in fact the ‘FlyNamibia Girl’. It honestly never got old, even until today. 

Being the Face of FlyNamibia also brought about a lot of attention or recognition by a lot of brands in all industries. I was approached by travel companies for influencer gigs, photographers approached me for promo shoots, hair and nail brands scouted me out and offered brand ambassadorship. Plenty of opportunities came my way and I am truly grateful for each and every one of them! 

Which part of your journey as the Face of FlyNamibia stands out particularly? 

From being an ordinary individual who has never ever flown in an aeroplane to becoming the first brand ambassador for a proudly Namibian airline and getting to fly every other month is genuinely a dream come true. It still feels surreal. 

Why should Namibians enter the Face of FlyNamibia 2023 ambassador search? 

You honestly never know the opportunities that await you, so when you get the chance, go for it! This might just be your luck. It definitely was mine. 

Before becoming the Face of FlyNamibia I had only been to a couple of towns in our country. As part of my amazing journey with FlyNamibia, I have travelled to many places in Namibia, explored various towns and gone on so many adventures. Today I can truthfully call myself a well-travelled Namibian. 

Give us an essential piece of advice for the next Face of FlyNamibia. 

Perhaps a bit cliché, but my advice for the next Face of FlyNamibia is to be authentic, be real, be you. Show Namibia who you are, embrace the Namibian spirit, cherish the memories, represent FlyNamibia with enthusiasm and let your love for Namibia shine through in all that you do. Last but certainly not least: smile! A warm smile is a universal language of kindness. 

Charene Labuschagne