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Time to back other women



Tomorrow we’ll be waiting in long queues in the hot sun only to vote yet another government that is going to throw us into another deep end and watch from the top as they dip their hands in the state’s purse. But that is not where my point is today. Whatever I’d say wouldn’t make a lot of you think twice before voting anyway.

Before I continue with my today’s business, let me say I got really enthralled by the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) this campaign season. We are really going somewhere as a country.

Sometime last month the leader of this party announced that they are heading into tomorrow’s election with 40 percent of female candidates, that is a total of 32 female candidates who will be representing the MEC in the 80 constituencies up for grabs.

Even though this was the party members choice with no pressure from the leader, the party in general is doing everything it can to empower more women in leadership roles, both at party and national level. In 2017 the 36 cabinet members comprised of just five women ministers and three women deputy ministers.

What weight would eight women pull among 28 men? Zero. But should this number increase this season, as the MEC has already put enough effort to empower more women into high office, I tell you we’ll see some ray of light somewhere in the horizon. Why because women have the ability to study even minor details to see where the problem lies with the most diverse views and sense of awareness.

‘Malichaba Lekhooaba’s determination is very promising too. She is the leader of the United for Change (UFC) party. Could she be a game changer? Although hers is a small party, I am impressed with how she walked into this game with full force, highly motivated and she advocates for real transformation.

She reminds me so much of ‘Manthatisi of the Batlokoa. It is funny how women that lived in the past are so much like or more the same like women of today. They possess the same strength and determination and it is so empowering to other women that advocate for gender equality.

In 1813-1824, ‘Manthatisi became leader, as regent, of the Batlokoa people. She was known as a brave, strong and capable leader both in times of peace and war. During great wars this warrior used her power, dedication, bravery and staunch character to keep her people together.

Her intelligence was also remarkable. Her leadership was opposed by many as she was referred to as a foreigner and some people in her community resented being led by a woman but none of this stopped her from leading. Instead of being discouraged by petty talk from her subjects, she remained resolute and headstrong.

A born leader, strong and independent, she would refuse sanctuary and assistance whenever she had to run during wars because the independence of her tribe was her priority. Many tribes hid under her wing in search of security and her subjects referred to themselves as the Manthatisis, according her the tribute given to powerful chiefs.

If you would remember the Moshoeshoes. She had an intelligent way of scaring away her enemies. Once a famous, most feared, woman military and political leader of the early 19th century.

I hate comparison; it puts unnecessary pressure on people. But I think ‘Malichaba possesses almost the same strength as this legend. Here we are talking about a woman with thick skin, a woman who is not shaken by the lack of support women get in this country.

I believe she is driven by the same confidence that has been helping her thrive in the media industry even at times when she would be threatened by politicians. This is a woman who dived straight into politics knowing the dangers of this sea. A headstrong woman who is ready to swim with sharks and help the poor voters of this country.

She describes her passion for media as an inspiration that was sparked by a need to interact with local politicians in order to understand more about politics.

But her interest in politics was sparked by the negligence of our politicians. This is not a power-hungry woman but a woman who wants to initiate change. Her intentions in this game are pure. She took over 20 years to learn and explore politics. I believe she walks in here with nothing but the purest of intentions.

She is an experienced long term leader who saw an opportunity to help liberate people from slavery because we are modernised slaves in this country. A determined woman who has been of help to so many people without any expectations in a very long run. Besides that she is also a God-fearing woman.

In May 2021 her party, the UFC, became the 37th party on the IEC roll and the fourth female-led party in the country after the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL), HOPE and Basotho Liberation

Movement (BLM). My plea, as a woman ready to support another woman, is very simple. When you walk in to office, please keep looking over your shoulder and remember that for a very long time women’s needs have been pushed down the radar in this country.

Help us have a say in everything that happens and help us be recognised as humans and not objects. You said it yourself that “When I fight, I fight with my all and I don’t believe in losing because I have decided to take charge. When I partake in something, I do so wholeheartedly”.

Bokang Masasa

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