Accountant, Lydia Steyn, is based at Lithon’s Oshakati branch and is one of six on the Lithon finance team. In true, family-business style, Lydia is also wife to Cilliers, who is an engineer and the branch manager at Oshakati. We sat down with Lydia to find out that she likes even numbers, enjoys camping in a rooftop tent, and of course LOVES her job!
1. When did you join Lithon?
I officially joined Lithon in March 2022. I feel like I’ve been part of the Lithon family for a long time as Cilliers did an internship with Lithon in 2015 and has been working for Lithon since 2020. So I felt like I already knew everyone!
2. Tell us about what led you to join an engineering firm like Lithon?
I was working as an auditor before I got into accounting. I did my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Stellenbosch University, and then my articles at an auditing firm in Windhoek. I’d always dreamed of working as an accountant, so when Adriaan asked me for a coffee and told me that Lithon was looking for someone to assist the accounting team, I felt like it was meant to be.
3. What does a typical day in your role look like?
Each day is different, so I would say that there isn’t a ‘typical’ day. My day usually starts with a check-in with the Windhoek team, and then it depends on what is urgent and what needs to be done for the day. Towards the end of the month, when deadlines are due and we are closing off the companies for month end, my days are more structured. I also attend a lot of management and operational meetings, where we discuss the different projects and finances.
4. What do you love most about your job?
Every day there’s something new to learn, whether it is work-related or something personal. I love that I’m constantly learning and evolving!
I also love numbers and my favourite number is 10. 😁
5. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned during your time at Lithon?
It’s been challenging being separate from the main team in Windhoek but Lithon really is a family and that’s taught me a lot. The main thing I’ve learnt is that everyone’s path and timeline is different. So don’t compare yourself to others and be discouraged. But also have compassion for others because you don’t know their circumstances. A kind word can go a long way.
6. How do you think engineering can contribute to building a better future for all?
Engineering projects are physical things that can make a big impact in a community, for example schools and hospitals. I’ve discovered that engineers are extremely passionate about engineering, and I’m learning that first hand from Cilliers. I think that having passion is what helps to make a difference in the world.
7. Who has been your greatest inspiration (both in your personal life and/or your career)?
Personally, a lot of people, but mainly my mother. She is a very soft-hearted person. She has ambition, she is very hard-working, and she is the glue to our family. As a wife, mother and working woman, she’s really someone I look up to and aspire to be.
8. What is a personal goal you’d like to achieve this year?
In a year’s time, I would like to be a qualified chartered accountant (CA), which means I’ll have to pass my Board exams. I will be writing in January and at the end of next year. I have to do a lot of studying, which is quite difficult, because no one else here has gone through CA Board exams. But I’ve come this far and I have to follow my dreams!
9. What is something most people don’t know about you?
When they first meet me they may think I’m an extrovert because I talk a lot and I like people. And I do. But I actually like to spend time alone, doing my own thing.
I love cooking, baking, and doing renovations or DIY projects. I like doing things around and at our house – being this far from family and friends, I realised that it is important to make a house a home.
10. What do you get up to while you’re not working?
Spending quality time with family is very important to me, because we are close-knit. It’s difficult living in Oshakati because family are further away, but we like to go to the farm to visit. We also like making memories by travelling and exploring Namibia. We love to go camping and spending the night under the stars in our rooftop tent. We recently toured north to Kaokoland and Damaraland, down the Kunene River.
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