Kelebogile Tshuba – Botswana

Kelebogile Tshuba – Botswana

Date: December 1, 2015
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“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”

“During our first training with Gender Links, we were encouraged to share our experiences as a way of healing. One woman told us her experience, it was very touching and funny because she said her husband would beat her for allowing her parents to visit them but when the parents were there he acted as if everything was fine and he complained to them about not visiting. This made me realise that my life’s challenges were not as bad as I learnt that other people are more abused, especially by their boyfriends or husbands. Money is always the main cause of this,” says Kelebogile.

When she finished her entrepreneurship training, she met different people who were abused and some believed that drinking alcohol was a solution. She shared with them her experiences and how she got help and she also shared with them the knowledge she gained from Gender Links. She saw a lot of change in some of them because they stopped drinking and they are getting help from social workers. She is helping others to learn how to do beading because that is the business she is currently doing.

“The project that I am involved in is beading and I am creating products like necklaces and earrings. Currently, I have a trade license to create different animals using beading. When I met with Gender Links I was in a great deal of pain because of the abuse I got from my family members. During the training I met other women with different challenges and motivating stories (guidance), this really helped me a lot because they managed to assist me and console me. I also learnt how to open a business from this training,” Kelebogile explains.

For the launch of the “I story” booklet, ten councils were invited and different people from all over the country attended. There was a dinner and the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Rre Edwin Batshu, was invited to do the official opening. This was the best moment for the beneficiary as it made her feel special and appreciated.

“The training has changed my life. I feel encouraged to do better and it also made me realise that I can go far with the talent that I have for beading. I am very observant and very cautious of how I do things. Our life at home has also changed, they support me and even help me and I have a ten year old who knows how to do beading. My other son also assists me with book-keeping records, and I am able to sustain my business. This training has also helped me to recognise my ability to open a business and do it on my own. I managed to get help from a poverty eradication project to assist me in starting my business. I went to training for a week and they gave me start-up capital of P5000.00. I now have a trade licence and run my own business. I am living a happy life and doing very well,” Kelebogile asserts.

She adds: “When we were doing the business plan I learnt that we need to have a bank account so that we can keep records of all the expenses and income for the business. I have a company name and certificate, and I have opened an account for the business. The name of my business is KELLY’S BEADWORK.I had support from so many people like Gomolemo from Gender Links, the gender focal person for Lobatse, Mrs Office, Botshelo from Gender Links, Onica, Changu and Lemogang from the women’s shelter and Mma Ntsabane. They have all assisted me in different ways which at the end has had a positive impact on my life.”

The community has changed a lot as now they show an interest in her beadwork. They buy it and sometimes assist her to do the beadwork. There is one woman by the name of Onica Lenkutwane who was patient enough to teach her other beadwork techniques. She also told Kelebogile how she had managed to succeed in her own beadwork business. Kelebogile’s brother who had abused her bought her P400.00 beads to show that he appreciated the work that she does. Some people from the community even come to her for advice, and some have really changed their lives by opening their own businesses such as backyard gardens or cosmetics.

“If Gender Links could assist me to get funding from Gender Affairs it would boost and grow my business. The fact that I did not have a baby sitter for my two year old daughter has been one of the challenges I have had with my journey with Gender Links. My partner was very supportive as he took leave from work so that I could attend this training. In future I believe I will be a very successful business woman owning different businesses all over the country. I send my blessing to Gender Links and hope they are successful in the good work they do in changing people’s lives. I also pray and wish all the women who were trained success in their businesses,” she concludes.


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