For the first time in FlyNamibia history, we searched far and wide to find the perfect representative for our airline. Our first ambassador had to personify the spirit of the country we wholeheartedly serve, with tenacity, enthusiasm and genuine patriotism. After receiving over 300 entries and narrowing the selection to 10 finalists, Namibia voted for the bubbly, eccentric, travel enthusiast Joyce Nghiishililwa. Her 30-second entry video said it all: “A warm smile is always the universal language of kindness.”
In the months that followed her rise to The Face of FlyNamibia title, we took Joyce on her first (ever) flight to Swakopmund. As the steel bird lifted its nose in the air and the back wheels gently lifted off the Eros Airport runway, she screamed loud enough to shatter the windows. It is pure joy, just like Joyce. Although this trip was just a quick rendezvous to Swakopmund and back, it was monumental for this accounting student who grew up in Tsumeb.
For her first domestic flight, FlyNamibia took Joyce to one of the airline’s most popular routes – Ondangwa. She explored the Open Market where the locals shop, eat and do business.
Joyce says “The Open Market reminded me why I am proud of my Oshiwambo culture. So many of the items that are sold there are the traditional pieces that I would see my grandmother have or make from scratch while I was growing up”
Ongula Homestead Lodge treated Joyce to comfortable and authentic accommodation, as well as an in-depth tour of the on-site skills training facility and traditional Oshiwambo homestead.
Next up on Joyce’s adventures with FlyNamibia was Katima Mulilo. This time around, she was a guest of Gondwana Collection, who invited Joyce along for the filming of their travel infotainment show called I Laugh Namibia. She says “The Zambezi is a whole different Namibian experience. It has so much to offer, people really need to explore it. The mellow sunsets, tall green trees, the palms and rivers flowing throughout the year should be enough reason to visit. Hopping from one lodge to another, one river cruise to another, seeing so much wildlife was the highlight for me.”
Exploring even more of the beautiful north of Namibia, Joyce’s next trip was to Rundu, the first stop being a small market by the roadside. It takes place once a month and many people come to stock up on dry and fresh food items as well as clothes and household goods. She enjoyed chatting with some of the locals. In the centre of Rundu Joyce visited a local wood carving shop. The shopkeeper was so attentive and eager to tell her about the traditional techniques used in wood carving.
Here’s what she had to say about the trip: “We flew from Eros in a twin-prop aircraft that looked like a private jet, fitted with beige leather seats that face each other. Other than the flight itself, my favourite moments in the north of Namibia will always be the slow, relaxing boat cruises, sundowners and just the overall river experience. It’s like a dream I never want to wake up from, always the perfect escape from the city.”
Her last adventure with FlyNamibia for the year 2022 was through the capital city, Windhoek. Taking a City and Township tour with Chameleon Safaris, the Face of FlyNamibia saw the noteworthy landmarks in the town centre before venturing out to the Single Quarters Market for authentic Namibian street food – Kapana, vetkoek and relish. She also visited the small shops around Independence avenue, buying a self-help book at Uncle Spike’s Book Exchange and ending the day at Vinyls Music Cafe with karaoke and nachos.
Tag along in 2023, as we broaden Joyce’s horizons ever more by exploring the beautiful destinations FlyNamibia flies to.