“I Do Not Really Think I Am A Nerd’’, Says LGCSE Top Achiever Rebokile Sello

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If I were given a huge platform to define what intelligence is, I would obvious use the dictionary definition that states, “Intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and apply it effectively facing little to no difficulty.” 

If asked to define what an intelligent person looks like, I would obviously define a person with slouching shoulders who wears glasses and is always carrying a book – preferably an encyclopedia.

The great thing about living in the 21st century is that girls and boys born in this era continue to shock us all with how daring they are in changing stereotypes by setting new trends. What if I told you that the very same girls and boys who are born in the 2000s are said to be more likely to succeed than other generations?

Would you believe me if I told you that the same girls and boys who are born in the 2000s and often labeled as deplorable are actually very intelligent? Still don’t believe me? Allow me to introduce you to Rebokile Sello; Lesotho’s 2020-2021 LGCSE Top Achiever whose first sentence in describing himself was, “I really do not think I am a nerd.”

Rebokile Sello is an 18-year-old lad from Hlotse, Leribe. His academic journey began in South Africa at Laerskool Danie Theron where he did grade one to five. He then returned to Lesotho, attended Hlotse Methodist to finish his grade five, and later changed to Maseru LEC to finish his Primary School Education.

At the end of his primary school journey, this young man got first rank nationwide and he decided to enroll at Lesotho High School that is renowned for absolute academic excellence nationwide. He reports that the journey through High School was a challenging one but it helped him grow since it challenged him to develop himself as a leader and student.

Chants and ullalations raided the air when earlier this year, the Minister of Education declared LGCSE Top Achiever, with six distinctions as Rebokile Sello of Lesotho High School.

Rebokile Sello is not just another human being next door. He is known for his bubbly personality and incredible leadership skills. He is also famous for his incredible debating skills and public speaking abilities.

In addition, his selflessness often bleeds into many things that he does. He is not the kind to just hog all the knowledge he has acquired to himself, rather he shares his knowledge with others and makes time to help those who do not understand certain concepts.

He believes in creating generational impact in the world and his country. Upon completing his LGCSE exams, he decided to start a small business with his partner Tlalane Mosoeunyane where they sell all the booklets that can help during revision.

In his own words, “Being an LGCSE candidate made me realize the importance of revising using past papers. I decided to share my resources with everyone, particularly the LGCSE class of 2021 because the complications of Covid-19 place them in worry since they have very limited time to prepare for an exam that will set the direction of their future.” 

Most of all, Rebokile is very adamant in helping small businesses gain recognition. He uses his online platforms to advertise for small business owners and sell products of his own. His intelligence is guided by the principle, ‘give and it shall be given unto you’. He believes that by helping others succeed, you create a better world.

It is without a doubt that the life of Rebokile Sello is a testament to the multi-facetedness of intelligence. The big question that remains is, what does education mean to Mr. Sello?

In his exact words, “From my standpoint, education is the key to success even though people are normalizing the concept of it not being a key.”

He believes that the normalization of education not being the key to success is very damaging to our generation. People who succeed without education are outliers and it makes no sense to create a life principle based on an anomaly in the graph.

The reason he works hard is that the role of education in his life goes beyond the obligatory practice of sitting in class eight hours a day. In his opinion, education is multifaceted and consists of a full skill-set that is necessary for living in the world.

Through education, he acquires knowledge, problem solving skills as well as lessons of conduct and discipline. In his opinion, all that education does is to equip people with the cognitive skills to survive outside the classroom and our responsibility as people is to use this cognitive skill-set to create sustainable income in the future and preserve the planet.

Even though Mr. Sello still has a long journey ahead of him, he is definitely someone to follow. He is at the beginning stages of being a computer technician as he is learning programming, web designing, database management, cyber security and many more.

In his own words, “Learning never stops.” Regardless of his young age, this young man is definitely adding his own twist to intelligence because in a very adamant tone, he maintains that he is definitely not a nerd.

He is an ordinary teenager – noisy in class, very stubborn, crazy and much like every boy his age, he is still navigating the ‘right way to date’ as he calls it. So the next time you see him, which will probably be on a stage as he gives his formal and poised Top Achiever Speech, remember these words, “I DO NOT REALLY THINK I AM A NERD!”

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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.