Monday, 11 June 2018

Turkey: It is 11:47am and Dineo Lekometsa strolls through the official’s terrace of the Bahcesehir University in Istanbul overlooking the Bosphorus Sea.

Up-tempo music blaring from built-in speakers, the roaring of the boats and occasional squawk of the seagulls disturb the almost perfect tranquillity of this section of Bahcesehir University.

Dineo Lekometsa sharing her moments in Turkey.

“Oh! she is here,” exclaimed Dr. Sibel Baykut, an assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and International Relations Advisor to the President at the sight of Lekometsa.

“She is my assistant,” Baykut said of Lekometsa, drawing laughter from the small South African contingent. But she is serious, Lekometsa is really her student.

“We arrived here in April last year and I am a leader of my group. I am also Dr. Baykut’ student assistant, where I assist her with international students. We are all aware how massive this opportunity is and we are all pulling together to ensure that we do well. We cannot afford to let our families and government down,” she said.

The former Student Representative Council member at Motheo College at Hillside View may only be 23, but her wisdom clearly outweighs her age.

“There are areas that I am good at that others (students) are not, so we have formed little study groups. That helps a lot. No one from my family has ever studied at this level and I am not about to lose this great opportunity” she added.
Lekometsa slides into a moment of silence when she talks about the struggles she has had to overcome.

“I am the eldest in the family of four,” the 23 year old Civil Engineering student said.
“We relied on my grandmother’s monthly social grant and it was not enough, but we survived,” added Lekometsa.

So when Teboho Maine, her friend told her about the opportunity to study in Turkey, Lekometsa did not waste time.

“I went to the provincial government offices to make enquiries. I was then given forms to fill and about three weeks, I received a call from officials of government informing that I would be studying in Turkey. I was so excited, still am,” she said, suppressing a visibly burning need to scream out in joy. Lekometsa’s desire is to one day establish her own Civil Engineering company.

“Free State provincial government has done so much for us and with the establishment of my company, hopefully I will be able to help reduce unemployment in our country. That would be my way of paying back to my country.” she concluded. – Free State Government Communication Services.

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