Girls and young women in Botswana have opportunities to be problem solvers and contribute to building a sustainable nation due to increased educational opportunities and recognition that their voices count.
Power has historically been held in a dominant/subordinate paradigm, with girls and women in the subordinate posture, which meant exclusion from education, wealth accumulation and policymaking. Leadership is a primary mediator of power because there’s now data that supports the strength of collaborative models of leadership and unlocking human potential effectively in an engendered society. Mmegi correspondent, KELETSO THOBEGA presents eight young Batswana women under the age of 35, who have made strides in contributing to development and flying the country’s flag high. They have used their education, talent and skills to cement their position in Botswana’s social landscape, with great prospects of being future leaders and game changers
Tshegofatso Raditlhokwa - Politics
Politics seems like a no-go terrain for many Batswana women, but Raditlhokwa has risen to the challenge with her chin up. She is the deputy secretary general of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP and the first woman to run for a youth league presidential seat in the country’s history. Although she lost to MacDonald Chillyboy Rakgare, Raditlhokwa cemented herself as a bold female politician in a social landscape that sees many women fearing to enter the political domain.
Gogontlejang Phaladi - Activism and Philanthropy
She describes herself as a child, gender and human rights activist and motivational speaker. She is also the founder and director of the Gogontlejang Phaladi Pillar of Hope. Phaladi began her activism at a tender age of four during the dark days of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Botswana.
Phaladi is now a political science student at the University of Botswana. She still does charity work and works with several organisations to give back to disadvantaged communities and disseminate information related to HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, as well as advocacy.
Tirelo Ramasedi - ICT Development
With her stunning looks, Ramasedi defines beauty with a purpose. She burst onto the scene as Miss Universe Botswana 2010 and during her reign, Ramasedi became involved in several charity initiatives. She later studied Information Technology. Now associated with the Botswana Innovation Hub, as an ICT developer community officer, she has made a mark for herself in the IT industry. She has been part of several programmes related to innovation and empowering young women through ICT skills.
Karabo Loeto – Policy maker
The former chairperson of the Children’s Consultative Forum (CCF), Loeto’s life story is one of courage, hope and boldness. Not surprisingly, she looks up to Malala Yousfzai. Loeto is determined to see as many young people as possible, empowered and independent. The CCF was established in 2010, informed by the Children’s Act of 2009. Its mandate is to improve children’s participation in decision-making. Young people from different districts in Botswana discuss the challenges we are faced with. The 17-year-old Loeto would like to study medicine or economics, which will put her in good stead to continue making an impact on the society.
Marang Molosiwa - Performing arts
Now armed with a degree in drama from the University of Pretoria, Molosiwa first burst onto television screens at the age of 11 as the presenter of the Botswana Television show Mantlwaneng. She later became a director of ceremonies for My African Dream talent show. Molosiwa also featured in the acclaimed local radio drama, Makgabaneng and also acted in a short film that formed part of the Soul City One Love campaign.
Molosiwa continued to fly the Botswana flag high, partaking in several productions including theatre work in South Africa. She was one of the judges at this year’s President’s Day drama competitions.
Samantha Mogwe - Performing arts
With a hauntingly beautiful and melodic voice that has catapulted her to instant stardom in the music scene, Mogwe’s star continues to shine. With her vibrant and refreshing approach to music, Mogwe was recently nominated for the 2015 African Music Magazine awards, (AFRIMMA) to be held in the USA. She has also been nominated in and bagged Yarona FM and BOMU awards. Her collaborative song with renowned music star Zeus, Transitions, remains on many play lists and reminds us of how Botswana is pregnant with rich, urban musical talent.
Lillian Moremi - Social development
She is well known as an environmentalist and traveller, but Moremi’s profile extends to even academics and advocacy. She has lent her voice to different organisations over the years, and is the Botswana manager for Ducere Foundation, which has the objective of promoting debate, reading and advocacy. Moremi recently attended the International Antarctic Expedition Leadership programme, which brought together people from across the globe to offer practical solutions to environmental challenges in Botswana.
Amantle Montsho - Sports
She remains one of Botswana’s shining stars, after catapulting the country to sports greatness. She competed in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, World Championships in Athletics, IAAF World Indoor Championships and is a former world 400m championship. Montsho is currently suspended for two years after she tested positive for methylhxeanime at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The two-time African championship gold medalist has remained calm in the midst of the storm of controversy surrounding the doping.