Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT: LOCAL -

There is another pow­er­ful giv­ing side to Di­betso that strikes you when he speaks. “This award rep­re­sents the power of ran­dom acts of kind­ness,” he says. “As the African proverb goes: ‘It takes a vil­lage to raise a child.’ I am stand­ing here to­day as a re­sult of nur­tur­ing from my im­me­di­ate and ex­tended fam­ily, my com­mu­nity, my teach­ers, lec­tur­ers, men­tors and most of all I am here to­day as a re­sult of the good Sa­mar­i­tans along my path – peo­ple who go out of their way to train and to give their tal­ent with pas­sion. There­fore, I ded­i­cate this award to all the good Sa­mar­i­tans. Never stop reach­ing out to those less priv­i­leged than your­selves.

“When the pur­pose is big­ger than self, mir­a­cles can hap­pen. The more I reached out to help oth­ers, the more I suc­ceeded at both the MBA and my work.”

Di­betso recog­nises that he is the prod­uct of a lot of in­di­vid­u­als who took the time to teach him and guide him along the way. And so, in the spirit of pay­ing it for­ward, he works as a board mem­ber for BizS­chool, an NGO that arose out of Gibs. This teaches town­ship chil­dren the life skills and busi­ness skills that they need for the mar­ket­place and univer­sity. In a small way, he hopes to re­pay the peo­ple along his path by giv­ing his time to men­tor, coach and give di­rec­tion to other stu­dents. Thanks to the AMBA award, Di­betso is able to do this on a big­ger global scale than he could be­fore, es­pe­cially as AMBA’s global am­bas­sador for the year. He also ad­vises young peo­ple on ca­reer choices and what to study be­cause, as he says if you’re not pas­sion­ate about some­thing, you’ll never be the best at it. (In­ci­den­tally, he also do­nated his award prize money of €1 000 to BizS­chool.)

The world needs in­spir­ing lead­ers to­day more than ever. And we have them right here in SA. Ole­bo­geng Glad Di­betso has used ed­u­ca­tion to raise him­self out of poverty and on to the fast track to ca­reer suc­cess. “If there is one mes­sage that I want to get across,” he says, “It is that it is pos­si­ble to suc­ceed against all the odds, how­ever, qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in­creases those odds sig­nif­i­cantly.” And he is pay­ing it for­ward by spread­ing his love for ed­u­ca­tion to other young peo­ple. Well done to this in­spi­ra­tional am­bas­sador for f ly­ing the South African f lag high!

Co­lette Sy­manowitz (Co­lette@mba­con­nect. net) is Founder/MD of www.MBA­con­nect. net.

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