Botho University Underscores Entrepreneurship at Memorable Graduation Ceremony

On the 27th of May Botho University hosted another memorable graduation ceremony at the institutions Gaborone campus.

During her speech at what was the institution's second graduation ceremony as a university, Vice-Chancellor Dr Sheela Raja Ram made all the graduates repeat after her: "Our vision is an Africa that is self-reliant." The phrase is taken from Ugandan Entrepreneur Isaac Oboth, the 26-year-old CEO of Media265, who entered the business world selling cakes to his classmates in high school and ended up establishing a successful television production company.

Ram explained that she chose to quote this young man because he is a clear example that the graduates should not feel their opportunities for success are limited because they live in Africa. Indeed the theme of the ceremony was entrepreneurship, with Ram further insisting to the graduates, "It would be unfair of me to tell you to go out and look for jobs because there just aren't enough in the country, so rather go out and create your own jobs."

The Guest of Honour was young Motswana entrepreneur Molefi Nkwete, who is the founder of the hip-hop clothing retail chain Urban Soul (formerly known as Mafia Soul). During his Key Note Address, Nkwete explained to the fresh graduates in attendance that one of the biggest challenges he faced starting a business is that people tend not to believe in young people. "I would approach property developers and they would tell me I was crazy for wanting to own a store at my age," recalled Nkwete. Fortunately he did find one person who believed in him enough to help him build that first store that has grown into a chain of four stores today. He encouraged the students to develop fresh business ideas and to persevere no matter what obstacles they encounter as entrepreneurs.

The graduates were from 12 different programmes, including three Postgraduate qualifications, six Bachelor's Degrees and three Professional Diplomas.Awards were given out to the Best Performing students in each programme but the biggest winner of the day was Patricia Nkwane who walked away with the three top honours: The Best Overall Student Award, The Festus Mogae Academic Excellence Award, which came with a cheque for P5,000, and The Sir Seretse Khama Spirit of Botho Award, which came with a cheque for P10,000.00.