Mamohapi Letsie – Qomo Qomong Council COE

Mamohapi Letsie – Qomo Qomong Council COE

Date: May 29, 2012
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When I was in high school in my hometown of Quthing, I did Development Studies as a course. We were asked to research politics or politicians, and that is where I fell in love with politics. From that time on, sometimes I would try to spend all day with politicians trying to understand the nature of their work and how do they do it and I just thought that someday I would also like to be leader.

I first met Gender Links in 2011 just before the 2nd local government elections when they were holding women in politics workshop at the Qomo-Qomong Community Council. I was part of that workshop as I was also going to stand for those elections. It was my first time to stand in elections, and the workshop helped me a lot as I was able to plan my campaign. But more important than the specific campaigning skills, the workshop helped me believe in myself, and build my self confidence. I came to know that I have a right to participate in politics, and that I can also encourage other women to participate, and support those who are willing.

Unfortunately, I did not win in the election round, but now this is busy time again in Lesotho where we will be going to national elections, so at the moment I am very busy supporting our candidate here who will representing our political party at the national elections. I am very close to him, as he has been willing to teach me more about politics, and I hope to deepen my knowledge.

There are so many people in my community that I learn from, and admire. Since I was a small girl, I have always looked up to ntate Thato Phats’oane, a farmer in my village. He is a very hard working man and he does not believe in being hired for a job, but has a principle that every person has to work hard to create jobs for other people. Ntate Phats’oane has changed so many people’s lives in this area; he is a volunteer in so many activities, a father, friend, brother and son. This is the kind of volunteer leader I want to be like one day.

I see people like Ntate Phats’oane changing the community, and I know that I am also making a difference. People in my village wanted me to stand for the local government elections, and my political party also wanted me to stand. This taught me that I might be doing something right, if they all want me to be their leader. Being a woman and young like me, sometimes people do not even notice that you are there. But for me as this young woman, things have been different. My community regards me a full member of community and a very important one. This gives me the responsibility and also inspires me to encourage more youth to participate in politics. I hope I’ll have the chance to participate in different workshops, especially about gender issues, as it is still a problem in some areas, and the earlier we can engage people on these matters, the more consciousness we can raise.

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