“Change will not come about if we wait for some other time or some other person, we are the ones we have been waiting for, we are the change we seek.” – Barack Obama
Molemo Jae is a 5th year law student at the National University of Lesotho who is very aware that to succeed, he needs to be courageous. He lives from a place of courage and is insistent on cementing his legacy regardless of his age.
He grew up in Ha Motlalehi, a village notorious for being riddled with crime in Maputsoe, Leribe. His biggest desire was to rise above this and become an inspiration to those in his village, and so he did!
Jae reports that he was very lucky to have been gifted with teachers who harnessed the extra curricular talents of a child since Primary School.
“One example being Mr Tankiso Khasane. He allowed us to explore our talents such as poetry and story-writing in the classroom. Moulding and diverting them into curricular activities being debate and competitive composition writing. He moulded our path for the better, I thank him to this day,” Jae shared.
When Jae got to the 9th grade, his English teacher, Mr. Fosa, having realized that he was an eloquent speaker introduced him to the world of debate through the LEMS Debate Club. He partook in various debate competitions as a whip because he possesses astounding analytical skills and attentiveness.
As he continued to bring wins for his school, Jae wondered how he could use this skill to make a positive impact. To his surprise, the answer was brought forth when in the 11th grade.
His English teacher introduced a mentorship program that paired senior students with linguistic enthusiasts in the lower grades to equip them with essential skills to carry on once the seniors left. It was through this that Jae’s desire to use debate to impart change began to deepen.
This debater, linguistic enthusiast and fearless born leader had his path shaped and he subsequently chose to study law at N.U.L. Upon enrolling, his light shone and he was elected as class representative.
In his second year, he set new precedent and was entrusted with the rights and needs of the law students as Vice President of the Students Law Society. His legal career only got better from there because in his third year, he was elected into the office of the Ministry of Justice in the Students’ Representative Council Executive.
All these led Mr. Jae into co-founding a student law firm named Jae-Katiba Chambers alongside Mr. Thato Katiba. This was aimed at defending the rights of the members of the student body in front of the Judiciary Committee of the students and the Senate Committee on discipline.
He reports, “It has been a humbling experience being able to serve my brethren both legally and from a policy perspective as a holder of legal repository in the SRC Executive who is also a member of the university senate.”
Mr. Jae, being very passionate about using debate to create impact in the world sought to touch the lives of Basotho. He, alongside a significant number of teammates started a high school moot court competition originally from Botswana called “Orate Africa Moot Court Competition.” It seeks to assist students who are interested in the Law or Political Science as a field of study post-high school.
On their official opening they reached such great strides and were assisted by former Minister of Sports, Dr. Mahali Phamotse who officiated at their opening at the high court. In his exact words, “We thank her immensely along with the High court personnel, their assistance with our vision was no small ask.” This initiative strives to better young people and stands on the slogan, “Incarnating Excellence through speech.”
As though not all this was enough, Jae is one of the founders of a political movement advocating for
students rights which goes by the acronym VOSU, it stands for “Voice of the Student Union”. They advocate for the academic, legal, and political emancipation of the members of the Student Union.
In this movement he was appointed as the Secretary General and member of the top 6 in the Executive along with his cohorts. This young man continues to shock all because nationally, he is a member of an apolitical movement and association called Visionaries Lesotho. This seeks to promote inordinate administrative improvement of the Lesotho political sphere.
In the promotion of this, they advocate for many improvements such as inclusion of the youth in the administrative structures of the governance of Lesotho, job creation for both intellectual and non-intellectual Basotho as well as the enforcement of the Rule of Law in the administrative structures of Lesotho.
Mr. Jae is indeed an inspiration and how he uses something as simple as debate to significantly impact the world is truly inspiring. He is fearless and is not willing to stop doing more until Lesotho becomes better. Lesotho does have hope, Jae among many will ensure that Lesotho rises from the ashes.
Change is something that he does not leave in the hands of someone. He becomes part of it!
To conclude, in Mr. Jae’s own words, “To my fellow Basotho, I say: Carpe Diem: Seize the day. By making every day your own and being your best possible version and doing everything in your power to help out your fellow Mosotho, only beautiful results can follow.”