MASERU — ‘Masechacho Dichaba, 19, etched her name into the history books last Saturday when she was named the youngest person ever to graduate as a chartered accountant in Lesotho.
The previous record was held by Refiloe Letsie who was 21 when she graduated in 2008.
Dichaba scooped two awards at the Centre of Accounting Studies (CAS)’s colourful graduation ceremony held ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru last Saturday.
Auditor-General Lucy Liphafa was the guest of honour at the graduation ceremony.
Dichaba walked away with the best overall student award in chartered accounting as well as a special achievement award.
The petite accountant beamed from ear to ear as she walked to the stage to collect her awards.
Dichaba said she was shocked after she perused the graduation programme and realised that she had won two awards.
“I was shocked when before the graduation ceremony I went through the programme and saw that I had won awards,” she told the Sunday Express.
“I was scared because I was shy to go to the stage to collect the prizes.”
Dichaba attributed her success to hard work and the blessing of God.
“I studied hard throughout the years,” she said.
“I also prayed to God every day for me to pass and I did.”
Chartered accountants work in all fields of business and finance and seek to provide honest information about financial records.
Chartered accountants can be involved in financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, corporate finance or accounting systems and processes.
The accountants play a strategic role in providing professional advice, aiming to maximise profitability on behalf of their client or employer.
Some chartered accountants are engaged in public practice work, industry and commerce as well as in not-for-profit and public sectors.
Dichaba is already working as an auditor for a local financial firm.
“It is not easy to find a job in this industry when you are straight from tertiary,” she said.
“I was lucky to find one while I was still at school.
“Firms are looking for people with at least three years’ experience.
“Where do you get the experience when you are straight from school?”
Dichaba said she was prepared to take on the challenges and obstacles in the accounting industry.
She however said young auditors are not being given space to grow in the profession.
“People complain that auditors are incompetent. That might be so if young auditors are not given a chance to practice and learn.
“You can only progress to the next level if you get are given an opportunity to grow.
“Challenges should just be thrown at them. They will learn to swim and not to sink.”
Dichaba had always been extraordinary: she started school at five, skipped a grade and at 15 she was done with high school.
The former Lesotho High School student enrolled with the CAS for the Certified Accounting Technician course in 2007.
After succeeding at that level, she proceeded to the general accountancy stage before taking up the chartered accountancy studies.
Dichaba grew up in Lithabaneng where she still stays with her parents.