You know about Limkokwing University of Creative Technology because of her efforts.
A former student of the university, Francistown born Mercy Thebe has proved she has what it takes.
Archie Mokoka got to find out she does it
Who is Mercy Thebe?
I am the Regional Director responsible for Corporate & Media Relations in Limkokwing Botswana, Lesotho & Swaziland.
I see myself as a pusher, a dreamer, a force, a vibrantly driven and focused, hardworking young Motswana woman, who without a doubt, will be modest to say she is a LIFESTYLE.
Where do you come from?
I was born and breed in Francistown and went to school there, and my family comes from Tonota village ko kgotleng yoora Molebatsi.
What do you do as Communications Director?
I am a proud custodian of an international brand called Limkokwing University, in Africa.
As a communications director, my job entails the art of creating positive relations between my organization and its potential clients, stakeholders, general public and the media, by taking and portraying the true meaning of the Limkokwing brand to the doorsteps of all relevant publics.
How do you do that?
A typical day in the office (depending which campus I am in) will start with PR and communications focused strategic planning meetings with my local team, video or conference calls with the regional and international team, on the same, followed by consultations with different corporate, industry or government stakeholders on the development of ideas and strategies.
Engagements with various media houses also feature as well as meetings and brainstorming sessions with student bodies like the SRC and Student Ambassadors on different issues.
I also manage all the university’s special events like Graduations, Orientations, etc and most fairs and exhibitions for the University which involves daily planning, organizing and coordination of corporate, student lifestyle and corporate social responsibility projects and events which we always aim to make outstanding, inspirational and breathtaking.
What milestones have you achieved for the university?
Quite a lot, but the main milestone that I have achieved was restoring, uplifting and promoting the Limkokwing Brand, after negative publicity that clouded the University during its early days.
In the past 5years that I managed the University’s PR Department, I managed to position the Limkokwing brand as one of the top market leaders in tertiary education in Botswana with all its relevant stakeholders.
I make sure that where necessary, Limkokwing’s voice will be heard.
If there are success stories to be told, allegations to be tackled head on or government initiatives to be supported, I will ensure that all gets done.
It is also my role to make sure that Limkokwing University’s effort of working tirelessly to prove that the fact that we don’t take the education of young people lightly will push us to strive to produce global graduates who will decide how Botswana transforms and reaches all its goals by 2016, are recognized and highlighted.
What does the Director in your title mean?
I think its self explanatory, meaning that I over see corporate and media relations departments of all Limkokwing University Africa campuses being Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
My responsibilities include Media, Industry, Government and Public Relations Management, the University’s Brand Management, Events Management, Corporate Social Responsibility Projects management, and University student ambassadors managements just to mention a few.
You were once a student at Limko, did that influence your choice of employer?
Absolutely! This year marks my 13th year with Limkokwing both as a student and an employee.
I just fell in love with this institution the minute I set foot at its first campus in 2001 at Taman Mayang in Malaysia.
What influenced my choice to work for the institution was its different and unique approach towards education in the 21st century, and how they incorporated the industry into the university system which ensued that upon graduation, its graduates were Industry Ready.
By the time I graduated, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and the fact that the institution secured me an internship at the prestigious Institute of Public Relations Malaysia made my choice quite easy.
I also believed that if there is any person who could be a great driving force behind the Limkokwing brand management, that person has to be a alumni who really understands what the brand is all about and know the culture inside out.
An outside person could not do this post any justice.
What is your qualification?
I hold Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication (Film & TV Major and Public Relations Minor) from Curtin University in Australia, a Diploma in Multimedia, Advertising and Broadcasting from Limkokwing University in Malaysia.
I studied in Limkokwing University Malaysia, and I will forever remain a proud alumna of the University.
Please quantify your institution’s contribution to Botswana’s Economy?
I cannot quantify what Limkokwing has done to contribute to Botswana’s economy, as what the university has done since 2007 is more than what words can explain, which is mainly changing people’s life through education, which is the best weapon that any human being can posses.
However, below are some of the contributions the University has made;
Limkokwing University has injected over 7,000 highly skilled creative professionals into the lifeblood of the Botswana economy since 2010.
These graduates have brought to the industry, government and society, skills in managing new media technology, a problem-solving mindset that seeks innovative solutions to issues and an entrepreneurial spirit that will benefit Botswana as it rebuilds its competitiveness following the global financial meltdown that has hit the national economy.
It is a fact that our graduates are the most sought after in the industry because of their hands on and creatively unique approach to work.
The University has also created hundreds of jobs by employing a lot of Batswana who were faced with unemployment challenges. This contributes to the human capital.
Through the Heal The World Foundation, Limkokwing has contributed millions of pula to various charities and organizations in Botswana helping to uplift a lot of lives.
The University continues to support and contribute immensely to various government and industry based initiatives.
The University has sponsored a lot of Batswana including the media through its Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Paduka Dr. Limkokwing Scholarship Foundation, hence contributing to the human capital of Botswana, and saving the government millions of pula’s.
Limkokwing University is the only University which has a specialized department that caters to people with disabilities, which ensures that these people can also graduate with credentials that will allow them to have better futures and normal jobs.
What challenges do you face daily in your job?
None, I see all my challenges as opportunities for immerse growth, and detours and roadblocks, as free life lessons.
How do you get past them?
I get past them, be embracing them and making sure that I learn something from each and every one of them.
What does the future hold?
Great things! Just watch the space!!!
Final words to young black women aspiring for greatness?
Who you are is not etched in stone until the death of you.
Who you become is who you are when you practice the BEST OF YOU!
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you have imagined, and don’t look for a reason to wake up every morning, be the reason others wake up every morning!