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A weighty responsibility on young shoulders



MASERU – WHILE children of wealthy people all over the world usually fight over inheritance of material possessions, Dato Tiffanee Lim went for something better. Lim inherited her parents’ brains.

Lim, the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’s global vice-president and founder’s daughter, knowingly or unknowingly, designed her own destiny.

Tiffanee Lim, 30, a carefree young woman who interacts with everyone and laughs at jokes, made education her pillar of strength instead of making her wealthy parents her gold mine.

She grew up with the knowledge that she had to earn what she puts in her purse through hard work and she focused on her studies.

She is not the vice-president of the international university merely because her father, the late Professor Lim Kok Wing, founded it but because she qualifies irrespective of her young age.

“Growing up in an environment of academics, I was exposed to high quality conversations which shaped my career today,” Lim told thepost in an exclusive interview last Thursday.

Lim says she has been working hard to push the vision of her late father.

Besides being a Chief Brand Officer of the Limkokwing University, she is an author of several books including Think With Your Heart, The Mind Speaks and Late Have I loved Thee.

She is also a fashion designer who has participated in big international fashion shows such as the New York Week fashion show.

Lim explains that she was surrounded by highly educated people since her childhood.

“Both my parents are academics,” she says.

Lim was exposed to the campus life at a very young age due to her father’s position as the founder of the university.

“I remember growing up in this office which was the university,” she says.

At the age of 12, Lim was taken to the United Kingdom to study. She came back and joined the university at the age of 16 as a student in professional communication. She graduated at the age of 20. Lim says she started working while she was a university student.

“When I was a student, I was already like a student ambassador. I had interest in whatever that was going on,” she says.

When she was 21, she published her first book.

“I have now published four books,” she says.

She says she later moved from being a reader to a publisher. Lim says she was raised in a family where reading was the norm. She then developed a love for magazines. She says at a very young age, she developed a passion to learn how to produce magazines and being in the magazine as well.

“I was the first person to be featured in Vogue Magazine,’’ she says.

She says she spent a year working at Invoke, a Malaysian non-profit organisation founded by the Vice President of the People’s Justice Party (PKP). She holds a Master’s Degree in Fashion Design.
“I made myself a fashion designer as well,” she says.

She started several fashion labels.At the age of 20, she launched her first fashion label. Tiffane says she then ventured into retailing where the brand has spread into several countries including Lesotho. She says through this brand, they managed to open six stores in the world including in London and Indonesia.

“We became the first Malaysian company to become available online on the biggest international websites,” she says.

She says she has been working hard to push for the participation of students in international fashion shows.

“We also participate in London fashion week each year including the China and Japan fashion shows,” she says.

She says she is seeking to host Africa’s biggest fashion shows which will start in Lesotho.

“I believe it will make international news and show great talent from here,” she says.

Tiffane further says the university was able to participate in a fashion week in New York.

“We became the first university in Malaysia to independently showcase our fashion products in New York City,’’ she says.

Tiffane says for the past few years her focus has been on talent development. She says she was privileged to be trained by the best people in the world. This has instilled the passion to spot talent, anchoring and guiding young growing entrepreneurs to be the best.

She says since the university is broad, it allows an individual to bring all the knowledge altogether. Tiffane says she was able to bring together her working skills as well as fashion skills while pursuing a communication career.

“This benefited me a lot,” she says.

She says the university is global, it has allowed her to build a bigger network in various countries. She says when she came from the UK, she was surprised by the number of foreigners. However, she says she came to understand why people move from their countries to Malaysia.

“I came to realise that the founder was a special person,” she says.

However, she says being a daughter of the president was tough.

“If I didn’t go to class or I was late, everyone would know. They made it a point that they let me know,” she says.

The founder was a visionary man, a good designer and effective at his business. Tiffane says this piled some pressure on her since people expect her to excel. She says her father’s death has left a huge void in her life.

She says her late father was her guide, mentor and inspiration. Tiffane says it has been a huge challenge for her to inherit the university as a young woman. She says there is pressure both internally and externally to be at the same level as people with more experience.

Teffani says most of the leaders in the industry are men. She further says even the decision makers, policy makers, legislation makers and accreditation bodies are led by men.

