“Flow like water and you can make it through any hard rock” – Roger Lee. I am Lintle Mofolo, a Mosotho woman who just recently turned 31 and holds a diploma in Engineering and Architectural Technology. The above statement may bring pride to a lot of people but my journey was an interesting one thus far. I was born and raised in Ha Mabote, a village on the outskirts of Maseru in the district of Berea. Growing up, I had a passion for drawing, whether dresses, floor plans or even doodling. Flipping through my childhood books there was always a drawing. 

Additionally, I studied Civil Engineering with the thought that I could incorporate this love for drawing in my work or do a short course in Architecture later not knowing that one way or another, my “calling” would chase me down. I then went further to pursue Architectural Technology after feeling lost in trying to practise civil engineering and furthering my studies in it. Lost as I was, I knew I wanted to remain in the construction industry while being creative and Architecture was it for me.

For a long time, I believed having studied Civil Engineering was a mistake, and I believed I was starting over in my career path, thinking that I had “lost” a significant number of years in my life. However enrolling for Architecture when I did was a blessing, as among other things I got to learn about rise International. The lectures on climate change, sustainability and vernacular architecture stirred up my interest in the organisation and I followed their social media platforms. When the call for in loco 2023 was made I jumped at the opportunity to apply and be part of this organisation. When I joined in loco I had little to no knowledge of it but I am thankful to be here.

Not only does the programme help me incorporate and appreciate both my fields of study but it is a great opportunity to see how they both complement each other in practice. The fellowship, to me, has not only been an opportunity to grow professionally but on a personal level as well. The interaction with other fellows, their disciplines of study, the knowledge they have and their different characters have helped me hone my interpersonal skills. The “learning by doing” methodology has helped me acquire skills that I probably would not gain due to my fear of exploring new avenues. Lastly, the business training sessions and the modules at large incorporated into the fellowship have helped increase my knowledge of the construction industry and entrepreneurship.

Because I believe in design that speaks to the end user, the participatory design process was both fascinating and an educative tool to take away from the fellowship. Being a site architect for the past few months gave me the confidence to practise what I learned in school. With these gains and more the fellowship has helped me to grow in one way or another and with all that I am learning, I already see an improvement in other avenues of my life outside of the fellowship. In his speech “Lessons from a 5th-grade dropout,” Rick Rigsby said “Make sure your servant’s towel is bigger than your ego” and it is through serving, not only the community through rise and in loco but the fellows at rise team that I get to grow.