A Khesa Borotho Eulogy

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Khesa Borotho

The mutability of life makes it precious yet painful at the same time. It is difficult to comprehend how a life can end as quickly as it started. It is scary that there is a possibility that you might be hearing your loved one’s laughter for the last time, or in this case—seeing his incredible smile for the last time. Death is too final, that is what makes it so painful. Today, we bid farewell to a hero gone too soon: Khesa Borotho.

As a native of Lesotho, Khesa pursued a degree in Business Administration with a major in Finance and a minor in Real Estate at the University of Notre Dame, USA. He served as the President of Consulting Connect, a venture that prepares University of Notre Dame students for careers in consulting.

In this role, he oversaw a team of 20 students who organized interview prep workshops, employer events, and other programs to educate students about the ins-and-outs of consulting. He interned with McKinsey & Company in their Atlanta office, and upon graduation, he joined the firm as a Business Analyst.

Ordinary eulogies usually speak on a person’s achievements, but, the best kind of eulogy celebrates who a person was. We could spend hours speaking of the incredible academic and professional achievements Khesa Borotho had accumulated at his tender age. However, the lesson we can draw from his life lies in how he lived—not what he had.  From his life, we draw out lessons in three areas: how he lived, how he loved and how he kept becoming.

Khesa Borotho lived. Life is meant to be lived yet many people spend their time missing the point. We remember Khesa by his gratitude for life. We remember how he drew lessons from things as simple as a leaf falling down the tree. We remember how observant he was. Most of all, we remember how well he lived his life.

To him, every moment mattered and it needed to be savoured accordingly. Whether he was at the beach, a soccer match or even eating a simple dish of pap and braaied meat—Khesa lived! It was so remarkable watching how humane he was, and how he was willing to stay that way even when so many people have lost their humanity.

Khesa never sneered at the mundane tasks that would require him to co-exist with other people. To him, life was way too short to not find enjoyment in the smallest things.

Khesa Borotho loved. Very few people have reverence for service the way Khesa did. He lived his life as a man who knew that at the end of it all, love is all the most important thing there is. Khesa set an example that taught many to honour others and love them wholeheartedly.

He loved his family, community, friends and country above all achievements and accolades. Khesa knew that everything else in life was transient, impermanent even—this is why he valued love over everything.

The greatest virtue that stemmed from his love for others was servitude. Khesa never saw himself as someone above mundane and ordinary tasks. He took it upon himself to lead with the heart of a servant. Whether he had to volunteer to paint a wall, mix cement with water or clean up, he always humbled himself to serve.

As such, he co-founded the Ahanang Mentorship Initiative: a non-profit organization that identifies orphaned high school students with leadership potential and assists them in building mentorship relationships with influential adults.

Notably, one of his biggest dreams was to establish a microfinance organization to enable equitable access to quality education for Basotho children. His heart went out to many Basotho whose potential is limited by the scarcity of scholarships and bursaries, as such, he wanted to be the bridge between them and their acquittance of quality education.

He never allowed his many achievements breed arrogance in him and he loved to be the change he wanted to see in the world. Friends, family and everyone who has come across Khesa can attest to the fact that he was always willing to listen and give advise where it was needed. He impacted many lives—even of the people whose names he did not know. He did this by simply being an outlet of love for everyone he came across.

Lastly, Khesa Borotho kept becoming. It is one thing to live life, however, adaptability in a person says a lot about how far they can go. The most astounding quality about Khesa Borotho was the desire to keep learning. His pursuance of knowledge was rooted in his desire to become, and not the greed to stack up multiple trophies.

He was dignified yet humble; and this came from an insatiable desire to become the best version of himself in victories and losses alike. His integrity was palpable and he oozed wisdom in conversations of all kinds. Khesa taught many people about the importance of seeking knowledge about oneself, as well as seeing oneself as a work in progress.

With that, he was able to extend grace and tolerance for people’s shortcomings and live in peace with them. With this quality he assertively communicated who he was without invalidating or diminishing the next person’s identity.

It feels extremely vile to speak of Khesa in past tense. Death has snatched him away from us all—but even though he is gone, we are grateful to have watched him become. The purpose of life is to live, love and become—Khesa did all three. He lived with integrity, loved selflessly and became the person he needed to be in order to inspire others.

The greatest legacy he has left is the lesson on how to live well. His life is a testament that one can achieve yet stay humble, and that in itself is a rare quality. As we bid him farewell, we are grateful to have experienced brotherhood and tender love from him.

Death is too permanent, and no amount of words can console us for the loss of the leader that was Khesa Borotho. We mourn the life lost, dreams he had yet to accomplish but most of all, we mourn the irreversibility of his death.  Alas, his legacy will live on…

Below are a few words from people impacted by Khesa Borotho’s life:

“Khesa’s life scribbled a loud message; that your duty on earth is to leave a space better than you initially found it.”

Kamohelo Khoboko

“My fondest memory of Khesa is him on stage ending an incredible speech with the words: ‘Strive for Agnes’. I will never forget the silence in the hall. You’d expect him to run off in shame—but, he stood and rectified his mistake and said, ‘Strive for excellence.’ That is the Khesa I remember.  He charged the world with so much passion, kindness and determination. Despite the many achievements, what a humble soul! He taught me to always stay a servant, and embrace my ‘Agnes’ no matter what. His blinding light will continue to shine. ROBALA KA KHOTSO SENATLA.’

Mpho Lethoba

 Leribe English Medium School has lost a role model for all our learners. Khesa leaves a national record of nine (9) distinctions that has never been achieved by anyone! We are proud of him; we continue to love him.

Mr. Thapelo Fosa

Some people say, ‘never meet your heroes.’ But I say, ‘My heroes are my heroes because I have met them.’ Khesa was a hero to me, and I can certainly say that I’m not the only one who feels this way. He was my hero because he believed. He believed in himself but also believed twice as much in others. He made me a better student, debater and member of my community. He has left footprints in our hearts. Phomola ka khotso, Khesa ‘Shima’ Borotho

Refiloe Kente.

Khesa taught me the importance of staying calm in every situation. Most importantly, he taught me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

Katleho Mosae

Khesa will always remain a role model, not only for his accomplishments ( a mountain of which exists!) but for his determination and good heart. He always put his heart into everything he did. ROBALA KA KHOTSO Khesa, and may your loved ones be granted healing

‘Mamaswatsi Kopeka

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Grace is an uprising youth activist who uses her voice to inspire and inform. She has worked internationally as the Deputy Secretary General with Model UN Impact. This is where she advocated for youth inclusivity in the implementation of the SDGs and further launched projects such as PHAHAMA MOSALI. She is currently the youngest SDGs Ambassador for the internationally renowned Global Citizens Innovative Solutions SDGs Challenge.