Winner in in this category, youth activist Tuilika Andreas is a first-year medical student and youth leader, who has been involved in decision-making bodies in her community since she was 15 years old. 

She was elected as the Junior Regional Councillor of the Walvis Bay Urban Constituency in Namibia, where she advocated for learners’ rights and responsibilities. She embarked on media campaigns to deepen learners’ understanding of the Namibian constitution. She was then voted into the position of Junior Vice-Chairperson of the inaugural Namibian Junior National Council, where she issued resolutions that affected learners all over the country; for example, a policy enabling the provision of sanitary pads in all Namibian schools. 

Andreas wasthen subsequently invited to participate in the Chairperson of the National Council’s project known as The Journey and was a speaker at the launch, where she delivered an address on sexual education in schools. 

TYI’s SADC Top 100 of 2019: Tuilika Andreas, Influencers. Picture: Instagram

As a grade 12 student, the Namibian based beauty participated in the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP), which took place in the United States in 2018. 

She was involved in starting a project called Talk Phobia, which focuses on doing away with the taboo subject of sexual education for learners. She was also selected as the youth ambassador of the Coastal Drug Awareness Campaign in Walvis Bay, which was started by inmates. 

The campaign gave her the opportunity to speak to inmates and connect with women who have been incarcerated with their children. She was also active as a blood donation peer promoter. 

Andreas was crowned World Miss University Namibia in 2019. 

She currently runs an organisation called Dear Girl Namibia in collaboration with the Dignity Day Campaign, which focuses on helping young girls trapped in abusive relationships, trains girls who aspire to be Dear Girl Namibia ambassadors countrywide, and gives back to the community through its philanthropic efforts with social obligations such as orphanages. 

TYI’s SADC Top 100 of 2019: Tuilika Andreas, Influencers. Picture: Instagram

Andreas serves as the Chairperson of the Namibian Nationals’ Students Organization (NANSO) in her region, where her main focus is on the decentralisation of resources. She is also active in marketing the Young Achievers’ Empowerment Project and its annual career fairs. 

She has won local pageant titles such as Miss Kuisebmond, and nationally, was placed first runner up in Miss Teen Grand and second runner in Miss Teen Namibia. She credits pageants with helping her to become a prolific speaker and a more vibrant and active member of society.

Tuilika has always been concerned with the notion of social justice. Even as a child she would ponder on why only certain people were affluent while others struggle for breadcrumbs. She wondered why many young girls regarded themselves as inferior to their male counterparts and why they were treated as lesser than boys. As such, her passion for empowering the most vulnerable members of society was born.

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Looking ahead, Tuilika would like to establish at least five other regional branches of Dear Girl Namibia. She is hoping to have grown her network and established partnerships with those such as Namibia’s first lady, Monica Geingos, who is also the advocate for the Youth in the UN, as well as another influential Namibian national organisation known as Sister Namibia. She envisions herself creating a platform for women in leadership, specifically in the area of medicine. 

TYI’s SADC Top 100 of 2019: Tuilika Andreas, Influencers. Picture: Instagram

Tuilika says entering a competition of this magnitude has refuelled her drive to aspire to greatness. She believes that platforms like TYI Top 100 help broaden her horizons and connect her to individuals who have the same vision as she does.