Manoosi Khetsi-Likila Council COE

Date: September 18, 2018
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Manoosi Khetsi is a well-respected and very powerful woman in her village, both in politics and in other social development activities. 

She is the councillor at Likila Council from the Tsime village where she also works as a village health worker on a daily basis when she is not at the council. Her career is challenging as she serves a remote village of Lesotho, particularly in this era of HIV and AIDS. She is heavily involved in care work and has encouraged many women and men to join the care work to support those living with HIV and other related diseases within the village. 

Khetsi first met Gender Links (GL) way back in  2010 during the workshop held for women who were standing for local government elections, she was fearless powerful and strong. She believed in herself so much that she did not act like she was going to contest for the elections, but it was as if she had already won the elections and she had already knew what she was expected to do. Unfortunately she won the elections and she met with GL again then that Likila is GL Centre of Excellence (COE) and continues to interact with GL through her council work. She regularly attends GL workshops during COE workshops. 

Khetsi has inspired many people in her village with the work that she is doing as a woman. She was aware that men were still reluctant to assist women in the support groups and she worked very hard and encouraged many men to join and support groups the various groups she works with that care for sick people in her village. “Me Manoosi was very persuasive and encouraged us to help women in our different villages, to be honest I didn’t want to as I regarded care work as women’s work, but through her I was able to join with other men and realized how important this was” Ntate Motebang said, one of the men in Tsime’s Village that Khetsi has influenced her life. 

More men now understand the importance of being part of support groups in the village. Men previously viewed care work as a woman’s job; however, Khetsi’s advocacy work on the issue has influenced men to understand that care work is for everyone. More men are now joining the support groups as a result. 

Khetsi has a lot of influence in her village because she is a very strong political leader and for her that she won two awards during the National Summits under the category driver of Change/leadership has even made her more popular and respected. People listen to her so much that they even ask her to be available and motivate people during public gatherings. Khetsi has worked so hard to make people aware that together they can do so much to see that Gender Equality is achieved. . She views these qualities-strength and attentiveness-as the main reasons why she is able to make a difference in so many lives and thanks GL for opening her eyes and always holding her hand. 

“They called me names, but I got support from some people, who advised me to change my tactics assuring me of winning more support in the village,” said Khetsi. 

“I am not afraid of men and I don’t choose what I want to do just because people have different opinion”, Khetsi said. She mentioned that she is now in a position to do whatever she feels is right whether people believed is for only men or what. She highlighted that she has turned her life into examplenary where people take pride in her and support her. Khetsi says she has learned a lot working with GL, and she has gained skills on conflict management and how to empower women economically. Support groups also engage in small scale farming like production of vegetables for better health. 

Khetsi acknowledges that support from other women is important to her success; in particular when women helped men to understand the necessity of being involved in care work. They helped each other realise that care work does not only involve washing the sick but also involves many issues like counselling, which involves entire families and communities to support each other. As a politician, she believes that she has to help people change their own lives. Since they elected her into Council, her community also hopes that she will be able to influence change. 

She still maintains that is time for women to show the world that women are equally capable like men to bring change in peoples’ lives. Men should not feel intimidated by the presence and success of women but rather they should take advantage of that and work together. Many people are inspired by others who do good things, so this can easily change other people’s lives in that they would want to associate with such people and also do good things.