From zero to hero

Portia Mlilo
AIMING HIGH: Koziba-Sebina

After failing his form 5 at Mater Spei College in Francistown, Koziba Sebina turned his failure into an opportunity to make a living as a Motivational Speaker.

The former Mayor, Sylvia Muzila sponsored the 28-year-old Francistowner to re sit for his form 5 exams, which he passed.

He was admitted at the Botswana Accountancy College to study Computer Systems Engineering.

- Advertisement -

In his third year, he failed a module and dropped out of school since he did not have money to pay for a re-take.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity and discouragement, the enterprising young man started hosting web seminars and got invited to the USA, South Korea, and Nigeria to speak.

Sebina then used the money he raised from speaking to go back and attack his studies with gusto and acquired 16 diplomas and one Degree.

He is currently studying towards a Masters degree in Business Administration.

The Voice reporter, Portia Mlilo had a chat with the young motivational speaker who has also become a prolific author about his career journey and the challenges he has had to overcome so far.

Q. What made you write books?

- Advertisement -

A. I was inspired by my story and my life experiences.

The first book I wrote is called Step Up.

The tag line is about moving from where you are to the top.

The bottom is too crowded and comfortable.

For the longest time in my life I felt like I was not going anywhere.

- Advertisement -

And then I discovered that I needed to step up and realized that there were a series of processes that I had to put in place to help me scale up.

Q. What impact do you think the book has had on your readers’ lives?

A. The feedback is positive and people have shared their testimonies.

It can change somebody’s life or destiny.

People are able to look at life differently after reading my story and relating it to the challenges we all go through.

Some said there was a time they thought of giving up and after reading it they got encouraged to breakthrough any challenge.

Q. You mentioned that at some point you nearly gave up, what made you keep on pushing?

- Advertisement -

A. Vision! Although I failed and had nothing, I had dreams and I wanted to become wealthy.

It was just a dream without any support or plan and I didn’t know how to achieve it.

I survived a lot of mishaps in life so I asked myself why God spared me.

- Advertisement -

That on its own motivated me not to give up but instead push a little bit harder.

It took time to see the results but I had to take a step a day towards achieving my goals.

Q. What challenges did you go through when writing your book?

A. Putting together the right content was a challenge because you don’t really know what your readers would like.

You are not sure if you have written your story the best way for people to understand it.

I started by writing it on Facebook and motivating people on that platform and created content that way for two years.

I then went on my timeline, copied my stories and put them in a word document and came up with topics to make a complete book.

People had already become intimate with my stories on social media so they looked forward to reading the book.

Q. Let’s go back to when you failed your form 5, where do you think you lost focus?

- Advertisement -

A. I am an orphan.

I lost both my parents when I was in Standard 6.

I moved in with my grandmother and we did not have a good relationship.

When I was in form 4 I ran away from home and went to look for a job.

I irked out a living by holding down three jobs as a barber, waiter, and bartender at Chedu Choga after school and at weekends.

Sometimes I missed lessons especially on Fridays.

I was depressed and not focus.

The exam results were out in 2009 and I don’t even remember how many points I got, I had Gs and Es and never went back to school to collect my certificate.

Q. Why did you decide to re-write you BGCSE?

A. It was an offer from the owner of Thabitha Private School, Mma Muzila after Social Workers recommended me to her as an orphan.

They knew I was brilliant but had lost focus because of my challenges.

I decided to start from form 4 and quit all my jobs.

The school principal, Sibanda offered me a servant quarter to stay in.

I only had to hustle for money for food so I did piece jobs cleaning people’s yards over weekends.

I became one of the top 4 students in the whole school.

That’s when I realised I could do it.

I passed my form 5 in 2011 and got admitted at BAC.

Q. What happened at tertiary? Did you lose focus again?

A. In Gaborone things got worse.

I was hit by depression.

In my third year I failed Mathematics and I still don’t know how that happened.

I had to pay P15 000 for the whole semester for the one module but I did not have money so I quit and became a volunteer at YWCA as a Peer Educator and a motivational speaker at a small fee.

I enrolled for a Law degree at GUC with the money I earned from motivational speaking gigs.

I also did 16 diploma courses and published my second book titled Lighting up your Entrepreneurial Fire as well.

Q. What was your turning point in this journey of motivational talks?

A. I got a scholarship to attend some programmes in the US.

That was when I started getting both local and international recognition.

I was hosting a career talk with T.H.A.B.O every Wednesday on RB2.

I then went on to complete a degree in HR and last year December I got a job at RSM Botswana as Human Resource Manager.

I felt I needed to up my game and now I am doing my Masters in Business Administration with a double major in Human Resource and Strategic Management.

I have also written my third book titled Transcend, which is about revamping your life for success chronicling how I rebuilt my life and sharing all my lessons of success.

I am currently working on another book called HR Brilliance, the DNA of Human Capital which is meant to assist corporate administrators to understand HR as a strategic and not only administrative model.

It will be published by end of June.

Q. Tell our readers about the TV show you are working on called Dear HR.

A. It will be discussing the issues of HR, job hiring and interview related issues.

It is already on the Internet.

I spoke to Maru TV and they liked the concept which is unique and had never been implemented anywhere in the world.

I am working on the script and proposal.

I am a grinder and I believe in improving and growing.

Q. What is your future plans with your Motivational Speaking career?

A. Two more books are coming, Write like a Pro and Speak like a Pro to teach people how to speak and make money from it.

The next step would be to host a big motivational speaking event, which will be a story-telling seminar before end of the year.

I want to share the story of how I came from nothing to something even when no one believed in me.

Perhaps my story could change someone’s life for the better.

Q. Who is your inspiration?

A. I am inspired by my mother, Boikanyo Sebina and myself.

She was amazing, a hard worker, self-employed.

The other person is myself. Sometimes I look back and say, how did I survive?

The only person who believed in me was my sister; Fairlady Ketimilwe and God also never gave up on me.

Q. What advice can you give to aspiring motivational speakers?

A. Be yourself and believe anything is impossible.

Find your fire and pursue it with everything that you have.

People’s opinions will not pay your bills, run after your goal.

When people are out there having fun, use your time to pursue a vocation that can improve your life.

Life is too short. Don’t waste it.

Every opportunity you get, use it to your best advantage.

You also have to read a lot.

Q. Thank God it’s Friday, what are your plans for the weekend?

A. I am in a new relationship so I will be spending Friday and Saturday with her.

It is important to give her attention because I am always busy.

Sunday I will be at Redeemed Christian Church in Tlokweng.

Leave a comment