Lesotho – Mabonang

Date: September 5, 2018
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“The financial freedom that came with the entrepreneurship training organized by Gender Links is more than what I had hoped for. I still pinch myself sometimes when I am at the store with a lot of items in my trolley that I actually never thought I could buy” 

Mabonang Selimo from the rural village of Thabana Morena said that Gender Links (GL) encouraged her to work hard to take care of herself. She responded positively to the three phases of entrepreneurship workshop that she attended and she could not stop talking about how they have changed her life especially the life skills as she lost hope in life. She mentioned that after the training she made a decision that it was time that she changed her life and for better, she started with   stopped relying on other people for survival and also for always looked for validation from people as she did not believe any way in herself.

The decision she took saw her escaping from the abuse that was deeply rooted in her reliance on her husband for survival. She clearly remembers how she would look at other well off women in her community and envy them. How they were confident and she on the other hand had a very low self-esteem. 

Mabonang decided to sell vegetables she grew from her garden, she started her business with one box of apples which she bought at M105. She sold one apple for M2.00 and the whole box gave her M236.00. Mabonang was therefore decided to plant vegetables with the money she made as she realized planting vegetables at her own garden would be much cheaper and beneficiary. Her business started to grow fast because she had so many customers even though her garden was very small, but with that money she opened a bank account and saved M150.00 every month. She says her life has changed so much post the workshops and she thanks Gender Links for all the trainings that was part of them. 

She also mentioned that abuse she lived in her house has decreased and this is due to the empowerment she received from the workshops. Her relationship with her family members has improved a great deal particularly her husband. She is now able to talk to him explaining how she would like to be treated first as a human being with rights and secondly as a wife and mother. She also explained to her husband the consequences of his actions and talk about whatever that is not sitting her well unlike before she would just keep quiet. She hopes in future her business can grow so that she can also hire at least two women to work with. 

She also expressed interest in learning how to grow mushroom and how to make manure for her vegetables so that she does not have to buy all the time. She has heard that there are women in Nazareth who are in the same kind of business but they also teach other people about it and she is intending to visit them some time so that she can learn.