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A weighty responsibility on young shoulders

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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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Short courses for ex-mineworkers

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THE Lesotho Diamond Academy has introduced mining short courses, particularly to ex-mineworkers, to help them re-enter the mining sector.
The Essential Introductory Courses, which will run for two weeks, will start from June this year. The courses are meant particularly for people who worked in mines in South Africa.

The Academy’s CEO, Relebohile Molefe, unveiled the new courses during the graduation of 18 students last week, four of whom are now armed with Cutting and Polishing certificates while 14 graduated with Rough Diamond Evaluation certificates.

The new courses include the Essential Certificate in Diamond Grading and the Essential Certificate in Diamond Evaluation.

“The decision to offer these courses aligns with the Academy’s dedication to bridge the gap and ensure that individuals with valuable experience can seamlessly reintegrate into the diamond and jewelry industry,” Molefe said.

“By providing short courses, the academy does not only impart essential skills but also contributes to the sector’s growth by reactivating experienced individuals who had lost access to the industry due to no formal documents showing their experience in the industry,’’ she said.

During the graduation celebration, Molefe also unveiled a new sponsorship programme for various courses.

One outstanding student previously sponsored, who demonstrated exceptional proficiency in Rough Diamond Evaluation, was granted a fully funded bursary to further his studies into Advanced Certificate in Round Diamond Brilliantering.

In pursuit of its multifaceted objectives, one of which is to serve as a catalyst for employers in the diamond and jewelry sector to devise skills development strategies, the Academy is set to sponsor four additional students in the upcoming intake starting from February 15.

Two of these bursaries will afford a 30 percent discount on overall fees for two students progressing from Cutting and Polishing to advanced studies in Rough Diamond Evaluation.

Two will be fully funded bursaries to study for a Certificate in Diamond Cutting and Polishing.

Additionally, the institution will extend two fully funded bursaries to the public, fostering inclusivity and expanding opportunities.

The Academy says it plans to announce the search for two deserving Basotho individuals on its social media pages and website.

“Importantly, the bursary programme bears no age restrictions, reflecting a commitment to fairness and inclusiveness, ensuring that opportunities are accessible to all, irrespective of age,” it says in a statement.

The Academy says it seeks “to be a dynamic force in shaping the industry, not just within national borders, but also on regional and international platforms”.

“The emphasis on competitiveness within these markets underscores the institution’s commitment to producing graduates who are not only proficient but also globally competitive,” the statement reads.

“The recent graduation ceremony symbolises a milestone in the Academy’s journey. The success of its students is a testament to the quality of education and the foresight embedded in the curriculum.”

The Academy says its decision to sponsor further education for outstanding performers reflects a belief in nurturing talent and contributing to the continuous improvement of the diamond industry.

The Lesotho Diamond Academy was founded by the late Mpalipali Molefe, a prominent educator, diamond trader and an MP, who recognised the imperative to elevate professionalism in the diamond industry.

Staff Reporter

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Bank hands over uniforms to students

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THE Lesotho Post Bank donated uniforms to students at Leqele High School worth a staggering M60 000 as part of its Back-To-School campaign.
The bank said it did this “to keep needy children in school and to promote their education”.

A teacher at the school, Tšepo Semethe, said the uniforms will likely motivate the students to work harder in their studies.

Semethe insisted on giving the bank the names of the students so that it could check their performance at the end of the year.

“At Leqele High School, we work very hard because what we want is excellence above all. To us, hard work pays,” he said.

The bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Molefi Khama, said they are getting old, they will soon retire and Lesotho Post Bank will be in the hands of these children.

He pleaded with the students to work harder.

“This is why we decided to come here to support the students in their education so that when coming to school, they should be confident,” Khama said.

“We are watching you and waiting on you,” he said.

The school’s head prefect, Tholoana Monatsi, said from now on, “no student will be identified by what they wear”.

“(Lesotho) Post Bank made us one and we thank them for that because what we wear cannot stand before our education. We indeed thank you and forever you will hold special places in our hearts,” she said.

A parent, ’Marorisang Latela, said they were very grateful for the gift from Lesotho Post Bank adding that they must also donate to other schools.

Minister of Trade, Mokethi Shelile, promised to go back to the school to discuss how the children could learn in comfortable surroundings.

Relebohile Tšepe

 

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Mamello School of Special Needs wins prize

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MAMELLO School of Special Needs is the first-place winner of Standard Lesotho Bank’s Scaled-Up Pitching Den held at Maseru Avani on Tuesday.
The school has secured a grand prize for an all-expenses-paid trip to Kenya to participate as a finalist representing Lesotho at the Standard Bank Africa Awards.

The school, pioneered in 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic through Zoom classes, deals with children who live with conditions such as autism, attachment disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) dyslexia, Down syndrome and slow learners.


STKTM Solutions claimed the second-place spot, receiving a commendable M10 000, while Masia Farms secured third place and a M5 000 prize.


Pheello Masia of Masia Farms, thanked Standard Lesotho Bank for backing their vision and that of other Basotho entrepreneurs.


He acknowledged that the bank’s faith in their endeavours serves as a source of inspiration, propelling them to work harder and foster growth within the community.


The event, aimed at fortifying support and fostering regional integration for Basotho entrepreneurs across the African continent, showcased the bank’s commitment to driving the growth of Lesotho.


Malatola Phothane, Head of Enterprise Banking at Standard Lesotho Bank, set the tone in his welcoming remarks.


“As Standard Lesotho Bank, through business and commercial banking, we strive to turn possibilities into opportunities,” Phothane said.


“Lesotho is our home, and we drive her growth,” he said.


His words resonated with the bank’s dedication to nurturing local talent and fostering economic development.


Phothane acknowledged the eight finalists, commending them for their resilience and passion for their businesses.


He emphasised how each entrepreneur had stood their ground, displaying knowledge and unwavering commitment.


The recognition not only highlighted the achievements of the finalists but also underscored the bank’s role in recognising and uplifting the entrepreneurial spirit within the community.


Aliciah Motšoane, founder of Prestige Furnitures and Sentebale Gap Funeral Services, played a significant role at the event as a motivational speaker, sharing her entrepreneurial journey filled with challenges and triumphs.


She recounted her humble beginnings when she was selling bread in high school, leading to the establishment of Prestige Furnitures in 1998.


Despite facing a significant setback after her shop was burnt down during the riots and incurring a loss of M5 million, Motšoane never gave up.


She said business is always a demanding endeavour adding that it needs hard work and a unique mindset.


She urged entrepreneurs to embrace their roots, seek inspiration, and persevere through challenges.


The keynote speaker, the bank’s Head of Business and Commercial Clients, Keketso Makara, said the bank is committed to foster a thriving business environment, highlighting the pivotal role of youth collaboration across diverse economic sectors.


Makara said their mandate aims to empower youths in steering the private sector towards growth, contributing to economic diversification.


Makara urged the eight finalists to actively involve bankers in refining their proposals for maximum impact on economic stimulation and sustainable development.


The bank said the Scaled-Up Pitching Den not only served as a stage for entrepreneurs to present their ventures but also acted as a driving force for networking, collaboration, and collective empowerment.

Staff Reporter

 

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