Date: September 5, 2018
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Even after these so many years ‘Me’ Mamakhefu Ramaema still remembers vividly the very first time she encountered with Gender Links (GL).Ramaema was the person who has been pushing the council to call GL as she highlighted that it was because she heard so much about GL from other councils and the work that it was doing with those councils and she did not understand why it had not visited Sephokong Council. Finally the time came GL went to Sephokong where Ramaema was part of the management meeting as she was chairperson of the Social Service at that time.

Her energy and passion when she talks about gender issues it is so amazing. Ramaema was born in Maoa-Masooana in the Leribe district. She had always been a very strong and passionate young girl who was not scared of any kind of challenge and she mentioned that challenged made who she is today. The fact that she was a very brave child and raised by strict parents shaped her so much and most of things women scared to do is not the case with her, “GL came at the right time and I could not be here if it was not because of the knowledge I gained from their various trainings” she highlighted with a smile.

When asked about the love for politics she could not hide the happiness in her as she mentioned that even though she was a very busy person she would still make time for her political party activities as she felt it was a good thing to do and at that time it was something strange for a young woman to be seen in political grounds, but she loved what she was doing and people were supporting her.

Since she was a very active member of her political party she was elected as Secretary General of the constituency and that where most people eyed her and later encouraged to stand in for the Local government elections and she won for the two terms consecutively .So her role as a councillor was to see that all the small roads are well maintained, people had access to clean water and encourage women to volunteer in support groups. After these two terms she felt it was time that she steps down and do other projects

Although people in her area were not happy that she did not want to stand in again for the third time for the 2017 for Local Government elections, she felt it was time and needed to recruit other people. Ramaema believes she is where she is because of GL and the work it does, she mentioned that she changed so many people’s lives with the knowledge she gained through GLs work. She remembered one incident where she was holding a public gathering and she was talking about gender stereo types and how men were so angry that they even threaten to beat her up and they were saying she behaved like she was not married, but she handled them very well and tried to explain everything until they were calmed down and were able to have decent discussions. When the meeting was over some of them came to her and thank her for opening their eyes.

In her closing she mentioned that even though she has resigned from politics she still goes to the council to support and encourage women councillors to be more independent and take part in all the decisions taken by the council because she realized when she was a councillor most women were not participating and were too shy to raise their concerns. She highlighted that now she is busy with her orchard, working with women in her community. They sell trees and fruits. “Iam happy now because I know that they are bringing something in their tables and their lives have improved’’ She closed Not only those men sing her praises but Masekhonyana Molapo too, one of the entrepreneurs mentioned how Ramaema helped her when she wanted to give up when her business was not working well.” ‘Me’ Ramaema encouraged me to push, she took me to her orchard and told me how she started it and I realized it was not all easy but she pushed harder.’’ Said Masekhonya.