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The unstoppable youngsters



ROMA – THE National University of Lesotho (NUL) is breeding a generation of young writers.
But the book authored by the NUL-trained Takatso Kumi, a physicist, a mathematician, a teacher, and a philosopher at heart, published in South Africa, is one of its kind.

It is called, “The Unstoppable Youngsters.” Many write books purely based on the Western philosophy and experience, “but I chose to write about the experiences, the thoughts and the philosophies of modern day Basotho,” Kumi says.

The book, true to his values, is filled with quotes from astute ordinary Basotho whom he calls the revolutionary minds.
In the book, he argues that Basotho, like any another nation, have something unique to offer of which if they cannot, that will be a great loss to the world, “but our focus has always been on what can’t be done, rather than on what can be done.”
He refers to this as playing a blame game.

In the end, the world honors those who get things done, not those who give excuses.
Then he gives a glimpse into the amazing book.
“It is a book that explores the belief that nothing can stop our generation of the information age in its quest to succeed.”

So the author, just on the back cover, states, “Our generation is definitely guaranteed to succeed because it is bathed in a pool of abundant opportunities that prior generations did not have. We are a foundational generation of pure and original thinking.”
And how did he generate ideas for the book?

“I’m one who observes people and what they say, and the book is an attempt to chisel down what I learnt from them into a legacy that will be remembered and referred to, to time indefinite.”
As he observed people around him, he was surprised, “as I did my research and observed people, I was shocked to find what I did not expect.”

Contrary to what he has been made to believe, he found that Basotho were wiser and more educated than he thought.
He concluded that he lived in the midst of a knowledge-based generation.
Then came a defining moment that led to the idea of the book.

As a science education student at the NUL, time came for him to be briefly attached to a high school.
He used the time for thought, reflection and observation.
“At one point, I was attached to and ended up working at John Maund High School,” he said.

“Therein, I used to take a deep thought about the students I was teaching, in fact I saw in them, the potential they did not believe they had, and I used to gather them around me and share my thoughts with them.”

He would later decide that instead of gathering few people here and there to share with them his observations, he would rather organize his thoughts and ideas in a coherent book that would leave a mark, now and in the future.
“In a book, I would be able to touch people far and wide, those I know and those that I don’t know,” he says.
Then he plunged into a lonely journey of writing a book.

In the process, Lesotho’s own philosopher was being made.
“We learn philosophies from Socrates and Plato, but we have not yet developed our own philosophy based on our own experiences,” he says.
When he started writing, he noticed something — a gaping hole.

There was little to no local literature in his area of interest to refer to.
He was surprised that although Basotho are well read, they are not courageous enough to write books that will shape the story of their own existence.
He wanted to be part of the pioneering generation — he wanted to be a trailblazer.
Thus he entered into the unchartered territory.
So what’s in his book?

We will provide just a taste — that’s so you can book yourself a copy, and get the wisdom brewed in Lesotho — firsthand.
In the beginning, Chapter Zero, as the author likes to put it, the book reveals the motives behind its existence.
In it, Kumi shows why he is a great believer in the uniqueness theory.

“We are all unique, I and you are unique and each one of us has something unique to offer.”
That uniqueness, he says, extends to us as a nation.
Another chapter is about the “Intelligent Follower.”

Basically, in Kumi’s line of thought, a follower and a leader are indistinguishable.
Some lead from the front, “but the rest of us lead from behind,” he says.
In the end, “those who lead from behind usually lead those who lead from the front such that there is not a leader who is not a follower and there is not a follower who is not a leader.”

His message?
Stop thinking you are not a leader, as long as you are passionate about something you are advancing.
At some point in the book, Kumi discovers a law which if the young generation grasps, will accelerate its march to the ‘Promised land’.
It is the “Law of Resistance” which says, “What we fight against, we strengthen.”
His message?

Stop talking poverty eradication but economic development. Stop elevating corrupt politicians because by doing so, you strengthen them, breeding an unending mental war, but elevate “the unstoppable youngsters.” And never forget Kumi’s favorite motto, “Lesotho is yet to become the role model of the world”.

Own Correspondent

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