My name is Lintle Ramathatele, “mekoari” (Construction workers) call me “ ‘M’e Popi” and I am 22 years old, soon to turn 23. Currently, reside in Ha Pita though I grew up in Maputsoe, an industrial town in Northern Lesotho in a small village called Ha Chonapase. 

Completed my high school in Maputsoe Community High School where I can say my career started. This school is situated just next to the waste disposal and sewage disposal areas and during my time there, classes were often disturbed by the smell of the sewage and that of the smoke (that was caused by the chemical reactions, from solid waste, hospital waste to liquid waste). 

These experiences turned into a search for my career and they helped shape me into a person I am today. They inspired me to pursue my dreams, as I believe that “if you want things to change you must change first, if you want the things to be better you have to be better” Jim Rohn , I have been following these words for a long time because they help me take responsibility of every situation in my life. 

After high school, I then enrolled for water and environmental engineering at Lerotholi Polytechnic because I wanted to change that situation for other kids coming after me in my hometown, who would like to attend high school where I attended.  

I believe that this country needs more people with best sustainable planning skills, environmental management and environmental laws knowledge to strive for environmental protection and the circular economy in the built environment. This is where I came to know about rise international during their visit in the school. Though I did not pay much attention, I followed their social media pages. 

After graduation, I saw a post about a circular economy workshop, I then recognised that this is where I belong, not long after, my friend forwarded the post about the fellowship, I applied and luckily, I got admitted. I joined the in loco fellowship, 5th cohort in March; this has been one of the best moments of my life. I am very happy to be one of the youths that are planning and constructing the Stadium of Life, the stadium that would be very sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

Currently I am a Plant and Logistics manager and a buyer. The experience, knowledge and skills acquired here are a turning point for me as they are helping me discover my strengths and my weaknesses, and are teaching me valuable skills that I believe I will use in the future. During these few months, I have worked in various fields (irrigation system installation, drainage systems, retaining wall, etc). We are not just hands on, we are also taught very important skills that are needed in the real world, and some modules I liked most are sustainable architecture, negotiating and entrepreneurship. Each experience has taught me something new and helped me collaborate with other people which was something I did not know before I became part of the fellowship, most importantly they help me put all the theory gathered at school into practice.

Looking back on my time here as a fellow, I am very grateful for the experience and this opportunity that has come my way, as I know that there is always   room for growth. My goal is to continue learning and pushing myself to become the best version of myself, but most importantly, I want to start my own waste management company that would be a stepping stone in the direction of fixing Lesotho’s problematic management of waste and contributing towards the circular economy.