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A novice with a dream



MASERU – ’Mamamello Holomo only enrolled with the Lesotho College of Education (LCE) in her home district of Thaba-Tseka after completing high school because of pressure from her parents.

“They wanted me to further my studies to tertiary level so that I could land a high-paying job in future,” says Holomo, the recently elected MP for Thaba-Tseka constituency who is a member of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party.

“But what I really wanted to do was to be a businesswoman, not to further my studies with the aim to be employed one day.”

After graduating with a teaching diploma, she only applied for jobs three times and after failing to land one, she stopped.

“Instead I concentrated on my small business of stocking clothes from South Africa and selling them at home,” the 40-year old told thepost recently.

Calm and collected throughout the interview at the parliament buildings, the elegantly dressed Holomo said she also offered catering services to earn a living.

“Business was my forte,” she declared.

Later, Holomo got married and the couple ventured into a transport business where they bought a fleet of taxis ferrying people in the district and beyond.

“We have Holomo Transport Services, a thriving business in Thaba-Tseka,” she said, beaming with a smile.

The family business is not only helping them to put bread on the table but also helps them to extend a helping hand to the needy children in the area.

Back in 2017, many people approached Holomo asking her to stand for elections under the once formidable All Basotho Convention (ABC) in Thaba-Tseka constituency. She declined the advances.

“I was not ready to stand for elections at the time,” Holomo said.

When business mogul, Sam Matekane, formed the RFP about seven months ago, Holomo says people once again approached her, but this time encouraged her to join the new outfit.

“People in my area quickly realised that the newly formed party had sound policies to transform the lives of Basotho as a whole and they wanted me to be a part of the movement,” she said.

“I instantly accepted the offer. Because I am a Christian, I believe everything happens for a reason.”

Holomo said she did not have time to rest after accepting the offer. She embarked on a house-to-house campaign asking people to join the new party.

“I came pure (and without any baggage) because I had never joined any other political parties before,” she said, adding that the electorate wanted new faces in the political sphere.

So she felt she could not have any obstructions in her campaigns, although she met some resistance from some men who did not want to support a female candidate.
But she soldiered on.

“I enjoyed massive support from women who traditionally vote in large numbers during the election.”

She said she hopes to amass a wealth of experience from meetings of the women caucus in parliament and also use the opportunity to improve the lives of people in her constituency.

While in parliament, Holomo urged MPs to put aside their political differences and unite to work for the Basotho nation.

“I am still a novice in politics but I know what I am going to do in parliament,” she said.

She declined to speak about her aspirations as a politician.

“I cannot say much at the moment but I am determined to deliver for my people and the nation at large.”

Among her priorities is to fight the rampant abuse of women.

“The abuse is so entrenched that at times the abused women are not even aware that they are being abused.

“A lot of work needs to be done to make women aware that they are being abused.

“Both men and women should understand that abuse is bad,” Holomo said.

She says women need to be aware of the laws that protect them, noting that gender stereotypes still existing in homes need to be broken.

“Women should respect men and men should also give women some space.

“In most family set-ups, when women are abused, families want to bottle the abuse against such women and such abuse continues unresolved,” lamented Holomo.

Holomo also wants to empower women in her constituency so that they can compete with men for economic opportunities.

“I am going to persuade women to compete for jobs with men. I want to be a role model in the constituency.

“Women should be brave to represent others in parliament and take on opportunities in male dominated fields,” she said.

Holomo said her husband has thrown his weight behind her decision to pursue a political career.

She said she was married at 19 and had to look after her husband’s siblings because they did not have parents.

“This was a hectic moment in my life because I was still young.

“I was duty-bound to see that those children were properly looked after while my husband was at work,” she recalled.

Asked about her greatest achievement in life, Holomo remained quiet, before saying: “It is this job that I have just got.”

Majara Molupe

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