NUL LECTURER GOES NUTS

 

The belittling of Lesotho for being "small" drives him nuts. That is why he, ntate Sets’abi Sets’abi, Senior Lecturer at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) , has started planting 1500 almond trees (they give out almond nuts) in his quest to make Lesotho a nutty country. Let's hear from the horse's mouth.

"Almost every academic article and research report that you read on Lesotho starts with the same line "Lesotho is a small mountainous country that is completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa".

Then one day one of my former bosses asked me, "whoever markets themselves as being small and gets it right?" Indeed why should we keep advertising ourselves as being small? So I've started thinking big. I think it's the only way this country can grow big if we stop thinking small. I further think we will start developing small minds too if we keep thinking small-scale.

Two years ago I planted approximately 7,000 peach tree seedlings. Last year I was supposed to have grafted them with buds of peach varieties that I wanted. I didn't. I was caught up with so many other things.

Two weeks ago I was approached by some guy who said he could graft the trees for me and I could pay him in kind and not cash. He wanted me to pay him with trees, just like our shepherds who are paid with sheep.

After a short discussion we agreed on the terms. Fundamentally our terms were that of one Mosotho helping another. I had items he did not have and vice versa. So he started the grafting. But we had also changed plans. We grafted 1500 almonds. This week they have begun to shoot. Now imagine an almond farm with 1500 trees in the first year! Can't Lesotho be an almond exporting country? I bet we can if we stop thinking small."