“Being on one table with senior people who are even double my age, it’s so challenging as a young woman,” she says.

As a young female in this industry, she says one has to be conscious about these things all the time. She says her late father, Dr Lim Kok Wing, had a huge impact in the lives of people.

“This also naturally puts pressure on me,” she says.

Tiffane says the mission for the university remains huge. She says it can sometimes be a challenge to talk about technology because it moves quicker than the accreditation.

Refiloe Mpobole

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Why invest for the future



AN investment plan forms a critical pillar of a financial plan, says Tokiso Nthebe, a local author and financial services adviser.

Nthebe, the founder of TKO Financial Wellness and Advisory, says when people invest, they can use their money to buy assets that will increase in value over the long term.
He says these assets can help them build wealth.

“When you invest, your money starts to work for you by providing returns that will beat inflation,’’ Nthebe says.

Nthebe says there is a huge difference between saving and investing.

He says investing requires that you take some level of risk in exchange for an expected return or growth.

Nthebe says Basotho should consider many factors before they decide to start investing.

“It is important to have a clear strategy that guides your investment decisions and to work with qualified professionals,” he says.

Nthebe says one should consider their growth mind-set, investment goals, and their risk tolerance.

In addition, one should consider what kind of growth or return they expect.

He says one should find out whether the institution they invest in is licensed or regulated and how long one should invest.

Nthebe says one should further consider what risks are associated with the investment option and whether there are any associated costs.

He says it is also important to remember that investments take time.

“There are no short cuts to building wealth. Do not fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes,” he says.

Moreover, Nthebe says the investment landscape comprises commercial banks, asset management companies, and insurance companies.

He says each provides different financial products and services.

Nthebe says the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) also offers investment solutions such as treasury bills and treasury bonds that Basotho can consider.

Depending on your investment goals, he says financial service providers have a wide range of investment solutions to choose from that cater for short, medium, and long-term goals.

“I encourage Basotho to do thorough research and seek professional advice before making financial decisions,” he says.

Vince Shorb, the United States National Financial Educators Council CEO, writes that “many of the financial problems people face today started when they were young and making their first financial decisions”.

Shorb further says taking on too much debt, not investing early, and failing to plan can take one decades to recover from such.

However, it takes financial literacy to make good decisions, he says.

Financial literacy has been perceived as a tool that gives you the opportunity to be confident and empowered to live the quality of life you have worked hard for.

Shorb says one of the wisest decisions one can make to prepare for the future is to invest.

Investment has been defined as the commitment of funds with a view to minimising risk and safeguarding capital while earning a return.

Refiloe Mpobole

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When Covid-19 hit and the government shut down all gatherings in April 2020, there seemed no way out for ICONICS (Pty) Ltd, a budding events management company based in Leribe district.

They had two options: shut down or innovate to keep the business going.
They chose the latter.

Three years down the line, ICONICS (Pty) Ltd has completely transformed itself from an events management and public relations company into a manufacturing company that is now the envy of Lesotho.
“The closing of events translated into the closing of our business,” Rapitso Mosebetsi, one of the co-founders of ICONICS (Pty) Ltd told thepost this week.
Mosebetsi established ICONICS in partnership with Tumo Mahapa.

Faced with collapse, Mosebetsi say they began buying Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as surgical gowns, disposal coveralls and safety apparel for resale.
Eventually they decided to manufacture the PPEs and safety clothing. That was the turning point.
But since the company was already down, Mosebetsi says diversification was a hard nut to crack.

“It became quite a long journey (for us),” he says. “We had to come up with something new for the industry.”
He says they had to overcome stiff competition from giant companies and come up with something unique that would set them apart.
“That was how thermal heating apparel was born,” he says.

“We are the first company to produce thermal heating apparel,” he says.
The company manufactures thermal clothing, which is electric clothing, using power banks of five voltages.
“The voltage is so low to electrocute a person,” he says.
The clothing also has a power button to turn it on and off.

Mosebetsi says the thermal heating apparel is on corporate clothing as well as high-visibility clothing.
Mosebetsi says they started the journey with the support of several organisations, such as the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO), to build their capacity.
Mosebetsi says they also got mentorship support from organisations such as the Global Entrepreneurship Network.
The results of years of hard work are now all out for everyone to see.

