Do your best and the rest will follow
My name is ‘Mathebe Rampielo, AKA “Pepper”, “Thibi turner” or “Pepper at de ground”. I am a young charismatic and kind hearted Mosotho girl at the age of 24. I am a graduate from Lerotholi Polytechnic tertiary institution and I have an academic qualification in Carpentry and Joinery. I am currently a fellow in rise international’s in loco program. I learnt of this program on social media, but was lucky enough to learn more about rise as an organization through its collaboration with Kick4Life in developing the infrastructure of Kick4Life’s Campus, as I am a member of Kick4Life’s female football club.
I am a very hands-on, “do it yourself”, “if you can do it, I can do it better” kind of girl. This is why I am known for my bold choices, one prominent one being to study a very male dominated practice; carpentry and joinery, and also being a football player. Pursuing such male dominated fields, I believe I am a boundary breaker. On the contrary, I am daddy’s little girl and I think I had a lot of positive influence from my father. He is an excellent and very experienced carpenter, a construction worker and fanatic when it comes to football. I bet that by now you can attest to the fact that I am my father’s daughter right? So, I applied for the in loco fellowship 2020 because I wanted to improve my portfolio as a professional carpenter because I knew I would acquire business training skills and that would therefore broaden my mindset as an entrepreneur.
I am an entrepreneur at heart; I tried out so many business ventures from when I was a kid, something rare for a young girl living in Lesotho. However, I lacked a lot of business and entrepreneurial skills, from planning to budgeting, documenting, market research, all the way to efficient customer service. It is so exciting that I have gained all these skills since I joined the fellowship. My approach to my business really improved due to the intense training I receive from the fellowship.
One of my favorite things about being in the fellowship is that I am an active participant in the designing, managing of a project and the actual construction of a building. We are building the head quarter offices of the Lesotho National Federation of Organizations for the Disabled (LNFOD) in Naledi, Maseru. The building is due for completion at the end of March 2021. For the duration of this project I have taken the roles of being a plant and logistics manager, health and safety officer and finally a site manager which were all satisfying and challenging in their own different ways.
But my key takeaways from this project, which I did not know or have before, are the art of accurate bricklaying, plastering and compiling the Bill of Quantities. In addition to this I have learned the standards of building and standard names of construction techniques and practices that were never in my vocabulary. In a nutshell, being part of both the design and the practical part of construction has solidified the construction theory that I learnt in varsity. My aspiration is to have my own construction company that hires mostly females. My main aim is to empower women in the construction industry. And my experience with rise international has helped me get exposure and experience diversity in the working environment; working in different professions, allowing a peer-to-peer learning experience that one can only get in a fellowship. My motto is “do not hold back, be your best and the rest will follow”, and I live by it every day of my life.