HIGHERLIFE Foundation (HLF) and Econet Telecom Lesotho (ETL) have launched the first King Moshoeshoe I Scholarship for academically gifted students.
The scholarship was launched at an event attended by their Majesties, King Letsie III and Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso. The ceremony was also attended by HigherLife co-founder and executive chairperson, Tsitsi Masiyiwa and her daughter board and HigherLife trustee, Elizabeth Tanya Masiyiwa.
HLF is a social impact organisation that invests in human capital to build thriving individuals, communities, and sustainable livelihoods. Founded by Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa in 1996, the Foundation was first launched in Zimbabwe and has since spread its footprint to Lesotho, Burundi, Rwanda, eSwatini, South Africa, and Kenya. HLF contributes toward Africa’s prosperity by implementing projects in education, global health, and rural transformation and sustainable livelihoods, impacting millions of lives in the communities it serves.
The first edition of the scholarship will benefit five female and five male Basotho university students.
It is meant to raise competent young leaders and address the skills deficit in engineering, health, and natural sciences noted in the Lesotho Education Sector Plan 2016-2026.
“This scholarship for academically gifted students is a result of us taking the time to understand the issues affecting the Lesotho education sector and provide a solution that aligns with the vision and values of the country,” Ms Tanya Masiyiwa said.
“Our vision for this programme is to build strong, confident future leaders, doctors, and engineers who will make Lesotho an even greater nation.”
The scholarship was named after the founding father of the Basotho nation, King Moshoeshoe I, Mrs Tsitsi Masiyiwa said.
She described him as an exemplary leader whose great vision and values the recipients should aspire to and uphold.
“The King Moshoeshoe I Scholarship is not just about academically gifted students but students who are leaders within their communities and have the potential to lead within their country.
“Reading about King Moshoeshoe I and learning about his journey in establishing the Kingdom and unifying the Basotho, point to a remarkable person with qualities we hope our students will come to embody.
“I would like to extend our deep gratitude to the Royal Family for allowing us the privilege of using the name of a monumental individual for our scholarship. As HigherLife Foundation, we call on our students to recognise that the name they carry today as King Moshoeshoe I
scholars should be revered and held in high esteem,” Ms Tsitsi Masiyiwa said.
HigherLife Foundation began operating in Lesotho in 2011, sending 257 students to school,
including three studying at Waterford Kamhlaba College in eSwatini.
On his part, ETC CEO, Dennis Plaatjies, said they were looking forward to the impact of the new scholarship having supported thousands of students through HigherLife Foundation since 2011.
“Since 2011, together with HigherLife Foundation, we have supported thousands of students
with scholarships, training and mentorship, ICT learning hubs in Roma and Mazenod and even
partnered with Her Majesty Queen Masenate’s Hlokomela Bana initiative to distribute
sanitary wear to girls in schools.
“We look forward to the impact that his new scholarship will have on the people of Lesotho and to create more opportunities to transform lives in our country,” Mr Plaatjies said.
On his part, His Majesty King Letsie II said, “I have no doubt that the fortunate recipients of this prestigious scholarship, recognising that the scholarship is named after our great leader and founder, will utilise this rare and valuable opportunity to go out and explore opportunities that were previously beyond their imagination.”