A career in the PV industry
Competent, dedicated, passionate; those are terms that are synonymous with the name Charity Thebuho.
Young and pioneering, Charity has her feet in the PV industry, and she is doing some groundbreaking work. At the young age of 33 reigning from Namibia Katima Mulilo, she has already achieved quite a bit. She has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, specialized in Communications, a field she does not have much experience in as she has been involved in the Solar energy industry since she completed her education. She went to University in Algeria but coming back home she heard quite a chatter around the renewable energy sector. This piqued her curiosity and she thought experience will be the best way to understand what the fuss is about.
” I had no knowledge about it but when the former director of Young Africa Namibia, Dirk Bellens, took me through it, I found myself wanting to know more.”
Young Africa at a fair
So, how did she come to deciding to join the industry?
One would come to the assumption that the biggest influence would be a who, yet in this case it is a what: the environment. She loved the idea that it was safe and ‘kind’ to the environment and most of all, the source of it all is free. And since the solar equipment price keeps decreasing, soon solar will become the cheapest energy source on earth.
She started out as a Solar Energy Trainer for Young Africa in 2016 where they were offering training to underprivileged youth. Young Africa Namibia is an NGO that trains youth as part of an employment programme. Part of their training is a technical education, e.g. in IT, green building, welding, or solar installations, as well as life and business skills to promote entrepreneurship.
In 2018, she then became a franchisee of Young Africa, and this prompted her to set up her business, CT Solar Solutions cc.. She is now able to take some of the students and work with them on her projects as a way of offering them practical experience.
“I basically remained in the industry because of my students, I like them a lot”
These are kids who did not complete their matric and dropped out of school, but when they get there everyone is curious to know how solar works, they want to know how to install right away. One of the things she loves is seeing them happy when they are doing their installations during the practical training., One can see how they love working with their hands.
“I really wish to see them one day working on their own in solar, or renewable energy at large, future. “
When asked how she managed to get this far at such a young age, she said that she made sure to acquire more skills and knowledge by attending relevant trainings.
One of Charity’s construction sites in Namibia
What advice can you give to women in male dominated fields?
Charity puts it very clearly, she says she realized that in some places women are still not being taken seriously, for example in some remote areas where she did some installations. But she encourages women in this field to continue being strong, and at the same time take good care of their health, physically and emotionally. To young women who are interested in joining this trade she says, it is possible, once the vision is clear we can all make it when we put our mind to it.
Ultimately, she simply put it by saying:
“You just have to work hard and get where you want to be”
In celebration of women’s month, we are conducting a campaign to highlight ground-breaking women in the Renewable energy Industry. Read our previous article from the series here: The rose among the thorns: Surviving in a male-dominated industry