Lebohang Matsepe – Likila Council COE

Lebohang Matsepe – Likila Council COE

Date: July 1, 2015
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I am Councillor Lebohang Matsepe; I have a wonderful memory of Gender Links, because I was able to learn in depth about gender issues, and that made me realize the importance of every creator in this world. I am saying this because I learned about a lot of issues. Some I did not understand before, and it was an eye opener.

I am a Mosotho man, and I have been with my family my whole life, but I knew for sure that I was not supposed to do some of the chores in the household. They were regarded as women’s work, and even if I wanted to help my wife I would not. I am a farmer, and I spend most of the time in the gardens. I help orphans with the food I harvest, and I sew clothes for them. I like to help my community in any way that I can, and most people do not understand how I do it. Whenever I do something for my family I always remember that there is somebody out there who really needs my help.

In 2011 I contested for the local government elections, because my community encouraged me to do so. I did not want to, because people believe politicians are the worst liars, so I did not want to be associated with them. I did not want to change; I wanted to stay true me. They begged me, saying that there was nobody to fill that place, and I agreed. Fortunately, I won the elections. Though I was doing so many things, especially jobs that were regarded as women’s jobs like sewing, I did not know I was way ahead on gender issues. I was just doing them because I thought there was a need and both men and women can do them.

Early January came, and Gender Links came to work with our council. They were going to do a project called Centres of Excellence, and Likila was the council chosen in Botha-Buthe district. Basically, the project was just to help councils plan their activities, budgeting, and bearing in mind gender issues. After the trainings I was able to put every thing into perspective. For me it was not difficult, because I was already doing things about these issues. I held public gatherings talking about gender, and most people did not have any problem with it. Men were difficult, but I tried to talk sense to them, showing how women and men should be equally.

I was able to encourage men to support their partners, and make decisions together. Gender Links has played a major role in my life, because I gained confidence and continue to do what I was doing. Most men in the village were saying I was a woman, because I was doing what they referred to as women’s chores. I encouraged more men to also join the support groups and support our women councillor. We even elected a chairperson and deputy again, and they are women.

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