Sense Mokoti

Sense Mokoti

Date: March 31, 2016
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Sense Mokoti – Chobe

I am a lady of 54 years and was married in 1992, had 4 boys in the marriage and divorced in 2003. I looked down upon myself and had nothing to do until I met Gender Links and they educated us on abuse and how to move from being a victim to being a survivor. Before the training I hated my ex-husband and all his family as I felt they wasted my time with this marriage. This time I relate well with the family. The bitterness is gone. I can talk to my ex-husband in a friendly manner, we are even in the same village committee in Kachikau. He has moved on and re married and I do not have a problem with that.

It was in 2013 when my best friend Gladys Simon who invited me for a Gender Links workshop. I attended all the workshops offered. They taught us on how to boost our self-esteem and they taught us on business skills. Now I am a changed person thanks to Gender Links. The most important for me was selecting the business I wanted to do, pricing, business plan writing and computer skills. In all every topic offered was very useful. My main challenge was lack of concentration but the more I attended the more interesting it became. I then put more effort in studying and had to wait anxiously for the next training.

Before I participated in the workshops I had very low self- esteem and I would sit in front of the television for hours on end not seeing what was being shown. I would run out of electricity and go house to house borrowing as little as P10 to buy electricity. This time around am at a point where I am constructing my cultural home a business which the training helped start. I was taught how to identify a business by identifying needs in our community. The Gender focal person and my chief encouraged me to push and start the business. I have already started by constructing a Bushmen hut and my business was rated best at regional summit and second best at regional summit. I am seen on TV and I am the talk of the town after winning two awards at the national and regional summit.

I have realised that there is a link between gender based violence and economic empowerment because when you are financially independent you do not annoy anyone by asking for this and that. You buy what you want when you want it with your own money and within your means. Ladies in my community love to associate with me. They heard about me on radio. They also want to meet with GL officers as they too want the same lessons given to me by GL.

As difficult as it is to change laws but I have changed the way people relate to me. Whenever there is an event I take the opportunity to educate people on abuse, self-esteem and economic empowerment. In my journey with Gender Links I have learnt that for me to be able to achieve I need to start by believing in myself. I am doing my best to apply what I have learnt practically in the business that I have started.

I hope that in future my business will flourish since I know the dos and don’ts in business and not to quit when you encounter problems. In 2030 I see my business that I started as small Bushmen hard having expanded and having many cultural huts for tourists to spend a night in and have a cultural experience. I also want to have started a curio shop that sells cultural items and having expanded to other villages and holding cultural events.

My life has changed and I feel like a millionaire and a celebrity. Kgosi and the Magana – ka – kgomo cultural group a planning an official launch for my cultural village. The women have pledged to assist me with the construction of mud huts. Lastly I have learnt that plans are underway for Gender Affairs to fund individuals. I am forever grateful to Gender Links for opening my eyes and making me realise my potential.