Vibrant local women NGO – Mosadi Khumo – goes beyond lifting the aspirations of women entrepreneurs from start-up to creating an exclusive platform for those who have made it. The association’s President Bookie Monica Kethusegile is more than passionate about empowerment of women. KEITEBE KGOSIKEBATHO reports
A women empowerment Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Mosadi Khumo’s apt tagline goes – “Moving women from poverty eradication to wealth creation.” The organisation’s well-articulated mandate is to harness and leverage woman’s power to transform and impact society at large by utilising the value chain system model as well as to take deliberate actions to invest for and to assist women invest and grow their businesses, income and wealth; creating jobs and alleviating poverty in the process. Founded and registered in August 2014, the organisation has made strides, now with a presence in almost all major villages countrywide. Mosadi-Khumo founding President Bookie Kethusegile says they have more than 1000 members who are actively participating in its programmes. Kethusegile stresses that the organisation was established with full knowledge that there are others like it who may be offering the same service, thus their aim is to supplement and complement what is already on offer for the benefit of female folks of course. “Our aim is to maximise opportunities and accelerate advances that are being made to women,” she says.
She explains that Mosadi-Khumo is a forum, which assists women to access products available for their empowerment. Members of the NGO are afforded support; they share ideas and are hence able to grow as a group. The group, according to Kethusegile, is some sort of a safety net for women. “We offer a safe environment where women can feel free to share ideas with other women and contribute towards each other’s growth,” she said. According to Kethusegile, they offer empowerment to women through self-training and formalised training. It is their aim, she says, to offer women unlimited space to grow, explaining that they believe that days where women were limited by either societal beliefs or economic factors to grow beyond expectations are long gone and buried. This, she says, is the reason why Mosadi-Khumo caters for both Small and Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and high-end entrepreneurs who are reaching for and breaking glass ceilings hence they have a Women Millionaire’s exclusive club. Kethusegile credits their immense growth and success to a strong foundation which she says provides pivotal support in the smooth and efficient running of the NGO. They have conceptualised grounding pillars, which are 12 structures consisting of vertical standing committees; internal communication; the external communication; Women millionaire’s exclusive club; Young Women and Young; Elderly; Aging and Special needs and the Dikgosi. There are also horizontal structures which cater for various sectors that women engage in which are either ad hoc or permanent.
Above all Kethusegile explains that Mosadi-Khumo base its operations on a three-pronged approach that is critical to the efficiency of its structure. Firstly they empower women to either start up or to grow their businesses in a profitable manner. Secondly they believe in creating multiple streams of income for women to diversify their investments. This, she says, is done deliberately to encourage women to open up and grow their wealth. And lastly, they harness and leverage capacities of women by affording them meaningful engagements. It is no doubt that women are thirsty to alleviate themselves from poor economic conditions and are always willing to engage for their economic liberation. Kethusegile sees the only limitations being knowledge and information flow and socialisation. When explaining the latter, Kethusegile further blames societal stereotyping and gender roles for limiting women and deterring them from being as successful as their male counterparts. Just like other organisations, Kethusegile says that Mosadi-Khumo is not without challenges, citing financial constraints among them. She explains that as an independent NGO they have used their own resources to set up their organisation and called for support from the corporate sector.
Bookie Monica Kethusegile – President, Mosadi Khumo
The 59-year-old Kethusegile is a mother of three daughters and has one granddaughter. Originally from Mmadinare, she stays mostly in Gaborone where she is into business. She has served in senior management positions in the Ministry of Education as Head of Educational Publications Unit of the Department of Curriculum Development and Evaluation; Service Quality Consultant at the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC); Head of Women in Development Southern African Awareness Programme (WIDSAA) at Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC); Technical Advisor for Gender at the SADC Secretariat; and Assistant Secretary General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. Through participation in the development of, and interaction with regional and continental policy instruments, and advocating for their implementation, she has acquired a profound understanding and articulation of women’s empowerment and gender equality/equity issues as well as issues of democratic governance and regional integration as central to people-centred development and poverty eradication. Now an Investor, Entrepreneur and Business Woman, she passionately advocates for, and motivates Women of Africa to participate in the economic development of their countries and of the continent. She is also a passionate philanthropist supporting less privileged sectors of society, with a positive bias towards women and potential women investors.