The story of Alexandre José, Agriculture Graduate from the Polytechnic College of Maputo
A Man of Convictions
After having lost both of his parents at the tender age of two, Alexandre José has finally found, at 18 years of age, a direction for his life. An agriculture graduate from the ADPP Polytechnic College of Maputo, this calm and composed young man has now worked for over a year as head of agricultural machinery on a farm near Chokwé, Gaza Province. It is in this profession that he sees his own future “because I am always learning. I have hardly began working and I know that the tractors and implements won’t always stay the same,” he explains.
The two intense years at the boarding school of the ADPP Polytechnic College of Maputo forged him into the mature young man he is today. “I have never failed a year in school. But it was at the College that I got familiar with a very demanding training. It made me become a man,” he asserts with the tranquility of a person who has recently overcome an important formative stage in constructing his future.
In addition to Portuguese, math, English, history and chemistry and other traditional 8th, 9th and 10th grade school subjects, the College also offered daily courses on agriculture and livestock, forestry, business management and productive practices, irrigation, rural development, and, above all, more than a hundred hours of what soon began Alexandre’s great passion: agricultural mechanics. “I was always passionate about machines – dismantling them and discovering how they work, arranging them when they were not working, and so forth. The agricultural mechanics course taught me to do well what I had been doing badly and out of curiosity,” he now laughs.
The Polytechnic College of Maputo shaped Alexandre in many ways. “When I say that I became a man at the College, it is also because of the demanding schedules, the teamwork, the discipline, the personal responsibilities of each student of the boarding school (Alexandre was responsible for the cleaning the boys’ dormitory), and the obligation to plan all of our work and report on everything we do. This is something I wasn’t used to. I was quite confused in the beginning, but I now see how useful it was from the point of view of my professional life,” he recalls, describing one of the landmarks of his life that he will never forget.
Not long after he graduated, Alexandre found his first job. The owner of the 50-hectare farm in which he now works with a dozen of other fellow workers soon identified him as the “machine guy”. Calm as he is, he didn’t let this dazzle him. Despite his obvious skills acquired at the Polytechnic College, he continues to insist on the importance of teamwork. “We have to always work together. We have to be a family where everyone knows what each of us is doing so that everything goes well for everyone.” Saying this, he realizes that he has gained an extra skill at the College: “I guess I am a man of convictions.”
So how does Alexandre see his future? “I know that I’m still very young, but I would like to buy a piece of land with what I earn and build a house.” After saying this, Alexandre lowers his voice and continues by confiding a childhood dream: “I would also like to build a space where I can start up a band with my friends.”