By Thandiwe Kubere
MASERU – At the wail of Basotho women for independence and gender equality, Hon. Nthati Moorosi heard and she answered with the official launch of Boiketlo ba Basali (BBB), an initiative aimed at empowering women in business to come forth and share ideas for growth. The launch saw light the previous week at Avani Maseru, leaving the nation with ravishing comments.
Basotho women were invited from all walks of life, they made sure to show up and fill up the hall. As descriptive as the name sounds -comfort for women, the initiative was founded to be a platform where women can have a safe space to join efforts together on how to achieve financial independence.
The occasion was graced with such beauty, glamour and elegance by women with their different African tradition outfits. The host was proudly dressed in a colorful traditional Ndebele and Xhosa outfit, adding to the already existing brightness in the room.
All with the aim to take a step-a leap of faith, to come up with strategies of assisting each other towards financial freedom and put crowns on one another’s heads. Writing on her social media wall Palesa Manamolela asks a question “When beauties with brains collide, what do we get?”
Women from small, medium and large enterprises, even those who have thought of venturing into business but get cold feet, were invited to the launch. “The fact that are here means a lot and we should applaud ourselves for this. Starting something like this has always been in my heart,” said Hon. Moorosi, the Minister of information, communication, science, technology and innovation.
Hon. Moorosi declared there was a time she became aware that gender inequality did not come out of nowhere but was a man-made act. It often becomes a surprise whenever one views the statistics of the richest people in the world and women are far behind even though they work both hard and smart. “What is wrong, what do we have to do?” she asked.
The founder of BBB shared she had a helper way back, who had never gone to school and her whole life she did not know how to do most of the things a woman should. That, Hon. Moorosi says would shocked her. This was to show there are certain women who need to be held by the hand and assisted.
“We have to do this as a deliberate effort to pull and bring them in.” She further said it was inappropriate that women get married, relax and expect men to provide for them, whereas there are some things they can do. Right there and then arose a need for action. She said women are faced with a lot of problems- others are obvious while they cover others really well. She further mentioned she came up with the name “Boiketlo ba basali” purposely because it is time for women to live comfortably and that she was exhausted by the weight women carry. She deliberated that a woman with “boiketlo” is one who is loveable, respected, one who looks affluent and bold.
On that note she mentioned that the main intention for the initiative was to find financial liberation. In this era, financial stability and freedom helps overcome a lot of problems one may encounter. Women often let a number of factors become walls which separate them, including political preferences, churches or social statuses. Therefore, Boiketlo Ba Basali was a platform intended to unify women from different walks of life to share tricks and strategies of what makes businesses successful. A lot of businesses remain stagnant and struggle to prosper while there are others who have found a way forward. The intention is to help women find balance and best possible solutions for struggling businesses so that they grow.
In BBB Founder’s words, this is a sisterhood programme because when one regards the other as a sibling, they will effortlessly give them guidelines of starting a business and making it successful. They will also alert and refer them when opportunities come up.
“Let us be those women who lend a hand to one another. Let us become salts and light over each other’s lives. Let us open doors for each other because we often tend to be self-centered. I’m here to plead with you that we become women of a difference stance who uplift each other,” she remarked.
She further said it is time women start having conversations about businesses and how to put food on the table. She lastly encouraged them to hold hands and help each other strive forward. Moreover, to support this, there will be a competition held for different groups of women and those who will get in the top three will stand a chance to win money to establish a business.
The Deputy Speaker of the national assembly, Hon. Ts’epang Ts’ita Mosena expressed her excitement for the start of such an impactful initiative which has the potential to positively turn the lives of Basotho women around. She quoted Hon. Moorosi when she said women do not really support each other or mention others at the rise of opportunities. Hon. Ts’ita-Mosena mentioned it is difficult for politicians to engage in acts of goodwill in humility because everything they do is often associated with politics or agendas. She therefore applauded Hon. Moorosi for taking the step regardless. She further conveyed her enthusiasm in that Hon. Moorosi has opened the door for progress and for other women to join in with similar initiatives. She then urged women to stop pulling each other down because of their titles or academics and commended them for their unmatched beauty and brilliance.
“From the bottom of my heart I want to say to all of the women gathered in this place, looking beautiful to drop the PHD title – Pull Her Down syndrome,” Hon. Ts’ita Mosena stressed.
“Yes we may have different ideologies on who to follow politically, but the unity that has brought us here, should be the unity that puts us together. So let us put our political differences aside as well as the hate and jealousy. Mme Nthati, this is huge and this is God’s glory manifesting through you.” Hon Ts’ita Mosena encouraged women to support this initiative because it was brought up for their benefit. People often believe their good deeds are for the benefit of others meanwhile that is not the case. “I always say, do your best where you are. Give your all because you never know who is looking, but God is looking and the glory will come to you at the appropriate time.”
Amongst the small enterprises invited was Khathang Tema Baits’okoli. “The reason I am here is because I know my identity: I am a woman born and raised in this country, nurtured by women in this country therefore I cannot stand here and disappoint them”, said a representative, Mamolise Lawrence.
She said being from the micro sector does not shame her because it contributes in the economic growth of this country. In her words, the economic growth of this country lies on the shoulders of women. “I am addressing women who still have the anointment of bringing out their light to shine in this country. We are all here with a similar language, which is the gender development policy of 2018-30 which we hope this initiative will change, the counter domestic violence Act and formalizing the informal sector.”
She further stressed that people who are addressed as “baits’okoli” are those who have been and are still advocating for working space, highlighting the potential for economic growth is in the streets of this country.
According to the reception of the launch, to what it seemed, it was a definite success. Basotho on social media could not keep quiet, especially on Facebook, of the idea well thought and the job well done. In hope of what lies ahead are the good fruits of this initiative towards women empowerment. Below are some of the comments about the event.
The big day we have been long waiting for is here. Launching Boiketlo Ba Basali Foundation. Thank you Jesus-“ Hon. Nthati Moorosi on her wall.
A day well celebrated. Boiketlo Ba Basali launch. An information hub! What shall I render to the Jehovah, for he has done so very much for me? – Maleboto Mahao
Lesotho will never be the same. Good work mama. Keep it up.
If she gives this the dedication it deserves, all shall run smoothly. It would really be great if women join hands and work together. Personally, I wish this initiative all the best. I give it thumbs up- Ntate Tichere.
What an honor to be invited in such an auspicious event hosted by the one and only Hon Minister Nthati Moorosi. Oh I am so humbled! Mots’elisi Eunice Masupha.
What a day! I feel inspired by Boiketlo Ba Basali already – Nthakoana Ngatane, who entertained the women at the event.
I am super proud of you Antha oa rona Nthati Moorosi, at official launch of Boiketlo Ba Basali – Nthole Moorosi from Easy Eats.
Some showed how important it was to be present, including the likes of Mots’elisi Eunice Masupha, “soalakahla ka hare ho batho. We have honored the invite. We are grateful for Boiketlo Ba Basali.
‘M’e Puseletso Ramokhethi remarked the occasion and was sure not to miss out in her red Seshoeshoe design.