‘Do. Fail. Learn Repeat’
The just ended BIUST graduation was held under the theme ‘Harnessing Innovative Technologies, entrepreneurship in pursuit of a knowledge based economy’. The guest of Honour Dr. Tiro Mampane who is the Founder and President of Boitekanelo College wasted no time in encouraging the graduands by stating that they were a lucky cohort because they were already engineers. He cited international and local engineers who had broken the glass ceiling in entrepreneurship such as Mr Oabona Kgwengwenyane of Innolead Consulting.
As an entrepreneur from humble beginnings Dr Mampane pronounced to the graduands that indeed the world is their oyster. In his journey he has learnt a lot and he decided to share these lessons with graduating class at BIUST of 2019.Lesson 1 is to ‘identify challenges and problems and turn them into opportunities’. In line with this context he explained how as a young doctor he had identified challenges such as the global shortage of health care workers, unfavorable working conditions for health professionals and high unemployment among the youth to name a few. At only 30 years old he then decided to start a college that would help ease the shortage of health care workers in Botswana. “I had a dream. I seized the opportunity before me, converted the challenges into golden opportunities which in turn created opportunities for other young people,” he said.
Lesson two he said ‘Think big, start small, Act fast and stay on course’. Dr Mampane cited his own example of having started the college in a three bedroomed house. “To be a true entrepreneur you have to learn to work within the limited resources whether land, human resources or finance, “he stated. He urged the graduands to be the new type of entrepreneur called Intrapreneur and be the change and stay on course.
The third lesson was ‘Do. Fail. Learn. Repeat’. In this context the Doctor told graduands not to suffer from analysis paralysis. In his own experience he just started with one program and three employees but now the programme has over 20 programmes and staff of over 200. “I think it is time we view failure differently as constraints lead to innovation and creativity. Let us remember Winston Churchill said no great success was ever achieved without failure.” he said.
‘Collaboration is the new currency’. This was the last lesson the Doctor shared he quoted Steve jobs when he said great things are not done by one man but by a team. The college enjoys partnerships with the Ministry of Health, Duke University, Stellenbosch University and UCT for quality assurance. The college has also housed one of its programme with IDM Eswatini.
“Alain Bezeau also said you are a piece of a great puzzle and if you don’t play your role the puzzle will never be complete. Your piece is unique just like you. I have trust in you and I know you will be a leader first of all for yourself and humanity,” he concluded.