Mo Flava on why access to education is something that's close to his heart

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Moeti 'Mo Flava' Tsiki. Image: Supplied
Moeti 'Mo Flava' Tsiki. Image: Supplied

Radio DJ and media personality Moeti 'Mo Flava' Tsiki has always been know to advocate for initiatives that offer young South Africans access to higher education. 

The most recent campaign he is a part of is Converse’s Kick The Debt intiative where the brand has pledged R1 million to assisting students in colleges and universities who are struggling to finish their studies due to debt. 

My parents made major sacrifices in order for me to study, but sometimes - because of how expensive obtaining my qualification was - they were limited in what they could do

We recently caught up with him to find out about his personal experience with higher education financing, and why he thinks that creating platforms that make access to higher education easier should be a top priority. 

What a tertiary education did for him 

At a personal level, he knows how much studying media and broadcasting contributed to his success today. 

“Getting into the radio industry with the theoretical and practical knowledge I had gave me the ability to prove my worth by maximising on my competencies,” he says. 

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“[I know] how hard it is to study while owing fees. My parents made major sacrifices in order for me to study, but sometimes - because of how expensive obtaining my qualification was - they were limited in what they could do.” 

While he admits that it was disheartening at times, he stayed committed to his dream and that’s what he says got him through. 

Passion for education

Because he interacts with young people everyday, he’s seen the number of challenges that come with student debt. 

“The obvious one is not being able to complete your studies after investing energy and time into it,” he says. 

“The other big part is finding employment opportunities when you don’t have proof that you completed your studies. There is the emotional and psychological aspects of it too, where a student feels demotivated, while some fall into depression. Student debt can be stifling on so many levels, making it even more important to ‘step in’ where we can.”

Student debt can be stifling on so many levels, making it even more important to ‘step in’ where we can

This is part of the reason that he decided to be a part of this initiative. 

“We need bold ideas such as this one,” he says.  “Going into the working world with a qualification gives you an edge and the opportunity to improve or change your life forever. It is in the best interests of all sectors of civil society that we get as many people through school as possible. The benefits are endless.” 

Mo Flava's advice for getting through varsity

One of my lecturers told me of the 4 L’s back in my first year. These L’s can contribute towards you being distracted and possibly losing your way as a student:

Love: Be wary of how much energy and time you invest in relationships. A romantic relationship can have a negative impact on your studies, especially if it’s a toxic relationship. A broken heart can be debilitating, and sometimes have an impact on how you perform academically

Lust: Avoid risky sexual behaviour that can lead to diseases and unwanted pregnancies. This can set you back in many ways, so rather think before you embark on any sexual adventure

 

Liquor: Alcohol and substance abuse continues to cripple youth progress. Spending too much time drinking makes you an enemy of your own progress, not to mention how expensive it can be when you’re rolling on a student budget. Don’t worship alcohol! Drug abuse is another major issue. It impact on your level of productivity in many ways.

 

Laziness: There is no room for laziness when you’re a student. Studying takes motivation, determination, and willingness to learn. Some students are talented or bright, but don’t have to eagerness to get through their studies. Don’t be lazy!

Here, he offers his advice to young people for finishing successfully at a higher institution. 

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