I didn’t go far with education, but I value education: Matekane
THABA-TSEKA – Matekane Group of Companies (MGC) has invested more than M85 million in the Mantṡonyane community’s educational infrastructure, Sam Matekane, the conglomerate’s chairperson said yesterday.
The popular, home-grown multinational company built the Bocheletsane combined schools comprising a primary and a secondary school.
Hundreds of people gathered at Mantṡonyane to witness the official opening of the modern, world class facilities at an event graced by His Majesty King Litsie III, Her Majesty Queen ’Masenate Bereng Seeiso, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, former deputy premier Lesao Lehohla, US envoy and leader of the diplomatic corps Rebecca Gonzales, His Grace Archbishop Tlali Lerotholi OMI, among other dignitaries.
An auditorium (Tsokoane), priory (house for bishop), convent (Clamentina residence), teacher’s residence (Anna’s residence) and a stadium for the community of Mantṡonyane, which is the native home to MGC founder Matekane, have literary “brought modern Maseru” by bringing a facelift to a hitherto dreary rural community.
Speaking at the launch, contract manager at MGC Sam Ramosoeu said the project was complex.
“It was not easy at all but Ntate Matekane had a dream and he pursued it,” he said, explaining that they encountered lots of challenges due to the terrain, lack of water and electricity.
“So, for us to embark in this project, we had to make sure that we installed water and electricity here which was a huge challenge, but the dream had to become reality,” Ramosoeu said.
Local businessman Elijah Lelimo said he knew Matekane from his early years as a young businessman who was not shy to seek advice on business.
“When he came to Maseru many years ago, Matekane wanted to cut it into business and was never shy to ask for advices. He showed that investment is not only in this country, but he was engaged in developments in Botswana and when he was done he came back home. For all that we are proud of him,” he said.
However, King Letsie III in his remarks, mentioned that he was not there to praise Matekane because he had done a lot more for his people.
“I always tell you that every time you work, you remind me of my early age while I was a herd boy. You remind me of Mahure, a cow that I was fond of,” he said, maybe reminiscing on his younger days of herding livestock, which is the same upbringing Matekane experienced.
“We are still praying, and I believe we are all doing that. Also, this is a joyful day and I can attest that you are happy, and this is the day to say thank you to God because he gave us this day and thank God for giving Matekane power and intelligence to perform all this and many that he did as a businessman and as a Mosotho. We thank you for what you are doing for Mantṡonyane, Lesotho and Basotho,” His Majesty said.
In his remarks, Matekane said from a young age he had always dreamed of a better environment where young people could access the means and facilities to see their dreams through in his home village.
He has been working on the project for a long time and is thankful he lived to see the day of its launch.
“I thank God that I lived to see this day. This marks the completion of the first phase of the Mantṡonyane project,” he said mentioning that through MGC, they also provide scholarships to children from vulnerable families.
“We sponsored 200 children from around Lesotho. I didn’t go far with education, but I value and respect education,” he said, explaining that he knew from any early age that he wanted to help people and change their lives.