In 2022, ICONICS won the M100 000 Business Plan Competition hosted by BEDCO.
This grant enabled them to acquire land and buy five more industrial machines.
This did not only enable the company to increase their production to 100 worksuits a week, but it further created permanent jobs for five people as well as three temporary workers.

Last year, the company took part in the Exporter of the Year event hosted by the LNDC in partnership with the Lesotho Post Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mosebetsi says they won the award for Lesotho’s most innovative and versatile exporter.
He says this did not only put them in the spotlight, but it further encouraged them to do more.
ICONICS was announced as the best exporter of the year at an event hosted by the LNDC earlier this month.
Mosebetsi says this made them proud, as the award is aligned with their vision.

The award further gives the company an opportunity to participate in the regional competition.
He says this opportunity will further give the company a competitive edge in terms of production locally and globally.
“It will be an honour if we can win the regional competition,” he says.

In terms of markets, Mosebetsi says the company has had the opportunity to list their products in the African Trade Market since 2020 with the support of USAID.
This is an e-commerce platform that opens up the market for African countries to list their products.
Mosebetsi says the company did not only get publicity, but the client database also increased.
He says they moved from supplying individuals only to big companies, different organisations, and different government departments such as those involved in mining and health.

Considering the decline of the Lesotho textile industry, Mosebetsi says their secret to success has been their being innovative.
“Our sustainability is matched with innovation,” he says.
Mosebetsi says it also requires patience coupled with lots of investment in terms of time.
“Rome was not built in one day,” he says.

He says working as a team also plays a critical role.
Despite their achievements, Mosebetsi says the market for innovative industries is one of the hardest nuts to crack.
He says the company is in the process of not only making their products known but also educating people about their safety.
Mosebetsi says the other challenge is the decline of the South African Rand as compared to the US Dollar.

He says some of their materials are sourced from China.
Therefore, it is more expensive to buy such materials.
ICONICS is not only seeking to make their brand well known globally, but Mosebetsi says they are also seeking to create more jobs for our youths.

Own Correspondent

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LetsGo and Win!



LETSHEGO Financial Service has launched the LetsGo and Win loan consolidation campaign where customers win weekly and monthly cash prizes of up to M150 000.
The campaign, which was launched yesterday, will end on November 8.
The LetsGo and Win campaign rewards customers for consolidating their loans.
It is aligned with Letshego Lesotho’s version to offer competitive products that cater for the evolving needs of its customers.

The financial services company operates in Lesotho, Botswana, ESwatini, and Zambia.
The Marketing Manager and Business Partner, Tšotetsi Seema, said Letshego Lesotho is committed to delivering increasing value and options to customers.
Seema said this programme is a testament to that commitment.

“The campaign invites customers to consolidate their loans into one low and easy repayment with reduced rates and they stand to win weekly and monthly prizes,” Seema said.

“The weekly cash prizes will be won by lucky customers randomly selected and notified through Letshego Radio shows,” he said.

Additionally, he said two lucky customers will be randomly selected each month and given a chance to spin the wheel of fortune with a chance to receive a maximum of M20 000 each.

“The loans consolidation campaign makes it easier for customers to choose Letshego Lesotho as their preferred financial services partner.”

He said this innovative campaign aims to help individuals streamline their debt payment while benefiting from reduced interest rates.

“Debt consolidation can help customers get a lower monthly payment, pay off their debt sooner, increase their credit score and simplify their life.”

Letshego Lesotho’s Head of Sales, Distribution and Marketing, Motebang Moeketsi, said managing multiple loans can often be overwhelming with varying interest loans due dates and terms.

“The campaign addresses this challenge by combining multiple loans into a single, easy to manage repayment plan,” Moeketsi said.

He added that this simplification not only eases the financial burden on borrowers but also potentially leads to significant savings over time.
Moreover the new consolidation campaign invites customers to take advantage of their best-in-class financial services provided through Letshego Lesotho branch network and digital platforms.

“Letshego Lesotho is committed to increasing financial inclusion through its efforts to serve underbanked communities, promoting financial literacy and delivering positive social impacts for its customers and communities.”

Alice Samuel

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