Tsekiso Mphafi-Lesotho

Tsekiso Mphafi-Lesotho

Date: June 30, 2015
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Tsekiso Mphafi is Mosotho man and lives in Mahloenyeng, Lesotho. He is a councillor in the Makhoarane council. Like any other Mosotho man, Cllr Mphafi believes in his culture and tradition. He is a very strong political leader in his community, and most people describe him as a strict man. Some say he is rude, but he denies this, and says he is actually quiet and humble.

He worked in mines in South Africa for a very long time, but a few years ago he was retrenched and came back home. When he arrived he participated in politics, where he has proven to be very strong and reliable. In 2011, he was a nominee to contest for the local government elections under his political party; luckily, he won at the polls.

He had no light on gender issues, because he only believed in his culture and traditions, and how he was raised as a Mosotho man. Early in 2012 Gender Links came to work with the council, and Cllr Mphafi was part the of the workshop. The four day workshop was about key gender concepts like gender and governance, conflict, and action planning. In the workshop we put all these concepts together into a gendered perspective, and saw how all these issues connect to gender. He thought that it was difficult at first, because he had to adapt, but finally he agreed with them. He gave the example that before he attended Gender Links trainings, he would not dare to cook even if his wife was sick; he would rather sleep with an empty stomach or go and ask for food from the neighbors, because he felt that cooking was only for women.  He came to understand the importance of women, first in his own family. Then it would be simple for him to encourage other men to respect their partners.

As a councillor, he has made sure that he reports back to the community after every workshop he attends. This allows the people in his community to put the information into practice. He concedes than learning and accepting new things at his age is a challenge, but he worked very hard as a councillor to see that people understand everything. And he doesn’t stop with understanding; he makes sure they see its importance, and put things into practice.

He has formed a group of both women and men in his village, who are working very closely with the Gender Protection Unit in Morija. They see that all gender issues are taken care of, and that people practice them in their families. Cllr Mphafi noted that Gender Links has changed his life as an individual and as a council, because at first they did not take into account women at all. They only believed that the council’s decisions should be taken by men; now they are able to decide together as a council.

Cllr Mphafi mentioned that he believes if they can all work hard together, especially with traditional leaders, people will finally realise that gender is not about women being given the opportunity to disrespect men, but that people can be given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of life, both women and men.



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