Malitebemo Lefeta – Lesotho

Malitebemo Lefeta – Lesotho

Date: June 30, 2015
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Gender Links has really changed me. The first experience I had with the organisation changed the way I present and produce my programmes. I would like to believe that the people who watch the programmes on TV can testify to that. I like the motto “Yes, we must!” This has been enlightening for me, because now I know that we must achieve those 28 targets in the Gender Protocol. So I learnt that I must see to it that by 2015 my programme or the media at large should have done something in order to meet those targets.

The kind of programmes that I produce are a form of investigative journalism. They are community based programmes which touch on many different life issues. I normally call it Miscellaneous; that is a direct English translation of the word I use in the vernacular language. The programmes intend to expose hidden things that both society and government may not be aware of. These may be issues pertaining to women’s rights or orphans. For example, you find that after the death of a husband, a lady is chased away by her in laws from her marital home. You also find that there are people who still think that is normal. So, I want to expose these oppressive things, and say that these are just some of the hidden things that people can experience and consider their culture when actually they are not. They are just oppressive norms. So, we expose such issues, and we want to say to people, stakeholders, parliamentarians and chiefs that they should see to it, so that they can protect the vulnerable women and children. I appeal to the law at both the community and institutional level to be aware of such abuse, so that women and children can be protected from all forms of abuse.

I have learned a lot from my engagement with Gender Links. The application form for the 2014 Summit, and the presentations we are expected to have a portion which asks what you are going to do after your intervention. In the past, I would just produce a programme, broadcast it, forget about it, and go to the next one because I deal with a number of issues in the community. But with GL, I know that I am compelled to follow up so that I see that there is a difference. I have to monitor and evaluate the efforts I have put in, so that I can see the impact that has resulted for my beneficiaries.

Working with Gender Links has also improved my presentation skills. I have really worked on that. Normally when you are a presenter and producer of a programme, people believe that you do not have stage fright. I have changed at an individual level. I now approach gender related issues differently, and with more understanding. I don’t just put something on air. I make it a point to look at the laws and the policies, and try to delve deeper into the subject for the benefit of my listeners. I would say that I have changed a lot, to a great extent because of GL. When people come to me for advice, I am in a position to provide guidance, and I know how to refer people.

I have also seen changes in my colleagues, and even my relatives. I get a lot of feedback on change at the community level. I work with stakeholders and the community at large. After every broadcast, I’m assured that I am having an impact down there, because people call me to give me tip offs or news items.

Some of the things I cannot forget about GL are the presentations, listening to other people’s presentations, and even realising how much people are doing as far as gender is concerned. It was a memorable experience for me, and my first encounter with GL.

I am grateful to GL staff, especially Tate Polo. He kept on urging me to apply, and even called my bosses. He does not hesitate to talk to our bosses about gender, and even talks to our bosses about our programmes to make sure we are including gender issues.

The main challenge for me has been when I have received a tip off, but people do not want to give information; especially ladies. They often come when they are emotional and will give you their story. Then once you want to broastcast it for the benefit of others, she will tell you that she has forgiven her husband and that it’s ok. I wish more people would attend the GL training, especially in the media, because media can be used to make a very great change.



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