Susan Segkwa – Botswana

Susan Segkwa – Botswana

Date: July 1, 2015
  • SHARE:

When she stood there ready to start her presentation I looked at her and said to myself, “She must be one of those bold women who look down upon men and despise them for the little Education they have.” I was completely wrong. By the end of the presentation I started recalling how my fiancée used to abuse me, beating me and denying me interaction with my classmates. As the presentations began to flow, I remember shedding a tear of grief as I remembered all that had happened to me in the past and could not take action as I was ignorant. Thanks to Gender Links for the scriptures of abuse, stereotypes and the importance of women in society not only as child bearer. I am up on my feet and sure about my story and where I stand.

I completed my Cambridge in 1980 and pursued my certificate in teaching in 1983. In 1984 started my career as a teacher. In 1995 I went to train as a Physical Educationist at the University of Botswana. From 1998 to 2000 I furthered my education and acquired a Diploma in Physical Education and continued with my teaching career. I then joined the Councils as a Senior Education Secretary up to date.

I first heard about Gender Links in 2008 from the media. I had an opportunity to be one of the participants in a 3 day workshop in August 2012. I was then fortunate to be amongst those trained as trainers in October 2012. I was first hesitant to attend the workshop, as I had a wrong perception about Gender Links. I thought “Why is it that workshops are conducted by women only and no men amongst them.” I was very wrong! Day by day as I learnt more, the bad moments about my past began to unfold and I felt like, “Ooh my God, why does it have to come to an end!” I wanted it to go on and on.

From the first workshop, I felt baptised. I remembered when I got home on the 26th August 2012; I called my younger sister and hinted to her about the workshop. She knew how I lived with my fiancé, the guy I had three children with and my current husband. It was quite a bitter relationship. My sister was shocked when I told her that I wanted to take a step.

On the 2nd September 2012, I called my husband and told him that we needed to talk. Our relationship was a sour one because on average, 10 out of the 30 days in a month we had quarrels over a lot of issues, irresponsibility, cheating and alcohol abuse. The debate was heated that he started accusing me of having a new lover. Well to me it was not an issue as I wanted to be straight with my story. I remembered he said, “do as you please because I don’t have money and you have a better boyfriend.” All that did not scare me as I knew that the truth hurts. I said no to violence and abuse. I told him that our relationship does not work for any of us. “Since we married, what is it that we have achieved and why not? Is there any point for us to be together when we are not always happy with each other?” He was hesitant and surprised, to him it was like, of all the people, is this the Susan I know who can say that. And surely I did and informed even the relatives who knew me as “Miss Complaint.” After all I am the one who is on the hottest seat; it’s my life that is at stake. It was quite difficult to take the step, but I had to for the sake of my children and the two families who were always solving our issues. Why wouldn’t I get myself out of the mess I got myself into, when I managed to break up with a man I had borne children with?

Gender Links truly has shed a lot of light in my life and now I am a GBV activist. Though it is difficult and I am going through a lot, I can feel a change in my life. Those who had abandoned me for the sake of our fights with my husband now appreciate the step I had taken. I give credit to Gender Links. Because of their education, my life won’t be the same again. I owe Ms Ntsabane and Ms Matshameko a lot of credit for being supportive and taking me through all the stages in building a positive person who can stand in front of people and openly talk about GBV.

What I realised is that I am able to counsel all those around me including my family as I have realised the results of GBV. I am proud that this time, when I talk to my colleagues at work and in my neighborhood, I always tell them to all work at eradicating all forms of violence so that we can strive for a violence-free nation. It is very difficult in life to lose someone you love, and you will never realise if a person is abusive or not if you are love blinded. A lot of thanks to my sister and brother in-law for supporting me through thick and thin as they could understand why I wanted to quit the marriage. They did not look at me like I was crazy, but considered my future.

I have big plans for turning my life around. I intend to embark on a project that will bring together all men and women in my community in eradicating poverty in society using the natural resources like painting, weaving and sewing. In conclusion, I would like to urge my beloved friends, colleagues and relatives to take a step now because tomorrow never comes. “ACT NOW!”

My first meeting with Gender Links was ‘Wow!’ What is it that Gender Links is going to impart with to us? My mind was cloudy and bit by bit it was cleared, and I began to have a new perception about all the myths about relationships. I was stereotyped and considered men to be head of families as a way of cultural influence and the way I grew up. Now I know my limits and rights and will impart all these to other women and the nation at large.


Comment on Susan Segkwa – Botswana

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *