The 34-year-old Kassian T.T. Amesho was born in the remote village of Omeege in Oshakati East Constituency, Oshana Region and attended Omusimboti Combined School from Grade 1 up to 10. He then completed Grade 12 at Gabriel Taapopi Senior Secondary School.
He studied for a National Diploma in Natural Resources Management (majoring in agriculture, NUST) and a BSc Honours in Environmental Health Sciences (NUST).
Environmental science is something he wanted to do since completing high school but unfortunately the programme was not offered in Namibia. But NUST introduced the programme towards the end of 2007 for which he enrolled in 2008.
“We were the first intake and the pioneers of environmental health sciences in Namibia,” he says.
Amesho also studied for an MBA degree with the Regent Business School in South Africa.
In August 2013 he got a full scholarship from the Indian government and enrolled at North-Eastern Hill University in the north-eastern parts of India, where he completed a 2-year Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Science.
Currently he is based in Taiwan, pursuing a PhD at the Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-sen University.
Amesho has been pursuing education for various reasons, among them his intense desire to impact knowledge unto others to enable them to realise their dreams and potential.
“I thought the best way I can do all these is to have a better education. I have a dream of becoming a professor. A dream of becoming a full research scholar that would be able to produce advanced knowledge. Moreover, when I was doing my BSc Honours in Environmental Health Sciences at NUST from 2008 to 2011, we really suffered a lot.”
“We didn’t have enough teachers for environmental health sciences. Sometimes we used to come to NUST at 07h00 and go back home by 21h00 because we had to wait for some part-time teachers to knock off from their normal work, like from the City of Windhoek and ministry of health,” Amesho reflects.
In addition at NUST he never came across a single Namibian academic dean with a PhD – all PhD holders being foreigners, a status quo that hasn’t changed that much to this day.
“So I told myself that things cannot go on like that. This is not good for the future of Namibia. We got to change this and I must be part of the change. With all this experience, aspirations and dreams, I chose to pursue education at a higher level.”
His advice to learners or students who want to move forward with their studies is to stay focused and determined. He also advises young Namibians to go beyond undergraduate level.
“We are about to reach 30 years after independence and we cannot keep relying on foreigners to take crucial positions in our institutions because there is a shortage of skills among Namibians,” says he.
“Focus. Dedication. Determination,” is how he inspires students, adding that one can find all of these traits within oneself towards achieving one’s goals.
He further implores them to seek assistance and guidance where they can as there are people willing to help, but students must be pro-active as nothing merely gets handed to them on a silver platter.
Amesho sees himself at NUST as a full professor in the future. “All joking aside … I mean Prof Tjama Tjivikua used to advise us that we should go for masters and PhDs so that we can come back and help the institution grow further. I love NUST,” says the institution’s protégé who academically has grown there and for whom it is like home and thus the right place from where to positively impact society.
He has no intention to leave the country to work abroad. “I love my motherland Namibia so much that I can’t wait to come back home,” Amesho resolves. Throughout his academic journey till this day Amesho has been linked with the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).
“It was and still is a great positive experience to be involved with NSFAF. Especially at this point in time of my PhD studies abroad on a full-time basis. It is very expensive to study abroad and Taiwan has adopted almost everything from the United States as far as their education system and university set-ups are concerned. That is why it is very expensive this side.
“But with the great financial support from NSFAF and of course from my professor, things are really much better.
Although conducting research here is very costly and requires massive capital injection. You will always need funds for research.”
• Article courtesy of NSFAF