Duo continue their mum’s legacy Me and My Business
Growing up, Jasmine Mamo Chirwa and Simangaliso Lesetedi were in awe of their teacher mother, Bayemuli Jibichibi’s dedication to her trade.
It was somewhat inevitable, therefore, that they would follow in her footsteps – after all, teaching is in their blood.
Inspired by their mum, the two sisters, from Makuta village, set up their own Preschool earlier this year.
Located in Gaborone’s Block 6 location, Babili Preschool and Day Care Centre began life in February with just a single student.
The ‘lone ranger’ has since been joined by nine more schoolmates, with Lesetedi confident many more will follow suit.
Speaking to Voice Money this week, the recently-retired teacher revealed they admit pupils from six months to six years and strive to provide quality programs for children to reap the benefits of early childhood education.
In an effort to stand-out in an oversubscribed market, Babili offer French lessons, as well as Sign Language for children with disability.
Reflecting on how far the enterprise has come in such a short space of time, Lesetedi said, “We started with one student because we opened in February and usually parents look for places from October to January. We remained patient and parents of that child believed in us until more parents brought their kids second term.”
Another big selling point that marks Babili out as unique from many of its competitors is their curriculum, which includes swimming lessons.
“Our tuition fees are very affordable and we have the best facilities, outdoor play area and we offer swimming lessons,” stressed Lesetedi, who noted that children learn best when they interact with their peers.
“They acquire listening skills, sharing, expressing themselves and others,” she explained, adding that Babili’s motto is, ‘Igniting creativity and passion for learning’.
“Early childhood learning is a springboard for future education; confident children settle faster in their next level of education and acquire greater results,” continued the seasoned educator.
Teaching pupils to be responsible is another key hallmark which the school takes pride in.
This is achieved through activities such as watering plants and sweeping.
Additionally, Lesetedi revealed they also invite elders for story telling sessions, to regale the students with tales from the past – a tradition which she ruefully notes is fast dying out amongst modern families.
“We have a WhatsApp group in which we share ‘ahaa moments’ whereby we take pictures of our students doing different activities. We share with parents what their kids were doing during the day and that has built a strong parent-teacher relationship,” added Lesetedi proudly.
“Registration for the next intake is on and I advise parents to register their kids if they want the best for them!” she ended with a smile.