Mateboho Lefuma – Lesotho

Mateboho Lefuma – Lesotho

Date: July 11, 2016
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11646_mateboho_lefuma.jpg“Crying over something that I do not have control over it is no longer an option because I have all the determination to move forward with life.”

Mateboho Lefuma started her business selling clothes three years ago. She is a young Mosotho woman aged 30 years and stays in Mantsonyane in the Thaba-Tseka district. When Lefuma started she was selling a small number of clothes to just a few local people because she did not have enough money to buy lots of stock. But after encountering Gender Links (GL) through the entrepreneurship programme she increased the stock because now she had a good market. She mentioned that GL was giving them transport reimbursement and she would just walk three hours from her home to the council for the whole week so that she could save that money and that helped her so much because she was able to increase her stock. The profits she made motivated her to venture into cross border trading. She is now selling her clothes in South Africa and Botswana.

Lefuma highlighted that the entrepreneurship programme equipped her with amazing skills needed for a successful business, such as drawing up her business plan and book keeping. She was now able to do excellent cash flow and this helped her business to grow. When she looked back at her life before meeting GL she saw that her life has changed a great deal compared to the previous years.

Before she attended the GL training she used to run her business without any bookkeeping skills and would sometimes use the stock money and be unable to replenish it. Lefuma now keeps all the records of her business transactions which makes life easier when doing reconciliations and determining whether she has made a profit or a loss. People in her village have noticed the change in her life, so much so that she has found herself becoming a trainer in business skills. She advises people as to how best to manage their different businesses.

People are so surprised when they look at all these changes in her life, because most people only know her as that woman whose husband has left her. She adds that she has earned a lot of respect from everybody around in her village and the support from her family has been amazing. She managed to open a bank account where she will keep money for business to avoid the temptation to use it unnecessarily.

Lefuma mentioned that the skills and knowledge on gender based violence (GBV) that she got from GL have given her the ability to demand her rights and protect herself from all forms of abuse. The training repaired her lost confidence and low self-esteem and gave her a positive outlook on life. She was taught that self-confidence is a very important instrument in reducing levels of GBV. Lefuma also acquired relevant skills and she used these to improve her skills even more and now knows how to communicate with other people. The programme helped her to understand the importance of saving money and it worked very well.

She added that the change in her life is reflected in the way she now relates to close relatives, especially her husband when she meets him, at first it had been very difficult to even greet him. Now things have changed and she has moved on. People close to her have realised that she is a very productive and worthy person who is capable of doing great things once given the opportunity. The community leaders have had meetings to see how she can mentor young boys and girls who have dropped out of school. She concludes that she has learnt how to use a computer and now knows more about it and its importance.

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