Short Bio – Nekwaya ‘Just Neki’:
I am a 30-something-year-old fashion, beauty and lifestyle content creator from
Namibia, but I currently live in Brooklyn, NYC with my husband. I work full time as
a foreign service officer, and I also run an e-commerce business called The Thursday
What is something you’ve learnt about yourself during this season of your
So, this season of my life is one of restoration and this naturally means being
reborn, being pieced back together, and I’ve learnt so many things about
myself. For example, I have learnt that I am resilient. I have also learnt that I
unknowingly silenced my voice for the sake of others. This was a painful, but
necessary revelation, that has allowed me ‘build back better’ because I now
know to set boundaries so I am never in a position where I have to sacrifice
Which milestones have defined success in your career field for you so far?
I recently served as the co-lead (at my level) of a really big, contentious and
highly complicated negotiation process on HIV/AIDS that lasted almost six
months. The outcome of the negotiation, was not adopted consensually, but
the contents of the text were lauded as being highly ambitious and very
welcomed. It was my first stint leading a process at the United Nations and it
cemented my confidence in my ability to negotiate and actually drive policy
that seeks to enact real change on the ground.
How do you manage self-doubt / imposter syndrome?
The truth is, I still struggle with this a lot… of late I have actively been hyping
up my achievements as a reminder that I am deserving, and that I am
capable. Sometimes humility isn’t the best thing.
You moved from Namibia to New York how has that been like?
Moving was the best thing that happened to me in a long time. New York is
such an inspiring city, filled with so much drive and just ambition. As a closet
creative, moving here has allowed me to explore the creative part of who I
am more openly and proudly, and just rediscover who I am and who I want
Best work-related advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve received some great advice over the years actually, but something I
always keep in mind is, if you have a conversation with someone where you
agree on something, always, always send them an email setting out what you
agreed on, just to make sure there is no miscommunication and that there is
a paper trail.
Do you recall any biases made against you as a black woman in the work
Not so much as a black woman (Namibia is majority black) but being a
woman, where you are expected to take minutes in meetings where you are
the only woman, or where people expect you to serve drinks/tea or food at
meetings… I absolutely hated that and early on in my career I did oblige some
of these things out of fear but as I’ve gotten older I do not tolerate such.
How do you balance your social media interests, running a business, having a
9-5, and being a home-maker
I plan! I am a pro at making lists and just planning my day out to the last hour, it
allows me to be conscious of the time I spend on certain things and to be
more mindful of how I allocate my time.
What are the wellness / self-care habits you have as someone with the many
roles you play?
I suck at wellness and self-care. I think my perspective of this has become so
distorted by social media and I am unlearning all of that and trying to figure
out what that looks like for me… sometimes it’s me on my couch watching
Netflix, sometimes it’s creating content and sometimes it’s spoiling myself.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken thus far in your professional life?
Leaving my job as a practising attorney just as I got my admission to the bar,
and starting over in the international relations field… which I knew little to
Would you say that you are living the life you imagined at your current age?
No. I never imagined this life. I just knew I wanted to have a great job, to do
something in fashion and to live in a cool place.
One money lesson you’ve learnt?
Save and invest.
What is your current vision for the future?
As cliché as it sounds, to just grow as a person, get my Masters, buy a home,
grow my businesses and work for Amazon as an International Public Policy
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