By Mpho Shelile

MASERU – “Money and savings are crucial in our everyday lives.” These were words uttered by Lesotho Parliament Deputy Speaker, with significant impact to the audience of the day, the youth. Teachers of Mabathoana High School took an initiative to host an event at their school grounds on the 28 September to help guide and equip their students on the importance of establishing businesses and saving money.

Sister Bathilda Heqoa in her opening remarks stated that the purpose of hosting such an event was to help equip and teach the students about venturing into businesses and how to budget, “I am sure you are all aware of the lack of employment in the country, so your teachers have decided to make you cognizant of all opportunities available out there, for you to stand a chance of survival in the future”, she stated.

In articulating the importance of money and saving, also equipping students with valuable financial skills and the knowledge to serve them throughout their lives, the parliament Deputy Speaker and BAM Group Foundation Ambassador Hon. ‘Matlhonolofatso Tšepang Tšita-Mosena doubling as alumni of ‘Mabathoana High School indicated that when looking at the students what she sees are future leaders, parliamentarians, ministers and more. “One of the major problems I am going to talk about today is poverty, how best we can eradicate it and what can be achieved by knowing how and when to spend and save money, becoming responsible and learning how to budget”, she uttered.

“From today onwards when anyone gives you money, I want you to jot down every cent and how much of it was spent, noting everything you bought. What I want you to know is you need to have a relationship with money”, she advised the students to start early and establish their businesses as early as now because that is one skill that will ensure that they are one step towards a better and a brighter future.

Touching on the topic of leadership Hon. Mosena emphasized starting at a very tender age to lead, and the first skill is to do what you know you are supposed to do without having to be told, “You should dream, for your dreams will push you to unleash your potential. Know what you are passionate about and have a bit of knowledge on everything so that you get to understand various aspects of business. Business is very important but it can only be important if you are providing a needed product or service. I want you to keep this in mind; a business can never survive unless it is responding to the needs of someone else”.

She highlighted on some issues the government is currently working on addressing like; abuse, “you should know your rights, to be provided with food, shelter, clothes and education. And if a parent purposely neglects to do so they are to be reported. We are also working on putting an end to underage marriages, hoping to build the Lesotho where the rights of our youth are equally valued”, stated Hon. Mosena.

FNB sales and service provider Mrs. Nthabiseng Nkoebe in her presentation emphasized that business is a driving force behind economic growth, because successful businesses create jobs, stimulate innovation, and contribute to the nation’s growth. She went on to share the role of businesses in job creation, indicating that both small and large businesses alike provide employment opportunities for the workforce, reducing unemployment rates and improving the standard of living for individuals and families.

Mrs. Nkoebe advised the learners to start saving early, “It is important to save money before spending it on anything.” She indicated they have various accounts where parents can start saving for the students from an early age and others for young adults. She also picked the student’s brains on how best FNB can assist them individually and as a school. Some of the students stated that FNB could help build school libraries and computer labs, while the other students wished that FNB could help the less fortunate kids with paying their school fees so that there are lesser kids out of schools. 

To encourage entrepreneurship as a means of empowerment and economic self-sufficiency Mrs. Marealeboha Chabeli the owner of Organo Pharma PTY Ltd said that she has all the support for aspiring entrepreneurs because it leads to the creation of new businesses and innovative solutions which will improve the economy.

Mrs. Chabeli is an exceptional example that one can make the most out of waste since all she uses are organic and recycled materials for her business. “I know that the idea of establishing a business may scare some of you but bear in mind that it will help you as a person and help the economy of the country”, she concluded by wishing all the students the best and advised them to pay attention to some of the remarks made by the Deputy Speaker to venture into business from a young age.