FORTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD Bataung Thulo proved that it was never too late to study after he recently graduated with a Diploma in Commercial Management at the Maseru Business Academy.
Thulo was among 20 students who were conferred with Diploma certificates in courses that included Human Resource Development, Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, Finance and Accounting, Hospitality Management, and Marketing Management.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Mr Thulo said, while going back to school at the age of 40 was not an easy decision to make, he was happy to be an inspiration to his age mates who may be shying away from pursuing their dreams because of their age.
“I believe learning is a lifetime exercise and would like to encourage all people who gave up studying because they felt they are too old, to have the courage and continue developing themselves academically. With dedication and perseverance, they can still realise their dreams even in their 50s,” Mr Thulo said, adding people do not study only to be employed but can study to acquire skills that would enable them to start their own businesses.
He said together with his fellow students, most of them much younger than him, worked very hard through their two-year journey of skills development.
“This is just a step closer to our dream. I urge my fellow graduates to be like eagles and strive to achieve their goals. Do not let anyone tell you that it is impossible.”
Maseru Business Academy director, Iyke Monyeh said when Thulo came to register, he thought he was processing his child’s application. “Throughout the two year-study I was humbled by his determination, hence the academy’s decision to recognise him with the Best Character Award,” Mr Monyeh said.
Addressing the graduates, Monyeh said they should strive to be entrepreneurs rather than focusing on seeking employment.
“I have no doubt that you will excel wherever you are deployed as this academy has a reputation of producing graduates with top management skills with many already exceling in various companies. However, I do not encourage you to run around cities dropping your profiles in various companies but encourage you to use the skills you acquired to start your own businesses and contribute towards creating employment and development of the economy,” he said.
Among the guests who attended the ceremony was the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) of Lesotho, which showcased an electrifying dance performance and a harmonious violin ensemble.
IYF Country Director, Johan Hong said the graduates should not be like the Koi fish, which allows its surroundings to limit the quality of its life.
“When in a tank, the Koi fish grows only up to seven centimetres and maintains the size till it dies, when in a pond, it grows to about 25cm but in a dam, it reaches the size of 125cm. When a person is like a Koi fish, no matter how hard he or she works, if the brain is limited they will never grow or succeed,” Mr Hong said, adding, most people do not go far in life because they have conditioned themselves that they will not make it for reasons including lack of money and no friends in high places.
He gave an example of South Korea saying, 40 years ago, it was among the poorest countries but today, its economy has grown tremendously.
Although South Korea ranks among the top three exporters of coffee, the country cannot grow even a single coffee tree. “This is because the country did not allow its negative circumstances to stand in the way of her dreams. Instead, South Korea chose to channel her mindset and energy towards the fact that she can still achieve everything she aspired to achieve despite what the environment dictated.”