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Moulding future stars

Tshepo Kehimile
CONFIDENT: Antonio Onkarabile

Local author-cum-tutor-cum-student, Antonio Onkarabile is fast becoming the go-to guy when it comes to simplified revision materials

As well as running Kitsopele Academy, a tuition centre that assists struggling pupils with their studies, the 25-year-old has published two revision books in Science and Mathematics for students in Form1 to 3.

Impressively, Onkarabile has achieved all this while pursuing a Finance Degree at the University of Botswana (UB).

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Speaking exclusively to Voice Money this week, the Maun man revealed he was fulfilling a childhood calling that came to him while he was still at junior school.

“I realised that I could be an educator one day. I would voluntarily help my fellow classmates academically; I mostly focused on Mathematics even though I was not good at it initially. I drew inspiration from how I saw myself improving and believed that I can help others do better,” he recalls.

By the time he was in Form 4, the brainy boy was already tutoring his schoolmates.

“My teacher would bring me to his tutorial lessons as part of the learning curve and that is where everything started,” says Onkarabile, who would go on to get 46 points in his BGCSE before enrolling at UB.

Prior to starting his degree, Onkarabile volunteered at Taung CJSS, assisting students with Maths and Science.

It was at this point he developed a clear understanding of the areas most pupils were struggling with.

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A solution and a business idea popped into his head.

“I figured a simplified revision material was the answer. This gave birth to my two books, which have been greatly applauded by parents as it has helped their children,” says the alert young businessman, who officially registered Kitsopele Academy in November 2020, financing the operation through his student’s allowance.

“We offer tutorial services for all age groups, from primary right up to senior secondary, for both government and private syllabus. I have five temporary employees and three volunteers whom I call when the workload gets too much,” he explains.

His two books, JCE Mathematics Revision Manual (2021) and Integrated Science Revision Manual (2022) are subsidiaries under Kitsopele Academy and cost P200 and P250 respectively.

Although Onkarabile admits sales are not as high as he would have hoped, he is determined to change this.

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“The book sales are quite slow as most parents do not know about us. But we are working tirelessly to get word to the people for the benefit of the students. We have a number of new customers referred to us by parents, who noticed an improvement in their children’s performance thanks to our revision materials.”

Despite his brilliance, balancing a business while pursuing his studies – Onkarabile finished his degree in May and is due to graduate in October – has not been easy.

“The school workload did not allow me to push them concurrently but I kept my head, my focus and eventually prevailed which is something I am proud of!” he declares, the pride reflected in his beaming smile.

Currently Kitsopele Academy has 15 students, with Onkarabile confident that number will multiply swiftly.

“I want to groom the brightest and well disciplined young stars through the Academy. I did not study teaching but I am doing it out of passion and I will further my studies whilst pursuing this aspect and be recognised countrywide,” he declares boldly.

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