Meet MenEngage Namibia’s new co-ordinator


MenEngage Namibia has just added a new member to the family. Tangeni John Ilovu joins the Namibia network as its new co-ordinator. Ilovu brings with him an enthusiasm that will help propel the work that the network has already started to greater heights.

“I am and I always will be a manufacturer of knowledge and an agent of change. I am a self-starter who is stimulated by intellectual contestation of ideas, debates and discourses. I am a self-motivated and highly principled individual. I live my life as an example to other young people and see my role in society as that of being an exemplary leader. I am a vibrant, inquisitive, diligent, and independent-minded being with a strong ability of influencing others”, he says, describing himself.

The issues that are central to the network have been always been an important feature of Ilovu’s life.

“My interest in social issues started at a very young age. I started with My Future Is My Choice, a life skills programme aimed at providing young people who haven’t started having sex with the skills to delay sexual intercourse, preventing young people from becoming infected with HIV, providing young people with facts about sexual health, pregnancy, STDs, and HIV and AIDS, improving the decision-making skills of young people, improving the communication between boys and girls, between friends, between young people and their parents and their community, providing young people with the information and skills required to face peer pressure around the use of non-prescription drugs and alcohol and providing young people with the skills they require to make well informed choices about their sexual behavior. I also became a member of Teenagers against Drugs and Alcohol (TADA), when I was a young boy,” he says.

“In my years while studying Industrial Psychology at the University of Namibia, I joined ZAMANAWE. ZAMANAWE was a regional programme mainly aimed at developing and implementing institution specific HIV and AIDS peer education programmes; monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the HIV and AIDS programmes and developing student leadership in HIV and AIDS across all institutions involved. These were the University of Namibia, University of Zambia, University of Malawi and the University of the Western Cape. Later, I joined the University of Namibia Action Research Team (U-Arts) as its co-ordinator. U-Arts’ main focus was addressing gender-based violence (GBV) on campus. Joining U-Arts helped me deepen my understanding of the subject of gender,” says Ilovu.

“I believe that joining and working with MenEngage Namibia will help me see the change I want to see in our communities, to make a real impact on people’s lives.”

Ilovu takes over from James Itana, who has served very well in the co-ordinator position since Lifeline/Childline Namibia, which works across the southern African country to improve the safety, health and resilience of Namibian children, families and communities, took the reins as Secretariat of MenEngage Namibia. We thank Itana for his dedicated service and we wish him and Ilovu great success in their new roles with Lifeline/Childline Namibia.

For years, the organisation has provided a range of crucial services, including counselling services; programmes and training that address behaviour change and gender equity in health services; HIV prevention; child protection and advocacy for zero tolerance of abuse against children and gender-based violence. It has a key focus on engaging men in its programmes.