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in loco fellows blog series #2: Becoming who, I will

For too long a time, I believed that success in the construction industry in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho had been reserved for prominent professionals who have grown with stature in the country. That employment didn’t include all but those individuals for whom the society has great reverence. To an extent, there is truth to that; experience definitely sets precedence in a sense of surety, especially when we consider the amount of knowledge one should have when creating something as complex as a house. Even so, this is only a part of a large whole.

I got introduced to rise through one of the lecture series they run at my school. What caught my attention about these series, along with the film debate sessions, was the creation of an interactive space for people of predominately students and recent graduates of different disciplines within the built environment. This habitat was a rare yet an exciting setting to be part of, and a much needed one at that.

Kole taking a selfie with some of the other in loco fellows

My interest in the organization of rise grew amicably with each interaction, whether it be social media, or community donation drives. Then finally, I came upon an advertisement of a job application for the next cohort. I was religiously following the cohort progression of the GLC Centre by then, and I did not want to miss out on the amazing opportunity to become part of their pilot program, in loco. Without hesitation, I took a leap of faith, and after a couple of, what seemed all too long, weeks, I became part of the 2019 cohort fellowship.

Kole sitting on scaffolding with Retsepile – another Architecture fellow

In this venture I have learnt so many skills and trades that I had not thought I would have known in such a short space of time. The profound opportunity to amass a network of skillsets from young and eager individuals has truly been a mind changing experience. By going against the norm where people assume that in order to create a well built structure you have to be very experienced, but that’s not really the case because we are young graduates with not much experience, but we are erecting an iconic building in the country. I have been able to consistently challenge myself while harnessing plenty of techniques including carpentry, social media marketing, as well as my architectural designing craft.

Kole learning by doing

The cohort has taught me that with the removal of a miniature mindset persona of having the experienced gain all the power, it invites a conversation that indulges with not just the freshly eager to work graduates, but also that these creative minds can also learn to create opportunities for  themselves and others as well. Entrepreneurship is vital in our communities, and rise has helped me to learn how to harness that power to invoke a positive shift in a life of more than many.

My believes grown from rise can be combined in three words: challenge, change, cohesion.

Kole hard at work

Blog by Nkhole Thakhisi, fondly known as Kole.

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