No easy way up

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 21 September 2016   |   By Staff Writer
No easy way up

Eunice Mmelesi learnt the hard way – to serve in areas she never planned for and yet to grow in stature and confidence to lead 250 sales agents at the moment. She has no regrets whatsoever as the outpost station gave her the best gift ever – a husband. When she was transferred to the far west to head the Letshego Gantsi office, Eunice Mmelesi felt she was thrown to the deep end. Far from her family with not even a single acquaintance, Mmelesi was eager to get back as soon as she could. What followed, she says, was a string of telephone conversations with her leaders, both in Francistown where she was previously stationed and even those at the Head Office where she tried in vain to plead with the CEO to negotiate her transfer. “They both counseled me and told me frankly that I was transferred because of my capabilities and that going back will deprive me of many opportunities in store for me and I eventually stayed,” she recalls.

Mmelesi is currently a Branch Operations Supervisor; Internal Direct Service (IDS) in Gaborone. A position in which she leads a team of more than 250 agents nationwide. She joined Letshego in 2005 as a telephonist, and in 2007 was promoted to be an Approval Assistant and thereafter promoted to be a Senior Sales Officer. It was after this that she was then transferred to Gantsi on promotion again. Although promotions should naturally be celebrated, this particular one brought with it confusion and fear of the unknown. Little did she know that the dusty township of Gantsi will not only unlock her success professionally but change her personal life for the better. The Borolong-born mother of two is now happily married and the catch is she met her husband in Gantsi. This she describes as the highlight of her life. “He is my best friend. We are inseparable. We do everything together; whenever he is away I feel that a part of me is missing,” she said.

Mmelesi regards herself as firm supporter of women empowerment and believes that companies and the government should make deliberate efforts to empower them. “Women should stand together and support each other before anything else,” she says. Just as Letshego Financial Services has helped and empowered her, Mmelesi feels the company has also enabled her to improve the lives of other people. A strong believer in hard work, Mmelesi was raised by her aunt in Gaborone who together with her uncle inspired her to work hard in order to excel in life. “My parents then stayed at the farm and it has always been my dream to work hard and succeed in life so that I could take care of them,” she says.

A self-confessed book worm, that she is, Mmelesi says she had over time enjoyed reading Angela Davis’ work and in fact looks up to her. Davis is an American political activist, a scholar and a writer who advocates for the oppressed. She says she also looks up to Angelina Jolie and Dorcas Makgato. “I am inspired by strong women who aren’t afraid to speak out their minds,” she says. There are, however, two men that played a crucial role in her development – her husband, who she describes as her pillar of strength and Kabelo Kwape, a confidante who has gone out of his way to hear her out and guide her.