The lady & her bike: Kefilwe Lobelo

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 12 September 2017   |   By B. Double
The lady & her bike: Kefilwe Lobelo

Kefilwe Sweetie Lobelo is a fashion designer. She has been in the fashion designing industry for almost 20 years. Sweetie became interested in biking because she wanted a form of stress relief away from work. At the time when Sweetie ventured into riding, there were very few female bikers in Botswana. She can recall only two other Batswana female bikers at that time. Sweetie has always been into physical activities. During her youth she played softball and was active in karate. She received an extra boost in motivation when she saw a helmet in the car of another lady, who was a friend of hers. She enquired about the helmet and her friend told her that she was taking riding lessons after work. Sweetie quickly took the number for the riding school from her friend and soon started taking riding lessons herself. Sweetie bought her first motorcycle in November 2011. This was an 800 cc Kawasaki cruiser. She was so nervous about riding that she did not ride it until February 2012! Sweetie bought her current bike –  a 1300 cc Yamaha cruiser – in 2014. It was originally red; however, she recently had a custom paint job done on it. 

Sweetie has ridden extensively outside Botswana. She estimates that she has attended about 30 South African biking events. She has attended the Impala Rally, Sopa Yopa rally, Gemsbok Rally, the Kuruman Day Jol, and Swazi Rally. Sweetie urges women whose husbands and boyfriends are bikers to be supportive towards them. She also notes that female bikers sometimes find it difficult to have relationships because their partners do not support their hobby. Some men are concerned that their partners attend a lot of biking events where they will be surrounded predominantly by men. She points out that such men need not worry. “They (male bikers) treat us like their sisters,” Sweetie says. She says that the male bikers protect the female bikers. She urges the partners of female bikers to attend biker events to support the females. She points out that some members of the public feel that bikes are noisy. However, she would like such people to appreciate that loud bikes help to make other motorists aware of the presence of such bikes. She would like members of the public to know that bikers are not just a bunch of hooligans; many are parents and productive citizens from all walks of life.

Apart from attending rallies, Sweetie does weekend rides, and sometimes uses her bike to commute to work. Sweetie does not know what her next bike will be; however, she believes in moving up in size, so she would like for her next bike to be an 1800 cc cruiser. Ideally, Sweetie would like to have a superbike in addition to her cruiser. She was initially attracted to riding by the admiration of superbikes, but she has always been wary of superbikes because of their high performance capabilities.