Lesotho – Tieang Sefali

Date: September 18, 2018
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“Gender Equality is a human right and is everybody’s responsibility” 

“The time is now for the nation to be free”. These are some of the words of Cllr Sefali when he was first interviewed as a driver of change. “It is very difficult to change old people’s minds as they are very firm about these issues and they believe in them so much that they cannot change. Ntate Sefali believes that if these young people can be taught about these gender issues at a very young age it would help a lot as these issues would be instil in them and as they grow their mentality won’t change as they grow. 

Sefali appreciated by his people and regarded as their hero in his village because of who he has become. Many people admire his work especially when they look back where he is coming from.Ntate Sefali believes that women have more potential and they just need to be supported in any way and he strongly highlighted that he saw it when he formed his political party and he still maintains that if it was not because of women and GL experience he would not be where he is right now. 

Ntate Sefali mentioned that working with GL for these so many years has really helped him a lot because there are so many issues or things that he has done and he maintains that he would not have done all those if he was not taught by GL, for example it was very easy for him to address people during his rallies as he has been doing when he was at the council through GL trainings. He formed and registered his party and called it Community Freedom Movement, the reason for the name was that he was happy to see how people have come a long away and fighting for their freedom. 

His aim was to be community councils’ speaker in parliament as he had realised that once parliamentarians are elected they forget about councils and the whole thing did not sit well with him as he could see how they were struggling as councillors. He mentioned that it was difficult for them to even pass their bylaws that would guide them as councils on what should be done and should not. He worked very hard to see that gender issues were addressed during his rallies only because he wanted people to understand such issues and take out this idea that women were being pushed up so that they rule and undermine men. Ntate said that he also felt that way when he first heard about gender and before interacting with GL.He calls himself as a very stubborn and old fashioned person, but through GL he was able to change and for better. 

Ntate Sefali was nominated by his people to enter the National summit under the category of Leadership and was able to won the award two times. He was so happy that people recognised his work and appreciated him. He still smiles even after so many years when he remembers the interaction and could not stop talking about how the workshop opened his eyes. Ntate Sefali could not hold his  laughter as he remembers how little jealous he was when he realized that some councillors were aware of Gender Links work and were able to answer questions very quickly and he was struggling as GL had been working with them before he was elected as a councillor. But that did not stop him from pursuing what he wanted and he admitted that he realised his potential from that time. 

 “Before I became a leader, I thought that it was only men who could make the final decisions and be leaders. Since I became a gender aware leader, I understand that women are very powerful; they can have a say and be leaders too. I ensured that men understand that women are not children and can make the right decisions.” Ntate Sefali said this in his first ‘changing lives’ and he still maintains that. 

Ntate Sefali mentioned that he wants to see both women and men in all decision making positions and he volunteered as a teacher to teach at the Non-formal Education project for herd boys, he is doing this as he felt there was a need to help boys at a very young the importance of women and how should they treat women. He believes that gender issues should start at the families on how boys and girls are raised. He is very happy that so many people have benefited from that project because most of them never thought that one day they would be in a class room. 

Ntate Sefali ended in a note that even though 2016 has been going well in terms of his projects but there few challenges that would sometimes make him doubt his work and wanted him to quit but through GL office and his community member he managed to push through.