Celebrating Multichoice Namibia’s 25th Anniversary with Kobus Bezuidenhout
An Adventure of a Lifetime
M-Net Namibia received broadcast rights on the 16th of December 1991 and opened its doors for for business on the 19th of December 1991. The company was officially launched in March 1992, when Sharon Moore, took over as the General Manager.
Did you only serve two years as the GM of M-Net Namibia, now MultiChoice Namibia?
Yes after that I joined what was called the M-Net Africa team in a business development capacity and during that time I worked in the Namibia office, the Lesotho office as well as Transkei office in Umtata. I also started doing a business development project in Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana. I opened the business in Accra in 1993 and around September of 1994, my wife and I went to Nairobi and set up the Regional office.
I did quite a few projects from there and then moved to Uganda to set up our office there. It was a six-month’s project, where I did the whole turn key project. Thereafter did the same for for Kenya. Went back to Uganda for one year, back to Kenya again for operations, and in 1997 I went to MultiChoice Nigeria. I was there for about four years.
In 2002, I went back to Ghana again for the GM position for one year and joined MultiChoice Namibia in January 2003 as GM for about nine years. Came back to Ghana for the third time where I’ve been, for about five years now as the Regional Director for the Western Central Africa Region.
What’s your philosophy in life?
I’ve always been attracted to the unknown and open to opportunities. That’s what sort of drove my career throughout Africa. I was always keen on the next adventure and what assisted me in this regard is having the right partner, my wife. She’s always been massively supportive throughout the time. My kids were in about twelve different schools. American schools, English schools and different international schools. The last few years the kids were home schooled by my wife.
What was the worst phase in your life?
If I try to recall areas or a period of time where I was a bit nervous or sometimes maybe scared in my career- sometimes you had to sort of get onto a plane. You look at this airplane and you see bolts and pop rivets missing. Thinking to yourself hey, this is going to be so scary. I was also scared when my kids got really sick and there was not really proper medical support in those countries at the time. A few times my kids had to be evacuated to countries where there was proper support.
Is what you are doing now, what you’ve always wanted to do?
When I ask myself, do you enjoy what you do? Would you do it over again or would you do it different again? I wouldn’t. My life has been full of rich experiences. I met wonderful people, and I would probably do exactly the same. My career has been an adventure, and there’s a lot of highlights to look back on. There’s a few projects I was very happy to be part of, most recently MultiChoice Namibia and now MultiChoice Ghana.
What’s your favourite movie or TV series of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
I think the series I like are real adventure stuff. I like the Chicago series and Vikings.
How has MultiChoice in your view evolved over the past twenty-five years in meeting the needs of its customers or its subscribers?
I was still with the company when it was literally just the one channel business. It was just M-Net and later it became two channels, M-Net and SuperSport. Then a number of channels and now DStv.
Yes. One of the projects that I was proud being a part of in Namibia, was getting our Community Social Investment project being the schools education package into many schools. It’s a project we were very aggressive about. When I left the country, we were in more than three hundred schools. We utilized our technology to enrich people’s lives and make the curriculum for kids in rural areas so much more interesting.
We were also always very supportive of our installer network throughout the country. We had several incentives for different parts of the country. It was great establishing a network across Namibia and having guys that could install our products across the country. It is one of the things that I also played an instrumental role in and it made a big difference. It is something nice to look back on.
The amount of radio stations that we got onto our platform, also made it possible for these radio stations to reach the whole of Namibia. There is quite a number of things that happened in those years that I think made a big difference in our country.
Has MultiChoice enriched your life?
I definitely think so. In as much as I grabbed the opportunities, my life would have been dull if I didn’t work for this company. I’ve been to many countries in Africa because of this company, some weird and wonderful places. I’ve been to countries that I never thought I would travel to in my lifetime.