Whizz kid Moitse Moatshe (16) of Francistown does not bear a resemblance to anything unique about her. She is a simple, laid back and indeed a disguising student when comparing her appearance and the genius in her.
The former Selepa Junior Secondary School student is the only candidate to have obtained a Merit in the 2014 JC examination results North of Debete. Throughout the country, Moitse shared the Merit result with Bianca Nhapata.
Nhapata, a Zimbabwean national but currently residing in Gaborone by the virtue of her father being employed in the country as an Engineer, did her JC at Moselewapula Junior Secondary School.
Having had a stint as a Botswana Television (Btv) presenter for Mantlwaneng programme, Moitse did not allow fame to destruct her education. By the virtue of appearing on television, Moitse became an instant celebrity.
But to her, fame was temporary. She realised that education was the key to success and the only weapon that could help her to conquer the world with or without her parents next to her.
A staunch Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) member, Moitse valued education more than anything. Born to parents with teaching background, Moitse count herself a blessed child because of their support.
“My parents understand the importance of education. This is so because they are all former teachers,” she said. A combination of her commitment to education and a full support of her parents made it possible to attain a Merit result.
According to Moitse, her father would drop her at school as early as 6am. Instead of playing with other students, Moitse would sit down and either revises the previous day’s lessons or read ahead.
Most of her classmates and schoolmates would always find her in the class studying. But it was not easy. Some students, especially bullies, would pass negative remarks about how serious she was with her education.
“There were instances where I could overheard other students passing remarks like ‘O rata dilo” whenever they saw me reading. But the remarks never dampened my spirits. And I always prayed to God to give me courage to overcome the negativity,” she said.
Moitse, who wants to become a Forensic Accountant, constantly reminds herself about the kind of a future being she would want to be.
“The fact that I want to become an influential person in life keeps on pushing me to remain committed to my education,” said Moitse, adding that her desire is to have the ability to change other people’s lives.
Her 42-year-old mother, Thapelo Moatshe said her home is a mini-school. She and her husband have ensured that their daughter gets all the support in order to pass her examinations.
“Most parents do not have time to sit down with their children and show them the right way. And we made it a point that she gets all the support. We are also open to our children and discuss pertinent issues of life with them,” said the mother of four – two boys and two girls.
According Moitse’s mother, issues of sexuality are not usually discussed between parents and children. But Thapelo and her husband are always discussing these sensitive issues and urge them to concentrate on school.
“We avail everything needed at school ahead of anything rather than material things,” said Thapelo, adding that they always go an extra mile to buy textbooks if schools are experiencing some shortages.
Thapelo, a Regional Officer with the Trade and Consumer Affairs in Francistown, said she always emphasize on intensive revision every time when her children are about to write examinations. She urged parents to play a pivotal role in the education of their children.
For her part, Moitse’s Social Studies teacher Leungo Gomotho described the academically gifted student as extraordinary. According to Gomotho, Moitse knows how best to divide her time and be successful in whatever she does.
“She is kind of a student who always made my work very easy. In fact, she was inspiring other students on teachers’ behalf,” said Gomotho, adding that Moitse is a shining example that motivated other students to work very hard.
Gomotho could even refer some students to Moitse for academic help. She was doing this because Moitse had all the time to explain to her peers, said Gomotho.
If things could be done her, Gomotho would want students like Moitse to be honoured as motivational speakers “who would go around learning institutions to motivate their peers about the importance of education.”
“It is like teachers are not doing enough in urging students to work hard. But students have got a tendency of not listening. And I think if they could be getting encouragement from their peers who made it through hard work like Moitse, things might be different,” said the Social Studies teacher. For being the best performing student, Moitse has won herself a bursary to study at Maruapula private school.