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Whiz kid enrolled at Unam at 14

Written by on July 8, 2024

Whiz kid Brave Chibaka enrolled at the University of Namibia’s (Unam) José Eduardo Dos Santos Campus to pursue a degree in civil engineering at only 14 years of age.

This wonder kid’s academic exploits culminated in him earning his sought-after degree, graduating in May 2021 and becoming Unam’s youngest ever graduate at 19.

Today, Chibaka works in Malawi as a highway design engineer at one of the top consulting firms in the country.

Reflecting on his time at UNAM, he recalls a pivotal moment during the 2018 award ceremony.

“I didn’t win any awards that year and many people asked me why. It made me realise the high expectations placed on me,” he says.

This moment became a driving force for him, transforming the pressure into motivation to excel.

His determination paid off, as he soon became recognised as a top performer at the university.

Being the youngest student at Unam came with its own set of challenges — Chibaka was often in the spotlight and found himself at a different stage of growth compared to his peers.

“My friends treated me as a peer, which was great, but we were at different stages of personal growth,” he explains.

Finding a friend who was closer to his stage of life helped him navigate this unique situation and provided him the support he needed.

Living and studying in Namibia had a profound impact on Chibaka’s personal and academic growth.

While he reached academic heights he hadn’t anticipated, his personal growth was somewhat inhibited due to limited social interactions outside of school.

Football became his primary outlet, but the cultural diversity of Namibia left a lasting impression on him.

“The diverse food, low crime rate and various languages were some of the aspects that influenced me,” Chibaka notes.

Academically, Chibaka’s achievements were remarkable. Initially relieved that university marks weren’t displayed publicly, he soon realised the importance of striving for excellence.

“I made it a point to attend every class and actively participate, rather than trying to figure everything out on my own later,” he shares.

This change in habits, along with the support of like-minded friends, created an environment that fostered his success.


Since graduating, Chibaka has been making significant strides in his professional life.
He secured a position at Pamodzi Consulting, one of the top consulting firms in Malawi, where he applies his civil engineering degree extensively.

His work includes conducting environmental and impact assessments, economic feasibility studies, traffic studies, geotechnical investigations and pavement and geometric design.

“Working on numerous projects in the capital city allows me to witness the tangible changes around me, which is incredibly fulfilling,” Chibaka says.

Looking ahead, he is still committed to pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering.

While his initial plan was to continue his studies after two years of work, he now aims to start his master’s in September 2025, either internationally or in Malawi.

To current and future Unam students, Chibaka offers sage advice: “Life is about so much more than titles, positions or grades. What truly matters is finding happiness in what you do. Follow your true calling, not something that was imposed on you.”

For those pursuing engineering, he emphasises the importance of a genuine passion for learning and understanding the concepts being taught.

Chibaka’s journey from Unam to the professional world is proof of the power of perseverance, passion and staying the course.

His story serves as an inspiration to all students, showing that with the right mindset and support, one can overcome challenges and achieve great success.

The post Whiz kid enrolled at Unam at 14 appeared first on The Namibian.

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