Saturday, July 2, 2022

Barclays F.G. Mogae Scholarship Fund grants more awards

Former president of Botswana, Festus Mogae, retired a few years ago after serving his full terms of office.

He is known for his love for this nation and for the fight he undertook to try and bring a better life to Batswana.

He is known for the battle he fought against HIV/AIDS and has since shown that he is not only focused on the war against the illness whose notoriety is fast dwindling.

Mogae is still intent on improving the lives of Batswana and affording young Batswana educational opportunities that might otherwise elude them.

In 2008, Mogae partnered with Barclays Bank Botswana to offer scholarships to five deserving students every year to pursue their Masters’ Degree.

Grace Mosinyi, the Acting Head of Corporate Affairs at Barclays Bank, said that the Scholarship Fund was established in honour of the former president because Mogae represents the values that the bank wants to instil in young people.

“He is a world-recognized leader as a former president of Botswana, an economist and a champion of a free HIV generation. Currently, it is difficult for young Batswana to secure funding to pursue post graduate education and therefore Barclays Bank, in conjunction with Rre Mogae, saw this as an opportunity to assist those individuals who will be our future leaders.”

One of this year’s recipients of the scholarship is Thalefo Motswagole who feels extolled to be among the esteemed few to have been chosen amongst the many.

Asked what motivated her to apply for the scholarship, the young lass said that the desire to see herself playing a very influential role in our nation, in terms of policy making and issues of development influenced her.

“I know that to come to that position one needs knowledge, understanding and skill, which include academic achievement,” she said.

On being interviewed by the big man himself, the 28-year-old Motswagole said: “You mean His Excellency, the former President, Mr. Mogae? Wow, I felt honoured. Having to be interviewed by a former president and a global champion, MD of Barclays Bank Botswana and a Professor from a prestigious university? Come on, what more can you ask for? I was not intimidated at all. They made me feel comfy in there. I was a bit nervous yes but Mr. Mogae is a laid back man. I kind of enjoyed it because really, the man inspires me.”

Motswagole said that to prepare for the interview she went the extra mile by doing an extensive research on the only “person” who knows it all: Google.

She added that the help she got from her mentor, whom she only named as Ms. Mogotsi, also helped her a great deal.

The first born of three in a single, female-headed family, Motswagole is currently the District Development Officer in Lobatse District.

She voluntarily runs a children’s project during weekends and loves playing the acoustic guitar during her spare time.

She said that with this Masters’ Degree, she hopes that she would be in a position to analyse current challenges of development and also help formulate actionable strategies toward economic diversification.

Motswagole, who has been said to be compassionate, loving and loyal, added that those in the struggle for a better life need not give up on their dreams, but must stay focussed and leave everything in the hands of the Almighty as He never disappoints.

She was thankful to Mogae and credited him with raising awareness and fighting ignorance about HIV/AIDS while bringing down the barriers of discrimination against those afflicted by it and implanting hope in them never to give up on life.

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