27 June 2022 | Story Nonsindiso Qwabe | Photo Supplied
Peter Moopi
Newly appointed English lecturer Peter Moopi.

“I didn’t start out as a bright student. I had to build and develop myself. Sometimes I would get very low marks in a module, and I’d feel like I wasn’t good enough. I had to push myself beyond my limits.”
These were the words shared by Peter Moopi, newly appointed English Lecturer on the Qwaqwa Campus, as he reflected on his journey from being a student to standing on the other side of the lecture room.

‘Academic journey made me more resilient’

Moopi began his journey with the UFS in 2016 when he enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English, Business Management, and Psychology on the Qwaqwa Campus. He went on to complete his honours degree in English in 2019 and enrolled for an MA degree in the same field in 2020, which he obtained during the April 2022 graduations. A month later, in May, he was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of English on the campus.

In addition to his academic struggles, Moopi said he had to make ends meet in order to have something to eat, as his undergraduate bursary did not provide money for food. He said he often had to improvise and navigate with friends for food. In his honour’s year, he struggled to find a balance between his studies and his tutoring job at the time and landed in the doctor’s office because of a mental breakdown. “The doctor simply said, ‘Peter, you need to sleep, because you’re overworking yourself,” he recalled. These struggles built his diligence and perseverance, he said.

‘Be clear about what you want in life’

What does ‘owning the future’ mean to Moopi? 

This is what he had to say: “It means having a clear purpose, vision, and mission. Having clear career goals and working on them every day. Putting daily effort into what you want. Of course, there are no guarantees for the future, but you have to be clear about what you want out of life.”

He is currently pursuing his PhD in English, with a focus on African decoloniality in English literature.

A true lecturer, Moopi said he loves imparting knowledge to his students and encouraging them to build themselves from undergrad. “What I always tell them, and what I’d love any student or aspiring academic reading this to know, is the importance of cultivating a culture of and love for reading. You gain a lot of skills, and knowledge that can also help you make informed decisions about your career and life. While still privileged to be in this institution, reach out to people and build networks. A lot of people are always available to help you, so just reach out.”

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