Dikeledi Kgosietsile – Botswana

Dikeledi Kgosietsile – Botswana

Date: September 2, 2015
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All should come on board as GBV issues respect no boundaries.

Changing one person’s life adds value to the future generation.

Gender Links shaped my character as an individual. Being a young woman in the forefront of an institution gives me the opportunity to meet different people. Some think they can take you for granted as a young woman. Gender Links armed me with all the necessary tools to stand my ground and understand that I am a role player around issues of gender based violence.

Intergenerational affairs are a challenge in our society, however as a driver of change I managed to encourage one young fellow who thought we could have an intergenerational affair. I thought he disrespected me because I am a woman, I agreed to meet him and try to understand why he would approach me as a married woman. He told me that married women are responsible and able to take care of young lovers. I told him that although he might be an orphan that is not a passport for him to destroy his life and just sell his life to older people. I encouraged him to look for a school and stop ruining his life with sugar mummies, as they would destroy his life and then move on with their lives.

Currently the young man, who is 10 years younger than me, is a student at the Technical College. I am now a sister to him and we share life skills and I encourage him to work hard and be a better person in the future.

I am a Public Relations Officer for Selebi Phikwe Town Council, therefore I have the opportunity to work with different people from all spheres of life and share the gender based violence message with these people.

I was introduced to Gender Links when I joined the Gender Committee of the Selebi Phikwe Town Council in 2012. Being on the Gender Committee allows individuals to work tirelessly to spread the message about gender based violence. At times it is hard because, for the previous year, our council was represented by a male person. I doubted my ability as a woman to represent our council (it was a mind-set problem). Also, resources are not easily available and the recipients, the public, are not keen to listen to the messages given to them, as they believe that Gender Links is corrupting the minds of the women so that they do not listen to their husbands or boyfriends.

Mrs Segopotso Dikai, the Selebi Phikwe Town Council Gender Focal Person, encouraged me not to doubt myself and to believe in the work I do, as one cannot give what one does not have. Mrs Dikai believed in my potential, hence I managed to take the gender baton and carry the message to my fellow workers and people around me.

During the sixteen days of activism against gender based violence, one woman said that she was hiding her contraceptive pills in a food basket. We discouraged this and encouraged her to talk with her husband.

The Gender Affairs Coordinator in Selebi Phikwe Town, Ms Patricia Masase, encouraged me to understand that taking up gender issues is done through love and is a special calling for people who want to see a significant change in their society. One needs to be willing to sacrifice one’s time to serve the community with love.


Before learning about gender issues, Dikeledi was living with her partner, as she did not know that abusive relationships are encouraged by cohabiting. However, as a driver of change she realised that it was important to encourage her spouse to make things right before the law of the county and do justice to their children so they could understand their inheritance. Her status in society and in her family life has changed.

There has been immense change in my life, firstly gaining knowledge of gender has compelled me to change my life style and work well together with my partner to ensure that we get married. This assisted our children to have their father’s surname. Currently we are building a home which is easy because we are united in holy matrimony, thank you Gender Links.

The Good Samaritan Association helped us with marital counselling by Pastor Rriksson and Sinah Teemane from the Apostolic Faith Mission Church. The Good Samaritan Association is an NGO in Selebi Phikwe that deals with issues of GBV in a Faith Based Organisation. As a member of the Gender Committee, I managed to rub shoulders with people who made it easy for me to take the message to my fiancée and through their help we are now happily married.

At home duties are shared well and respect is the foundation of our home. The whole family understands that everything should be done for the benefit of us all, there is no “my”, instead it is “ours with love”! Our children understand that as their parents we treat each other well and even as siblings there should be equal sharing of household chores, whether one is male or female.

Being knowledgeable about gender influences me to speak with my colleagues, such as young women who believe it is fine to have relationships and change boyfriends if and when they want. I sit and discuss with them at lunch time and tell them how negative it is to waste their precious time in the way they live.

Some are dating different people and I openly discourage it and try to tell them that it is better to live in an acceptable way and that one has to look into the future and be proud of one’s deeds.

Personally I learnt to share the knowledge I have with others, as gender based violence does not respect any boundaries. I learnt to use every opportunity given to me to speak out against GBV. During the International World Men’s Day, which was held in Selebi Phikwe, I also learnt about men’s health.

As a Gender Committee member in Selebi Phikwe Town Council, I participate in information dissemination to ensure that gender messages reach our society. The information is used to encourage others to stay away from abusive relationships. I give feedback to Gender Links through the District Gender Affairs Office or the committee.

There are many challenges in disseminating the message about gender. The public are often misinformed and think that gender activists encourage people to lose their culture and start to be disrespectful to their husbands. However, we take time to discuss the message and allow them to understand and ask questions to deepen their understanding.

For the future, I believe it is essential to teach primary school children as they are easily accessible and working for local government it is easy to arrange to address our local primary pupils through our Gender Champion, Mr Letumile Molodi. Information learnt by young minds will have an impact in the future as these will be young informed people, and they can practice what they have learnt.

“Be the change you want to see!” Botswana and the world can change to be a better place for all if all stakeholders do their part. Live by example, and never turn a blind eye to issues of GBV as they can corrode the morals of our society.


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