Sharing vision for actualisation

09 April 2021 | Mense
Wetumwene Shikage





She sees her role more as chief cultural officer, nurturing the symbiotic relationship between the colourful and creative minds of her Weathermen team and the culture and value set of its parent company, the O&L Group.

Moving from Pretoria to Namibia at the age of four, Hoeksema progressed from Emma Hoogenhout Primary School to Centaurus High School to the University of Namibia, where she attained a bachelor of economics degree. It was in her first year at university that she was fortuitously crowned Miss Namibia, which also put her on the Miss Universe stage and launched her into the worlds of media, international relations and charitable work.

Through those experiences, Hoeksema realised her passion for media and tackling social issues. This calling propelled her from marketing at Standard Bank to working at the ministries of labour lands before becoming the corporate social investment (CSI) manager at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the O&L Group – in 2004. Hoeksema went on to initiate the corporate relations (CR) function for the group, taking up the role of group manager for the department in 2012, as well becoming a member of the group executive.

In September 2020, she stepped into the whimsical world of Weathermen & Co.

Throughout her career, the cornerstone of Hoeksema’s purpose has always been people – identifying the potential others cannot see in themselves, unlocking it, and creating the conditions for them to flourish. She has, therefore, made it her mission to create those opportunities for her Weathermen team and enable them to unleash their full creative potential. Her main focus since joining the agency has been bringing the O&L ethos to the agency and its people and clients.

“The O&L treatment means we see our clients as our long-term strategic partners or stakeholders. We are invested in their journeys and actively engage with them to leverage their contributions. This fluid and collaborative way of working enables us to move beyond the traditional ‘agency’ role and deliver solutions that meet the long-term outcomes of our stakeholders,” Hoeksema said.

“This approach to co-creation means we have to continuously remind ourselves to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, because we work with a wide variety of clients and brands that constantly evolve, along with market conditions and consumer journeys and expectations. We need to be ahead of the curve and anticipate those changes. I’ve been bowled over by my team’s willingness to embrace change and be open to co-create with our diverse clientele – qualities particularly admirable among creatives who put their souls into their artworks,” she said.

Working among artistic minds, finding herself in new environments and learning about creative processes have been some of the most enriching aspects of her role. She also enjoys the variety that comes with working alongside different brands. “We have amazing brands in our portfolio, and we are passionate about celebrating local brands and seeing them grow, both at home and abroad. In line with the O&L purpose - ‘creating a future, enhancing life’ - we strive to unlock possibilities for our Namibian brands and tell their stories,” Hoeksema said.

Stepping into the world of advertising has given her an even greater appreciation of strong relationships and good communication. Her entire career, in fact, has taught her the importance of sharing her vision and getting everyone else to do the same. Hoeksema recognises that the only things that previously held her back were her own insecurities, and so a lesson she shares is to never hold back.

“To anyone, in any field: Let your light shine. Making sure your voice is heard paints a better picture, which creates a better experience for whoever receives your ideas and vision,” she said.

Not being one to hold back at work, Hoeksema approaches life outside the office with the same gusto and energy, being a keen cyclist and runner. However, recognising the need to switch off too, she happily zones out after hectic days at home with her husband, two children and cats.

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