24 year old Thato Katiba is a young Mosotho from Leribe who uses his voice to advocate for change in Lesotho. He is a 4th year student at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) in the Faculty of Law. Before his pursuance of a higher education at the NUL, Katiba attended school at Hlotse High School where he displayed utter love for literature and was a consistent member of the English Club.
Growing up, he always observed violations of human rights of which he could not solve. Time after time, he watched yet could not do anything about it. It was because of this that he finally felt that his purpose was to advocate for the change he wanted to see.
As a young boy, he used to read the constitution by himself. During the weekends, he would visit his mentor to explain parts of the constitution to him. His mind was captivated by the fundamentals of human rights and their nature.
Upon arrival at the National University of Lesotho, pursuance of a degree in Law was a no-brainer in his opinion. He made this decision in grade 9 in honor of a promise to his late grandmother whom he loved dearly.
In High School, his love for Literature propelled him to debate which then caused him to love law because all three require critical thinking. Katiba is a living testimony of how easy it is to become shaped by passion because his pursuance of a degree in Law is a result of the love he had as a young boy for the constitution.
In his own words, “I do not want to be a footnote when people discuss the legends in my country!”
It is phenomenal to watch Katiba become the best version of himself every day. He currently serves as the Prosecutor in Student Union Moot Court at the National University of Lesotho. In addition, Katiba co-founded the Jae-Katiba Chambers Law Firm. He actively represents students accused of misconduct in his school before the Senate.
Moreover, Katiba participated in Price Media Law Moot Court Competition which is hosted by the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights which is facilitated by the University of Oxford. He has also done other regional moot courts including the BOLESWA moot court competition.
As though that was not enough, with the assistance of Prof. Mhango, he has been doing a research with Pedro Riccetto and Nichollo Tomassini who are researchers at the University of Oxford. Their research is based on the Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments. Katiba’s task was to help in the compilation of reviews on judicial decisions on constitutional amendments in different countries.
Also, he was contacted by the founders of the Federation of African Law Students (FALAS) which seeks to unite law students from all across the continent. Here, he was asked to be the country representative for law students in Lesotho. Lastly, as a way of broadening his study of human rights, he did a Young African Leaders Initiative short online course.
Katiba’s greatest desire is to use his voice to catalyze change in Lesotho. He plans to cement his legacy by educating people on their rights and responsibilities. In his exact words, “We live in an ignorant society and I want to step up to teach people about human rights because many do not have access to information.”
In his journey, the biggest lesson he has learnt is that he has a lot of untapped potential to unleash. He has learnt that he needs to live from the abundance of his potential and not the gnawing fear that cripples many. In fact, he wishes youth all over Lesotho could take time to evaluate the visions they have about their impact on earth since we all have a role to play.
It is without a shimmer of doubt that the universe dubbed this young man as an agent of change in Lesotho. As such, we wish him the very best as he intentionally starts compounding actions to cement his legacy on earth.
The late Dr. Myles Munroe stated, “Though every human being on the planet has inclination for leadership, most of us do not have the courage to cultivate it.” We applaud Mr. Katiba for unapologetically having the courage to cultivate his leadership skills to serve. We cannot wait to watch him create a legacy that will never be forgotten!