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90 seconds with Atang
Ethan Chen '20 Senior Writer
October 17, 2019
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Where are you from?

I’m from Botswana, from this small town called Mogobane.

What’s your spirit animal?

Credit: Natasha Leong

I think an elephant shrew. It’s very rare and no one knows much about it. Just like me! But when you find more information about it, you begin to appreciate it more. Just like me! 

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about America?

My favorite part is the people. I feel like people are super, super kind and it’s similar to home in the sense that I have jokes with some people which are really good. I think my least favorite part is the food, because you guys give us way too many big portions.

Pineapple on pizza. Yes or no?

No. Pineapple is a fruit, and it’s sweet, and it’s not meant to be on pizza. Why? Because pizza is meant to be savory. Have you ever seen pizza in the dessert section? No. Case closed.

Favorite fast food joint?

I think it would be KFC. But back in Botswana, my favorite is Nando’s. You can’t live life without Nando’s. It’s money. It’s better than Popeyes. Well, it’s grilled chicken and Popeyes is fried chicken but you know what I mean. Chicken is chicken.

What’s your most embarrassing memory?

When I was a kid, I was holding the TV remote, and I wanted to change the channel, and the entire time I’m running around the room because my dad is putting me under pressure to change the channel. And I don’t realize the remote is in my hand. So I’m running around the entire room, and then he says, “you’re holding the remote” and I’m like, “Oh.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Going back home after doing my studies in neuroscience and cognitive behavior, and pushing the barriers of understanding the brain to a greater extent and helping neurosurgeons, not only in Botswana but across the world… I think one of the greatest misconceptions that people have about Africa is that it’s poor. That there’s nothing there. But the fact that it’s poor means that there’s something there… At home, if you have a good enough idea, they will fund it. So that’s why I want to do it back home.

Is there anyone you’re grateful for?

I just want to express gratitude to a group of people. The Deerfield community needs to be thanked, because I thought this transition was going to be difficult, rocky, and trecherous, but I think the community here and the caliber of people are the creme de la creme of the people I’ve met. So I just want to thank them for welcoming me into the community, and making me feel like I’ve been here for 3 years and not 3 weeks.

What are three things you’d bring with you on a deserted island?

Three things? I think I’m bringing my boys. I’m bringing food. And I’m bringing a music speaker.

Do you have any words of advice for your peers and younger students here at Deerfield?

The most important thing is, although it is a difficult time in your life, to have an understanding of who you are. The moment you understand who you are, you begin to pave and mold your future. The more you understand yourself, the better you can position yourself in the future to be successful. I think the younger children, and the whole community should try to find out who they are sooner, so that they  can then be prosperous in the future.