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Theatre and Politics is the Right Mix for Botswana Student at Williams College


When it comes to receiving a good education, there are many factors one may consider. Leungo Molosi who is from Botswana, which is in the Southern part of Africa, shares his reasons. “For someone like me whose interests are varied, I love Physics, I love Theatre. A good education for me would be to have the room to pick courses from any department without having to be a major in that department,” he says. “I mean right now I am a Political Economy and Theatre major. At the same time I am a French speaker and I love French so I am able to take French courses without the limitations of it being restricted only to majors to take French courses.

So a good education would be one that lets me study across the board. Take a lot of classes from different departments and also to be able to be mentored by the professors,” he says. “It is not enough just to be taught in the classroom. It is not enough just to be tested and have exams given to you. There needs to be some sort of support system that the school establishes,” he adds. “ You know we have professors they have hours when they are not in class or not teaching. They are always open, they are always saying come and meet me. So that sort of mentoring outside of the classroom is really, really important.”

Leungo is attending Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The twenty-year-old just completed his freshman year. He says with the college campus being small, it is ideal for having one-on-one mentoring with the professors. “The college supports you very well financially and Williams has a policy that once you are admitted they will give you as much money as you demonstrate that you need, so that is a plus when I was looking to find a place to go to,” he says. “Once I came here it is a very small college which means that everyone knows everyone and you make close friends and it has a campus. You know it is not like it is in the middle of the city so it forces interaction that way,” he adds.

“The professors and the students relationship between them are very productive and helpful and in terms of the curriculum and students are able to spend more time with the professors and get more attention from them and we are also able to do a lot of independent studies whenever we want and ask a professor to be your mentor and you can study whatever,” he says.

“Like, next semester I will be studying Political theatre in Africa. Which is not offered in the course catalog, but it is something that I am really interested in. You know being at a small school like this it helps because I can get someone to mentor my project and I can get the college to support me financially if I need to travel to do the research. So it is a good environment and conducive for learning by your own terms.”

Leungo says he wants to focus his studies on political theater in Africa. He tells us how that idea came about. “Well, the idea has always been there. I grew up in Botswana. I spent some of my childhood being exposed to the apartheid in South Africa and the theatre and the music that came out of apartheid was phenomenal in its richness as an art and also as the message that it carried in that it was a different style,” he says. “So that year I was suppose to do in my year off, I was in South Africa half the time.

”It is fascinating to me that there was so much politics sort of the backdrop that came out of South African theatre while I was doing that. I would like to say that by going to South Africa and actually learning how political theatre you know what it does, what it influences because up to this stage I pretty much studied only how it is created and only how to write it and done some acting, but I like to see how you can bridge theatre and politics and bring them together,” he says. “How it connects to public policy and what impact it has on the psychic of the people and such studies will make me better at understanding political science, public politics as well as a better actor being more informed about the issues that the artist is trying to portray.”

Studying at Williams College is where Leungo wants to be. He says the lessons he is learning while there and having the liberty to design his own courses reassures him that he knows what he will do once he graduates. “When I graduate I want to be an actor. I have done it professionally for a year with a theatre company, but I want to be an actor and once I graduate I will probably spend a year trying to see how I could get myself a job as a actor or it if I don’t get a job in the years or to sort of learn the ropes of it,” he says.

“Also, I have another dream which is diplomacy to work for something like the United Nations or work for something on global compliance like Goldman Sachs. So I have these two dreams, but when I graduate the acting one is going to come first.”

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