iCAN CEO, First of Many
The CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) is the first woman from a previously disadvantaged background to hold that position. Talking to 99FM, Fenni Mghikevali shared the unconventional story of firsts that fostered her passion for intentionality and living up to one’s potential.
Though 100% Namibian, she was born in Angola before independence, lived in Germany for the first seven years of her life and came home to Namibia before starting school. Since she was fluent in German she attended German schools as part of the first cohort of Owambo children who were enrolled after independence.
Her unusual childhood shaped Fenni into someone who is liberal in her worldview and determined in her pursuit of better and best. “No one is coming to make things easy for you,” she says. “It’s up to you to make something of your life.” Fenni lost her father at a very young age and gained the insight that nobody owes you anything in life the hard way. “My dream is to be intentional in everything I do and to convey that message to others”, she shared.
This hardworking woman is also a mother and a wife. She is motivated by the possibility of growth and bettering herself. She enjoys “finding better ways to do things, planning and refining, being better, faster, more efficient, more structured in everyday life, always self-improving and adapting to change, because change is really the only thing you can bank on.” And when things don’t go according to plan, Fenni has some sobering advice: “What is the worst that can happen? The worst possibility is death. But anything else is workable.” Adapt, regroup, try again.
Fenni credits her primary school principal for her early self-trust and bravery. “He saw my potential from the beginning and that helped me to see it, too.” She also had a defining opportunity at the age of 17, when she met Nangula Uaandja (currently the CEO of NIPDB). Uaandja was the managing partner of PwC and herself a shining example of firsts: the first chartered accountant in Namibia and now the first woman from a previously disadvantaged background in the position of ICAN President. “She was the first of many,” Fenni said, “and I thought, I also want to be the first of many.”
In conclusion, her thoughts were: “Be intentional in everything you do, just surviving is not enough. And check your mindset, because your mind determines your success, your accomplishments, your attitude on each and every day.”
Here’s to a tenure of firsts at ICAN.