National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Dimakatso Mosheshe


Dimakatso is from the Free State and is studying BSc (Electrical Engineering) at the University of Pretoria.


 “I think at the end of the day the biggest challenge anyone would face concerning maths and science would be discipline. Those two subjects require a lot of discipline and basically knowing who you are and what works for you.”


Tell us a bit about your school

My high school, Leseding Technical Secondary, has always been special in some ways. When I did my 12th grade last year the school had more than a thousand pupils, 1062 to be exact. Each year it produces some of the best matric results in our province; it has wonderful leadership and hardworking staff. The school is based in a township, Thabong, and subsequently faces a lot of challenges, yet always strives to provide good quality education.

What were the biggest challenges you encountered at school that made it difficult for you to excel in maths and science? What did you do to overcome these challenges?

Well, there weren’t much of those really. I think at the end of the day the biggest challenge anyone would face concerning maths and science would be discipline. Those two subjects require a lot of discipline and basically knowing who you are and what works for you. I tried my best to help my fellow pupils and that for me was what really worked.

What advice do you have for matriculants who have to apply for places at higher education institutions?

First things first, you have to know yourself in order to decide on a study field, one of the very important lessons I’ve learned during my time in varsity. Do a lot of research on various study fields and institutions to better equip yourself in order to make the right choice. Very important, apply very early in the year, be it for an institution or funding, the sooner the better.

Where do you see yourself five years from now, in terms of your studies/career?

Definitely having completed my degree in electrical engineering, and hopefully working for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) or The Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

When/how did you realise you enjoyed science and mathematics more than your other school subjects? Did anyone play an important part in this, such as a teacher, parent or other role models?

I started enjoying science when I was in grade 6 and ever since then my love for it has grown stronger. I remember in the 8th grade, I used to have the coolest science teacher ever, well that’s what I thought at that point in time. Absolutely hilarious, made everything look so cool and fun and I think that’s very important with subjects like maths and science. And during that academic year, I was the best mathematics learner in my entire school and that’s a huge deal (if not then it should be!). I became more aware of what mathematics and science really are when I was in the 10th grade, and basically continued to fall in love with these two subjects until my 12th grade. I think one of the privileges in my high school is that we had some of the best maths and science educators and for me that was really inspirational and motivating.

What/who inspires you?

I’m inspired by a lot of things actually, so this is a tough one. In this regard what stands out would be our continent, Africa. Every day one hears about wars, hunger, diseases and many other things and yet we’ve still come so far. Bringing change to it is what I live for and there’s no better way to go about that than education. That’s what really inspires me.

Why did you choose the course you are studying now? (BSc Electrical Engineering)

Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be someone important in society and change people’s lives. I’ve also been fascinated and very curious about the concept of energy and how rapidly the world around us is changing. An electrical engineer for me best suits the above criteria. Plus it’s cool, I’ve done so much cool stuff this year that I never imagined I would. Makes me feel good about myself and it’s the kind of change I would like to bring to my continent, my world.

Any other stories/tips/ideas/advice you would like to share that would be helpful to learners in Grades 11 and 12?

I’ve been asked that question many times and I think the best answer that accommodates everyone would be knowing what you want in life. We are all different and want different things out of life. If what you want requires you to work hard, then that’s what you should do. Self-motivation is very important because at the end of the day you have no one to bet on but yourself. Life changes when you grow up and you get to realise that you could have done better. Do better now, cherish every minute of your high school time because, trust me, you will miss it! Prayer is the ultimate key to success – all the best!

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