Monday, March 4, 2024

When a University degree almost meant nothing

A university degree qualification used to be a major deciding factor in who got the job, but as more and more people gained degrees, especially over recent years, employers have become less impressed on the whole, and focused more on experience.

Thato Refilwe Kopong, a degree holder in computer sciences runs a company called Fairy Diamonds which mainly do sculptures of animals and people statues from recycled materials such as paper.

“My qualifications have not actually benefited me a lot, as I realized that my talent which I long stopped working with in the year 2000 when I completed my Cambridge, until last year August after making a few sketches and recognized that they were really good,” Kopong said.

The 38 years old says he registered his company which is based in Mochudi last year. He continued saying he has employed 18 youths as the vision of the company is to become a leading brand in fine arts locally and globally at the same time helping the country with reducing unemployment rates.

Kopong says when young people are supported in pursuing fields that are of true interest, they are more likely to want to learn more and become well-versed in those areas.

“It is really hard for youngsters out there to start their own project until somebody sees them outstanding that is when they may approach to help where they need assistance.

When asked what he thinks kills youths businesses he said, “Youths tends to dream about millions before even starting the business, when the business does not perform well they lose motivation. But they have to know that starting a business is like when a baby learns to walk, he/she will stand up and if he tries to move a leg he/she falls but eventually he/she will just walk properly.”

He said what differentiate his project from the same existing artworks is that, people making them do not actually detail their animals; they use taxidermy. Taxidermy is the craft of preparing the skins of dead animals and birds and filling them with a special material to make them look as if they are alive, it is usually seen in artworks at museums.

“I am against taxidermy as it brings animals to extinction as sculptures buys this animals and use their skin while we use recycled materials to make something like that. We boil shredded papers, add chemicals, buy human hair in some shops; cut them and lay them into whatever animal we will be moulding,”

Kopong concluded saying, “I have seen where the government is making a mistake, they are so much into buying things outside the country, and so Fairy Diamonds need to prove to them that whatever artwork they need, we can do them also as Batswana.”


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