Amogelang Sekgere – Botswana

Amogelang Sekgere – Botswana

Date: November 30, 2015
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In order to succeed we must first believe that we can!

I started the entrepreneurship programme in 2014 at Good Hope and I attended all the phases of training starting with “I” stories workshop. My best moment was when I took part in the Botswana national summit in Gaborone where I represented my council Good Hope. I came second in the existing business category. It was very exciting and it was my best moment. I also remember the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Rre Batshu, who awarded the prizes, saying he would like to do his hair at my salon and everyone laughed.

I have learnt that many women are abused and I also learnt a lot from Gender Links about abuse. I encouraged women from our community in Good Hope who can do hairdressing to form a group of three and we opened a salon. With the knowledge gained from Gender Links I taught them about record keeping, budgeting, management skills and how to handle money. I also taught women who were interested in learning how to do hairdressing. Since we started from nothing I have done everything in my power to keep the profit and use it for growing the business. Our business did no succeed because the owner of the place we rented died and we do not have a place from which to operate the business. Currently we are operating from my home and we are still earning some income, even though we are not making as much as we used to make. We have lost clients because we are operating from home.

I am very proud of myself as I managed to assist some other women who were in abusive relationships with guidance and knowledge I got from social workers and Gender Links. During the “I” story workshop we were encouraged to share our experiences by sharing our stories though writing as a way of healing. This really helped as I felt a huge relief and I was encouraged to change my life as at the time I was going through so much pain that I could not see any point of living. My life changed as I shared my experiences with others and realised that there are other people with similar experiences.

I had support from my family, Gender Links (Botshelo and Gomolemo) and the women’s shelter (Tshoganetso and Kabubi).My family was very supportive during this training as they would help with assignments and are still supporting me now. They helped me learn business skills and how to run a business and they have been very understanding about me operating from home. Gomolemo has taught me with passion and it was very easy to ask questions. The most supportive person of all is my current boyfriend who encourages and assists me where possible, from time to time he asks after my progress and what I need. He often tells me that he is very proud of me and that he is motivated by my spirit to help me open more businesses.

I am very pleased with how my life has changed because now I am very happy and people from my community see me as a role model. People in the community also want to change their lives, especially those who are experiencing abuse in their lives. Even though I do not earn much I make small contributions to those in need in my community. I help with transport fares and I help teach those who are interested how to plait. I wish Gender Links could assist with funds to help me grow my business and give me a certificate that could open opportunities for funding.

I suffered from low self-esteem before I attended the training. I did not think I could one day run my own business. But after the training I gained confidence and am even more encouraged by scooping second place at the national summit. The challenges I now experience with the business include the fact that I am still looking for an affordable place to rent in an accessible place where my customers will be comfortable. Running a business from home is very challenging as most customers feel that it is not professional and doubt the outcome.

In future I see myself running my own salon in a good place that customers will not struggle to access. I also want to try other businesses such as selling my own beef and donkey biltong as I have notice that people love them.

Finally I would like to thank Gender Links for the great work they did in training us and showing us what abilities we have. They have really changed all our lives because we are now motivated to start afresh and forget about the past. I promise Gender Links that when I succeed in life I will be interested in making a change in other people’s lives, as they did in ours. I pray that God will bless them to keep on doing the great work they do. Thank you Gender Links I am what I am because of you.


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