Dr Thema extols the virtues of education

11th July 2017
Dr Force Tefo Thema Source:The Midweek Sun


Dr Force Tefo Thema is a man of many awards and his disability has made him even stronger to be an achiever in life. At three years old he was diagnosed with polio, which left him a limping man. However it was the pain of walking long distances to get to primary school in Ranaka that inspired him.

“It was painful when I was growing up but I just knew that there would be light at last. My colleagues would laugh at me in class, some even imitating how I limp but my weapon was to take my school work seriously and beat them at academics,” said Dr Thema.

He encouraged all the disabled to take education seriously. “Education comes before anything. It is a fundamental pivotal pillar and is the only inheritance that one can take to the grave. When there is education there is oxygen and water therefore education is the fundamental basis of any living being,” he said. Dr Thema holds a PHD in Condensed Physics from University of South Africa.

He has six awards and three accolades, including Best Presentation Natural & Physical Sciences in 2013, Best Oral Presentation by International Conference on Energy and Environment (ICTP) last year and three awards from Allama IOBAL Open University Islamabad in Pakistan. He was recognised as one of the best contributors in the 2nd International Conference on Energy and Environment last year, which was organised by Department of Physics and also awarded the best upcoming researcher in Nano-Technology and nanosciences in Pakistan.

His accolades include: Junior Fellow of the UNESCO-UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences/Nanotechnology and Active fellow of the Nanoscience African Network (nanoafnet). After completing his BGCSE at Lotsane Secondary School in Palapye, he went to do A-Levels at Speciss College in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe majoring in Physics, Maths and Chemistry and also became one of the top achievers.

As he could not play football or any other sporting code that needed him to use his feet, he always found something that he could do with his hands. Thus, he became a trumpet player at Lutheran Church, which in turn rewarded him for being the best player by sponsoring him for his A-Levels. He thus encouraged students out there to make positive use of social media to research and take their studies seriously in order to become achievers.

“Students of today should take social media as component that they can use positively to beef up their techniques or strategy towards education,” said the Botswana University Of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) employee. At 49, the family man Dr Thema says that Polio made him a fighter in life. “I refused to be born normal and be ruined by the fact that I suddenly became disabled.

I refused to limp with no education when I cannot run or play football and so I fought to the bitter end and saw education as the only resort to provide for my family, kids and the country at large with my knowledge,” Dr Thema said. He said disabled people have got no option but to take education as their first priority in life. “Compromising for the best achievements in life is worth it and there is no age restriction for getting education,” urged Dr Thema. He said that his scientific researches are dedicated to Botswana and the world at large.




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