Tumie: The extraordinaire  

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 12 April 2016   |   By Ditiro Motlhabane 
Tumie: The extraordinaire  

Born Boitumelo Mohoasa 30+ years ago to a Motswana mom and a South African dad, but spent most childhood in Molepolole with her maternal grandmother. She goes by the name Tumie to most if not all in circles of her life. “There is not one thing that I can pinpoint as what I had wanted to be when growing up but I will tell you this;  I have been writing since I was little and would probably have thrived in that environment. But we grew up at a time where career only meant office and a pay-slip and at that time being a legal practitioner crossed my mind. But of course a lot happens in life and I obtained my first degree at the University of Botswana in the arts and have gone on to Masters level in Marketing, when now I knew the things I was passionate about,” she says modestly.

Incidental entrepreneur 

Tumie is a business woman who did not set out to be one, but maintains that when something is meant to happen it will. She lost her job in a local bank in 2008 and with two young children to feed – something had to give, she says. She explains how she “accidentally” became an entrepreneur: “During my younger days I was involved with a lot of youth work across the world and that meant a lot of travel. During one of these travels in Argentina, there was a market day in Buenos Aires and thrift shopping intrigued me and unbeknown to me a seed was planted in my head. My purchase of the day was two gorgeous leather bags that would stir people everywhere I went. It really was no wonder when second hand trading and thrifting came as one of the things that I tried to bring food on the table and Second2None-my vintage and second hand luggage and bag store was born and we have been at it since 2008.”

She travels for these "finds" to Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and also trawl the internet. “For the longest time I was doing the business part time as a side job, looking to jump back onto the corporate wagon, but all that has since changed. I won’t look at being employed but to employ,” she says, adding that she runs a fabric store – The Fabric Bin - borne of my travels through the continent celebrating the vibrancy and color of Africa.  For her businesses she has not had any capital injection or help from any of the government schemes.

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Home schooling 

My greatest joy has been being a mother to my two daughters Leshaba and Lewa and I feel most alive when I tackle that part of my life. You see with job loss comes a lot of changes and necessary trimming. When it hit me that it might mean the education for my children might need to be compromised I knew I had to do something. I am an avid reader and I had some time in the past come across the concept of home schooling and when faced with what was happening at the time I hit the internet and did my research, getting excited with each passing minute and that’s all it took, and my mind was made. Near home my niece was home schooling her son, slightly older than my daughter and on my visits to them I was sold. And this would mean more time spent with my little one, I couldn’t think of anything more appealing.

Yes I met a lot of resistance, just starting at home with my parents who are both educators and this meant I had to "prove" myself and I remember asking my mother to give me just a year and when she isn’t convinced at the end of that year we go back to the drawing board. My reasoning also has always been as a mother I have been ordained by God himself to be a teacher to my children, so this would be a natural progression. As I travel a lot one would then wonder about time lost in the child's programme, no worries, she tags along. She tells beautiful stories already and she is exposed to a lot more than she would in a main stream classroom. Her classroom is the world and I can’t think of a more exciting growing up time, can you? We use a US based Christian curriculum, with material sent to us from there and I supplement with a near home-one from South Africa. You ask why from away? Our government has no stand on homeschooling and thus has very little on the subject!

Zumba instructor 

In the business world no two days are the same. This brings me to another part of my life ensemble - I am a Zumba instructor. Zumba is a dance based cardiovascular workout. It is fun and freestyle and works. The gym and all its contraptions intimidate me and following a health scare three years ago and a stern warning from the doctor about the weight I had to lose it came as a winning formula for me and I joined a Zumba class in Gaborone and ultimately a year later I trained to be an instructor myself. I opened a class in Molepolole and I keep to train but get paid to do it. I grew up playing softball from my junior school years all the way to university.

The writer

I write when I need to de-stress and this has led to the birth of my blog hosted by WordPress with the url www.tumiemohoasalatenighthabits.wordpress.com where I write about any and everything. I also have been working on a book that I keep having excuses for not taking to a publisher. It excites me that I could make the book stores, when I stop being scared and doubtful that one day!