Baker Tebogo – Botswana

Baker Tebogo – Botswana

Date: August 26, 2015
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I always attend workshops, but there was something about that Falcon Crest lunch that made me encourage my team to do something sustainable after that workshop. I am a young man who is passionate about social change and youth empowerment. I have been part of a youth organization called YALDA aimed at up-skilling young African leaders for the development of the African continent. For the past three years I have been active in youth advocacy, and have managed to serve as the Head of Media and currently Executive Director at YALDA-UB. I have also represented Botswana youth at the esteemed 8th UNESCO youth forum in Paris, France, and am currently working to implement action projects for the benefit of my peers country-wide. I also work with a team of 4 classmates to sensitize our University community about gender-related issues in ways young people can easily relate to.

I only came in contact with Gender Links for the first time in November 2013. It was the first I knew about the work of Gender Links in Botswana. Since then, I vowed to use my skills, time and energy to do what I can in my capacity and my team to spread the Gender Links message. If only Gender Links Botswana knew the type of sexism that goes on through the use of social networks by young people, they could have a unit dedicated to dealing with that.

Since working with Gender Links, I have learned a lot about gender issues in Botswana. I’ve furthered my academic studies on gender, as a way of measuring and developing my understanding. My intellect and outlook on life in general has changed, all because of the research findings I’ve been empowered with.

GL can take credit for the work I’m now doing on gender, in the sense that it is the entity that evoked an interest in gender issues in me as an individual. Had it not been for that workshop, I would not be aware that what is happening gender-related, in my surroundings! As well, the education I got from the workshop has given me a platform or a chance to use it as a weapon to use my own skills to empower others. GL has definitely given me a chance to network with other change drivers in the country. It is because of GL that I have confidence enough not to be intimidated by society to address gender issues, even though I am male. The evidence is the award I won with my team in the Media category at the GL Awards in 2014 for the work we have done in supporting GL mandate.

What I have learned about gender has definitely had an impact on the people around me. I try to encourage my friends and family members to know when certain acts by those we interact with daily are of a foul nature, e.g. GBV!

Ever since we won the GL award, some of our peers whom we mingle with at school want to start up clubs and movements of their own. They have been so inspired that they want to use their own talents to change their lives and possibly other people’s lives in whatever capacities they can. For example, a classmate of ours has decided to start a magazine after school and become an entrepreneur because they now believe that, “it is up to an individual to use their gift to make a difference in the world”. Another friend has decided to start a campaign against Cyberbullying. The need for the campaign was ignited by the use of sexist terms on social media which we all believe contributes to GBV.

I think it’s important to target young people when it comes to gender issues. Usually youth are overlooked in a sense when gender issues are being addressed and I try to cover that area. It has been a challenge to get sufficient support from media houses to deliver the gender message. However, I’m working to form an alliance which will be successful in reaching a mass number of youths and educate them about gender information in Botswana, as there currently are no such platforms. Thank you very much Gender Links Botswana for providing us with a platform like this to exercise our citizenship.


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