Lebitsa turns hobby into hope

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One of Lebitsa’s swimming lessons

By Neo Kolane

Local civil servant, Makhabane Lebitsa has turned his hobby of swimming into a means that will help the next person survive – by becoming a swimming instructor.

The computer scientist began swimming at the age of 13 in 1998 and started teaching children how to swim in 2005.

He describes swimming as a life skill that everyone should have, because it is good for their health; it is one way of working out.

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“The ability to swim enable people to survive disasters, especially during climate change-induced floods, while it is also helpful in dealing with the seething heat.

“It also contributes to people’s happiness as it gives them an opportunity to socialize,” the swimming instructor said.

Lebitsa told theReporter this week that he uses different places like some of the local hotels and lodges to teach children and adults how to swim because he does not exclusively have swimming pools.

The lifeguard explained that children’s lives are in danger because they are always wandering around, so he gives them this skill to minimize their chances of falling victim to any form of danger.

“I teach children from the age of three up to any age because they can listen to instructions, but most importantly I love to work with children because their adventurous and exuberant ways can put them at risk. Mind you they also like playing around water. 

“It is good for children to be equipped with swimming and survival skills,” the lifesaver said.

He gets hired as a lifeguard to events that involve water such as pool parties so he can assist in the event that anyone drowns.

Lebitsa is a member of an association called Royal Lesotho Lifesaving whose mandate is to transfer lifesaving skills to the citizens.

The association has helped, trained and equipped hundreds of Basotho with those skills and its members have a great deal of experience in recovering deceased people’s bodies from rivers and dams.

Lebitsa charges a monthly appreciation fee of M300 but he trains even those who have nothing because it’s a hobby to him.