Motlalepula Mothibi – Botswana

Motlalepula Mothibi – Botswana

Date: November 25, 2015
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The key to success is hard work and determination

At the first Gender Links (GL) workshop I attended, a few of us did not really pay much attention to the facilitator, but it was amazing how fascinated we were by the testimony of one of the participants. That day was a turning point in our lives because we realised how serious gender based violence (GBV) was. We could read the pain and despair that woman had been through from the way her voice trembled and tears constantly rolled down her cheeks. There was silence in the room as she narrated her story. As she shared with us how she was abused, we also realised how serious GBV was because most of us had experienced it, but her life story inspired us instead of breaking us. When she finished I saw hope in the eyes of everyone in the room.

We also acquired a lot of knowledge and skills about entrepreneurship from the workshop and the first thing that came to my mind was my lovely friend. I was so concerned about her because all she did in her life was work as a helper, despite the potential I saw in her. I did not know what do to help her until I attended GL workshops. I advised her to start up a small tuck-shop business and she never hesitated and opened a tuck-shop with her next salary. She started off by hiring a shop keeper and later she ran the business by herself. Despite that, her business is a bit sluggish. Her biggest challenge is that she does not save the profit but I hope that she will soon learn how to save. I also encourage people experiencing abuse from my community to go for counselling.

I am a business woman aspiring to register a company. I sell oranges and bread (diphaphatha) and my business is running smoothly. Despite this, our challenge during training was that we did not understand all the necessary topics because of the limited time we had. The facilitator was in a hurry and I failed to grasp the bookkeeping topic, but all in all I was impressed by her. I managed to learn how to conduct market research and as we speak I am able to do it and it is very helpful in my business. I am so grateful that I am able consult my customers and get feedback about my goods and services. They are supportive and interested in what I do. My family members also motivate me by helping me sell my goods and my boyfriend feels inspired by what I am doing. He also wants to start a business so that he can help me support our children. People also seek advice and guidance on how to run a business from me and I am always keen to help.

Gender Links training helped me a lot. I am now knowledgeable both about operating a business and about abuse. I am grateful to Jwaneng Town Council for signing me up for Gender Links training. I am also grateful to the Jwaneng gender focal person, Mme Oaitse, for encouraging me and telling me to join this training. My life has changed because I now have income and I can support my family. I also know that I do not need a man to give me money, I can make my own. There is no abuse in my life because I realised that I had to change the way I was living. I am now happy and I have my own business.

The challenges on my training journey were that we had limited time, especially on topics like book keeping and business plans. Another challenge was that I had difficulty finding money for transport to attend the training sessions. With patience I overcame those challenges because I managed to attend all the training. My biggest challenge now is to get funding for my business.

In future I want to see myself owning a big company. I will start by slowly growing and improving my business. I also want to own a lodge. I now know that I can do whatever I want in life through hard work and determination. I am very grateful to Gender Links for improving my life and I encourage them to keep up the good work and continue training others.


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