Interview with Kgomotso Kgano

"Maintaining a positive mindset and resilience have kept me going amid difficult situations and rejection."

Principal Customs Officer 
Botswana Unified Revenue Service

Master of International Business Administration

Please tell us something about yourself and your family.

I am the firstborn, in a family of four girls. I got married in the year 2017 and changed my family name which is Tshotlego to my marital name that I am currently using(Kgano).

In April 2006, when I was doing my final year at the University of Botswana, we lost our father who was the breadwinner due to meningitis which was caused by HIV & AIDS. This forced me to drop out of school due to depression and to take care of my sisters and mother who was sick.

 One of my sisters managed to get admitted to the University of Bergen through the University of Botswana to continue with her medical course. In  2007, she managed to help me financially to go back and complete my degree. She is now a qualified doctor and married in Norway where she is staying with her family.

Another sister is doing her Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Stavanger, sponsored by the Norwegian government, while the last born has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Logistics and supply chain management) and is searching for a job.

I am now working as an officer-in-charge for the Kazungula Ferry Border post, in which we share the Zambian territories along the Chobe River. I am employed by the Botswana Unified Revenue Service and deployed under the operations unit, customs department.

I was employed in March 2009 as a customs officer and deployed to the Ramokgwebana Border post(Botswana and Zimbabwe territories). After six years (2014) of hard work, I was promoted to the position of a senior customs officer and transferred to Mamuno Border post, which is in the northwestern part of Botswana sharing the perimeters with Namibia.

 In 2020, I was promoted to the level of a station manager, which I am currently holding.

Well, all these years, I always had that zeal to pursue a Master's degree but I couldn't due to many reasons. I would like to express my gratitude to your University for having enrolled me in this course which would assist me to build up my career.

Is the course you have enrolled for at Athena helping you to realise your career goals?

This course is tailor-made for what I am practically doing at my workplace on a daily basis. Honestly, it has already started to work in my favor.

What would you like to learn next? What are your next career steps?

After completing this course, I would like to enroll in a PhD. aiming for a managerial position.

Describe one thing that makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. Explain why?

On a daily basis, I encounter a lot of different and tough cases. Dealing with clients of different cultures, different backgrounds, and different languages is a demanding job. Resolving such cases make me so delighted that I view it as a great achievement especially when a client leaves my office with a smile. I feel so gratified.

What helps you to bounce back from setbacks?

Maintaining a positive mindset and resilience is one of the things that have kept me going amid difficult situations and rejection. My faith in the word of God has been the source of my strength. I always believe that all will turn out well even when things don’t look right at all.

What is your inspiration? One thing that has unfailingly kept you going in your career and life?

I love what I am doing, that is, trading. I am always thinking and finding ways to go about doing this business successfully. I think like an entrepreneur and run the business as if it’s my own. Whenever I reach a sales target, it just confirms what I am doing is right and it boosts my confidence.

In Life, I am happy as long as my parents, children, and partner are healthy. I don’t get angry easily these days as I feel life is short and we have to make full use of each day with our loved ones.

What is the best book you’ve ever read? Why did you like it?

The best book that I have read is called “The Power of Positive Thinking” written by Norman Vincent Pale.
A friend of mine bought this book for me when I was at my lowest, I could not make any sense out of life. I experienced a lot of pain which I didn’t know how to handle. But this book provided some sort of emotional therapy.

I had very low self-esteem. I was scared to go into public or crowds. I always wanted to be alone and in the bush. After reading this book, I began to develop self-confidence and I started believing in myself that I also can be someone in Life, I can become a better person. 

If you could live anywhere, where would you live? Why?

If I were to live anywhere, I would live in any country around the globe that I have never been to as long as it is habitable and politically stable. The reason is that as human beings, we must explore and appreciate different cultures for purposes of learning and development.

Who is someone you consider a hero in your life? Why?

The hero of my life is my mother. After losing my father, we lost everything and remained with nothing, and none of our relatives ever bothered about the ordeal we went through.

As a widow, my mother managed to keep her children together and taught us how to survive in times of adversity. She taught us how to pray. Every day we prayed to God to provide us with our daily meal, and God listened to us.

My mother gave me hope when there was absolutely nothing. She provided us with what we needed even though we saw that she had nothing. Every time she made ends meet. Despite all the challenges that we went through, she strongly believed that one day God will remember us. And indeed now God has remembered us. He took us from rags to riches, zeros to heroes.

I am who I am because of her. I am a happy soul because of her.

Long live Mama, long live!! I salute her..



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