Competition gives a boost

2016-09-14 06:00
BAHOLO MOKHOMO  Photo: Teboho Setena

BAHOLO MOKHOMO Photo: Teboho Setena

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SO FAR, second year student Baholo Mokhomo (20) has learned much more than the subjects he is studying in his Bachelor of Accounting (B. Acc.) degree at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Baholo, who grew up in Marquard and attended HTS Louis Botha, was a finalist in 2014 in the prestigious Matriculant of the Year competition, held annually by Volksblad, the mother newspaper of Express, and the UFS.

Despite difficulties, Baholo has excelled in his studies and was the best first year student (academics) in the Vishuis Residence for 2015.

“My average of 85% did not come easy. I had to put in hours of class attendance, tutorials and study,” he told Express.

Baholo said he was very excited to be part of the 2014 Matriculant of the Year competition, and he and another finalist, Siyanda Ri-xana, attempted to figure out questions they could get during the final interview round.

He described the questions at the interview as “challenging, but answerable.”

Baholo said the competition connected him with UFS personnel who became his support structure since becoming a student.

By winning certain prizes, the burden of paying his full tuition in his first year was alleviated.

“Meeting the finalists of the previous years also broadened my network. I learnt much from these inspirational individuals because they are the best in what they do,” Baholo said.

“It also changed my view of competitions. I realised that although we competed, we could still work together to achieve the group goals. I became aware of my strengths and weaknesses in moments where decisions had to be made abruptly.”

During his first year, Baholo said he struggled to manage his finances.

“It was a big challenge to eat healthy because fast-food was ea-sily available. I thought that would save me time and money, but it was at the expense of my own well-being. I also struggled not to choose things that were not meant for me,” he explained.

Baholo said it was difficult to excel in sport due to the fact that he did more than one sport at a time.

As a serious student with the aim of succeeding, it is very important for him to have peace within when preparing for examinations.

“My mind then focuses greatly on my preparation. It is important that I am alone when studying, preferably in my room where nobody can disturb me.

“Then I use any method, like reciting the work loud or standing in front of the mirror, talking to myself,” Baholo explained.

His future plan is to complete his Honours degree and then apply for a job at the South African Revenue Services (SARS), or to start working at an Accounting firm and work his way up.

“I am still deciding whether I will open my own practice to help create jobs and boost the stricken economy.

“And I also plan to farm with cattle, sheep and free range chickens,” he said.

Baholo advised high-school learners to use every opportunity the school has to offer.

“Do all that is expected of you, even if you don’t feel like doing it.

“Even if you choose the career that you love, you will often find that it is integrated with certain fields that you resented or never liked,” this wise man said.

“Make sure that you work hard because you will certainly reap the fruits of your hard work.

“Things will become easy because you will be better prepared than your lazy counterpart.”

  • A final word of wisdom from Baholo is that a young person’s true character comes out when away from parents and teachers. Learners who do matric in 2017, must look out for the Matriculant of the Year competition from early next year, open for all matriculants.

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