My aspiration for Agriculture in Botswana

Meet Ms. Thobo, Ms. Kandondi and Ms. Marang, aspiring scientists in agriculture in Botswana. They tell us their stories and aspirations for agriculture in their country.

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Ms. Marang, Ms. Kandondi and Ms. Thobo at the interview


Miss Kapweke Kandondi – Soil and Water Engineering

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Ms. Kandondi

The person and the career:
I am Kapweke Kandondi, from Etsha in the northern part of Botswana. My undergraduate degree was in BSc. Soil and Water Conservation Engineering at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, where I was the best student. I am currently pursuing an MSc. in Soil and Water Engineering focusing on conservation agriculture. I chose to do engineering, since I have always enjoyed science. I was raised in an area surrounded by abundance of useful natural resources, yet had people living in extreme poverty. This has edged me to focus on how to making a living out of these natural resources, as well as involving modern technology. Soil and Water engineering is a very broad field. One can venture into water affairs, agriculture, environmental science and so on.

The role of mentorship:
Growing up, my teachers were my role models. When I went to senior school, I decided to focus on making something of myself, to be someone even with no one guiding me. Being in a male dominated field is an opportunity for me to do my best and show that both men and women are on the same level. There are very few visible female engineers. Most of the ladies do not come back to the university for further studies, I don’t know why. I was impressed when I met a female Head of Department of an engineering department at the University of Botswana. I am planning to start a mentorship project in my home village soon. I want to encourage girls that they can do whatever they want. I remembered that my teacher used to write on my report that the sky is the limit. Now I can tell her, ‘No. The sky is not the limit. You can go beyond the sky.’ Also, I was a smart student but I could not figure out the ‘real’ me. I have finally learnt that I am here for a purpose.

Thoughts on work experience:
On completion of my undergraduate degree, I interned at Department of Agriculture and Education before being transferred to Water Affairs in Kasane. It had a great impact on me. I was exposed to the gaps through this information and interaction with farmers.  There are many challenges, yet to be solved and I want to be part of the solution.

Dream for the future: 
I see the challenge of research at PhD level with no visible impact on the country. Farmers are struggling to produce food for the country, which is not enough. I would like to be part of the change, do research that will positively impact my country. I would like to eventually own a research institution and explore improving the livelihoods of local people through innovative technologies especially in agriculture.

Personal Mantra:
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths” (Proverbs 3: 5 -6) .

For fun:
Chat with friends and listen to my spiritual messages.


Ms. Thobo – Crop Science

The person and the career:
I am Ms. Thobo, 
a young lady, outgoing, smart and focused. I am pursuing a Master of Science in Crop Science(Crop Protection) at Botswana College of Agriculture and would love to pursue Ph.D in the same area. I chose science because I wanted to know how things happen the way they do. There is more to agriculture than just ploughing and cattle. The path I chose is not taken by many and gives me the opportunity to explore new heights. I do not aim to be average, so what I do will get me to where I want to be.

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Ms. Thobo

The role of mentorship:
My mentor and inspiration is Dr. Sunyane, my lecturer during my undergraduate studies. I learnt from her that agriculture is beyond what people think. The way she lives her life is also inspiring to me. It is difficult to find a female role model in science. The most recognized people in Botswana are those in business sector. I have also not heard of any female mentorship groups in Botswana. I would like to see a group that inspires and reaches out to ladies, similar to what is done by business ladies in Botswana. It would be nice to see ladies from different organizations, working together to create opportunities for upcoming ladies. I would be interested in such a group. To be able to show people that it is not all about school but about what you want to achieve and how you do what needs to be done. When you choose your own path and work hard, you achieve your dreams. With my dreams, I want to pioneer and be the first person to come up with certain things.

Thoughts on work experience in Agriculture:
I did my attachment at the Ministry of Agriculture. It was less practical than I expected and I was also uninformed on what was expected. Though it did not negatively affect my passion for science. Pursuit of science in this environment is both a challenge and opportunity. One should know what they really want and have personal initiative to work in whatever situation there is.

Dream for the future: 
My dream is to work in all areas of agricultural engineering. I have a bit of experience in horticulture and crop protection. I would currently wish to focus on the engineering bit. I am interested in working with multinationals such as Bayer AG.  I would also like to inspire more people to get into agricultural sciences.

Personal Mantra:
Failure is blindness to the strategic elements in events; success is readiness for instant action when the opportune moment arrives. – Newell D Hills –

When not at work, I enjoy:
I am a very outgoing person so I go out with friends. I also like reading and listening to music.


Miss. Marang Mosupiemang – Soil Science

Ms_Marang

Ms. Marang

The person and the career:
I am Marang Mosupiemang, currently studying MSc. Soil Science student at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I did an undergraduate degree in BSc. Crop Science- Horticulture.  My major interest is to pursue scientific research. I am currently working on bio-fertilizers and cropping systems to increase productivity of small holder farmers. I did crop science because of my excellent grades in science. I did not like it in my first year but gradually developed interest in it. Now I realize that I like science and would like to research issues that impact the community. This would be my definition of success.

The role of mentorship:
My project supervisors have been my mentors and role models. It is hard to find a female role model in science on a campus where most of the lecturers are male. I really want to see more ladies in Botswana getting involved in agriculture, especially in research, which is majorly male-dominated. Ladies have ideas that can make a change. Mentorship programs would be a step in this direction. I think mentorship is also necessary in guiding you on choice of the right courses for your career, which was a major challenge for me.

Thoughts on work experience:
I was attached at the Ministry of Agriculture. I really enjoyed it because I realized that we were actually using the theory taught in class in the field.

Dream for the future: 
I would like to identify gaps or problems in agriculture, specifically those affecting women, and fix them through research and implementation.

Personal Mantra:
Hard work means prosperity, only a fool ideals his time (Proverbs 12:11).

For fun:
I like to watch movies and chat with friends.


 

 

3 thoughts on “My aspiration for Agriculture in Botswana

  1. God is the author of all wealth and abudance, everything He Created has a built in p reprogrammed potential to manifest abundance, look around you there is abudance of everything, the soil, water, vegetation etc, even though we are turning to destroy nature with pollution.,., And as there is an alarming rate of population increase but there is no shortage of air to breath! But people are concerned about feeding the nation.,., all around.,., AGRICULTURE has a built in potential to manifest abudance.,.,., it is more than rearing of animals and growing of crops.,., as i have learned from my lower level.,.,but its a tool searching for the potential, capable willing user, community, for its maximum potential to be exploited,., from that half a hectare farm produce to that small holder farmer household.,.,., then to a national level sanctifications

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  2. So awesome… I am amused to see and hear from my former hostel mates… A very proud ladies, I am a testimony to your unbentable quest to make an impact in the Agriculture science in Botswana… I love you all, yet we meet again, I am fine in Liberia

    Like

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