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Pastor Josef’s long walk from oil industry exec to church minister and Saiba representative

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Ogbonnia Nnanna Oko-Joseph, simply known as Josef, is Saiba’s National Coordinator for the Practice Support Network.

Born and bred in Nigeria, he moved to South Africa with his wife and three children in 2017 after heeding God’s call to minister to the spiritual needs of South Africans. No sooner had his feet hit the ground than he got to work in the service of the Lord, and now heads Christ Victory Life Chapel, located at 501 Jorissen Street, Midcity Square, in Pretoria.

His missionary purpose was instilled in him by his mother, who each day escorted the children to church – something he is thankful for to this day for helping to steady his life.

“Growing up, I always had the desire to be successful for good reasons and that came to pass in God’s time.”

Education and experience

I studied in Nigeria, did all my schooling there. I hold a post-graduate diploma in business administration and a degree in accounting. I got my first job at 17 and my second job at 18, I started out as an accounts clerk, and from there I occupied several positions like accounts supervisor, manager, senior manager and my last position before retiring in 2017 was a top oil executive in the company. I had a very wonderful career, and I enjoyed my 26 years in the corporate space.

Why did you choose Saiba?

I was a Saiba member before I met the CEO. When I eventually met him, I was amazed by his passion, drive and hunger for results. He is a leader who yearns for solutions. He is visionary, hard-working and focused. I wanted to be part of that team because of what Nicolaas Van Wyk brings (as CEO) of Saiba, which has become a force to be reckoned with under his leadership.

What is your role as the National Practice Support Coordinator?

As the national coordinator for Saiba’s practice support network, which consists of 13 forums, each have a WhatsApp group based on their locations and holds monthly events online. These forums are for members to exchange practice-related information and help each other regarding different problems experienced like tax and CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission). These forums have made it easy for Saiba to manage and meet its 9,000-plus members’ needs.

I am also a member of Saiba’s technical committee and the deputy secretary-general for the Alliance of NPO network which is one of the most important sectors in the country. Saiba is a technical partner to the Alliance, which provides a platform where the government and NPOs can interact and interface with each other to address issues that relate to the sector and its proper functioning. It also assists NPOs in complying with the law, using Saiba’s NPO Assist.

What lesson have you learnt throughout your career journey?

I have about 30 years of work experience, and I am proud to say that I retired holding a very high rank as a top oil company executive and feeling fulfilled as well. But I have noticed a trend amongst the youth: they hunger for immediate success. The get-rich-quick syndrome needs to stop. Hard work, patience, perseverance, commitment to developing self and continuous training is the only way you can reach the top. It does not happen overnight. You work for it and the most important thing you should know is that patience pays.