Tonny Godiraone – Botswana

Tonny Godiraone – Botswana

Date: November 30, 2015
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The most important thing is to enjoy your life and be happy – it is all that matters

The first time I was called to attend a workshop with Gender Links I was shocked and happy at the same time because I had never heard about this programme. I thought that it was only for people living with HIV and AIDS. Since then I have become a young woman who is a pillar of strength who managed to escape from an abusive marriage. So many women are in abusive marriages like me and I have helped many of them through sharing experiences and advising as I was encouraged to do by Gender Links. Mostly I advise the women to seek help because am not trained to give advice. Although some criticised me saying that I am a failure in my marriage, I am still standing proud and happy.

Currently I am working on my business plan to submit to the Youth Department to fund my project which is hiring of tents. I am also running around looking for a place to rent so that I can have a trading license. I will also hire chairs and tables and do catering on the side, just to boost the business.

I met Gender Links in 2013 during an “I” story workshop in Kanye. I attended all phases of the training and they were very educational. I think Gender Links should provide certificates to motivate us to work hard. Gender Links has taught me a great deal to help me to be the strong and honourable woman that I am today. I have also learnt how to do a business plan and have used the same plan to get funding.

My life has changed a lot because right now people look up to me as a role model. I strongly believe I am now a business woman since I gained knowledge from the Gender Links training. I also got the courage to end my abusive marriage and be able to stand on my own as my husband was the one who fed me. With the business plan I did as a result of the training, I managed to register my business.

I remember in one of our training sessions Gomolemo told me to stop being playful and be serious as my business idea was the best. She even wanted to cry because she believed in us and wanted to see us as successful business women. This showed me how committed the trainers were to improving our lives.

It was not an easy road to take as divorce was a long process and people judged me. Because of the support I got from my family, I managed to make good decisions and accept how things turned out. Being a single parent is not easy but I can manage well and also I now have savings. As a hardworking and strong divorced woman, people from my community come for advice because they feel I understand better what they are going through. I always refer them to the social worker because I feel am not trained to do this and situations differ from one individual to the next.

In future I plan to start my successful project hiring tents, which will help me better my life and that of my children. I also want to open a boutique and a restaurant using the profit I get from hiring tents.

Gender Links, keep up the good work that you are doing you are one in a million!


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