When Abraham Motsoane saw a gap in the distance-based tertiary education sector whilst working at a college as a computer school manager, the furthest thing from his mind was starting his own institution. Now, a couple of years later Abraham is the dean, manager and mastermind behind about the enterprising business, Learning e-Varsity Online.
Born and bred Sowetan, Abraham Motsoane, had a difficult start to life before unleashing his talents upon the world. “I spent the first two years of my life in hospital,” Abraham explains, “Then the month before I was released my mother passed away.” Abraham was then raised by his grandparents, and he firmly states that they did a “sterling” job. “My grandmother did everything in her power to give me the best, she sacrificed everything for me and I think that might be why I pushed myself to where I am today.” Abraham was identified early in his school career as a gifted child and was awarded a full scholarship to a prestigious private school in Johannesburg. He furthers that this was a largely influential time in his life as he grew a firm passion for reading, “It’s a fact of life, the more you read, the more informed you are. Without the habit of reading you’re not going anywhere.”
After high school Abraham took a year to volunteer at a programme that focussed on youth development after which he was awarded a bursary to study PC Engineering at Damelin College. “I have been very lucky and very privileged in life, I have a knack to be at the right place at the right time.” After graduation Abraham continued into a career in IT where he started falling in love with the training and development side of the job. “In ten years I worked for 12 different companies, and that’s when I realised that there was something, a restlessness in me that I needed to let out.” During this time Abraham proceeded to a career in what he refers to as “a beautiful mumbo jumbo” where he ran a car radio alarm shop from his garage to selling women’s beauty products. After being awarded a contract to get international certifications for a local distance-learning college, he started to act as the manager for the computer school faculty. “I realised that the majority of queries that landed on my desk, were largely that of black learners who struggled because they had no computer at home. Being a distance-learning institution you can imagine this being problematic,” Abraham explains. After the idea that the college grant students complimentary computers was shot down by the school principal, Abraham furthers that he took it very personally. “I was angry, incredibly angry, and out of anger I decided to do something,” and so e-Varsity was born.
First Abraham wanted to start a full-fledged university, but decided e-learning was the path to go as it is much more cost-friendly. He quickly partnered with a computer-manufacturer and an UK content provider and soon there was nothing stopping Learning e-Varsity Online. “The deal I have with students is regardless of what they study, is that they kan keep their laptop, as long as they finish their course. If they drop out, we take it back,” Abraham explains. Learning e-Varsity Online offers a range of courses varying from IT, accounting, finance to a range of soft skill courses. Abraham’s policy regarding applications is that he accepts everyone, no matter their educational history, “whether you have matric, grade 3 or nothing, I believe if you have the willingness and desire to learn, you must be granted the opportunity.”
After joining numerous entrepreneurial incubators, Abraham finally joined MEDO. “I’m always on the internet looking for things, I saw MEDO, applied and came in for an interview,” Abraham explains. At the interview Abraham furthers that he immediately felt so at home that he started selling his business before he was even interviewed. “MEDO’s values resonated with me; the first thing they told us was never to be late and always help your fellow entrepreneurs. I knew that this was a place where I would be able to grow.”
Looking to 2015 and beyond Abraham wants to branch Learning e-Varsity Online to an online business school specialising in offering MBA courses. “Africa Online is a project I am working on, I want to bring an accessible world-class business institution to Africa,” he eagerly explains.
Before branching out to conquering the world on an educational level, however, Abraham is keeping on running Learning e-Varsity Online to reach its full potential whilst living out his life philosophy, “You can never know it all. Everyday is an opportunity to learn,don’t waste it.”