Winning WIR essay by Moiloa Maleshoane


Moiloa Maleshoane

Form E


Women in Lesotho are very strong. Even if they are poor, they don’t easily give up. It is significant to say that women are to be cared for and respected in the whole world. ‘Mateboho Lerotholi, ‘Mareitumetse Mokhoro and ‘Makatleho Pitso captured my imagination, and showed me how one should face and win the challenges brought by life.

‘Mateboho Lerotholi is the founder of Khathang Tema Bait’sokoli. She is very important to Basotho. In view of this concern, she helps to protect street vendors against bad conditions. Again, she is also a member of a women’s association that helps to save money.

‘Mateboho is one of the women who believes that “out of sight, out of mind”, because she is a single woman who was divorced and kept going. It is known that “least said, soonest mended”, so she took care of her family, paying school fees for her children. She also built her own house.

When I look at ‘Mateboho Lerotholi, it comes to my mind that life is not all about education. To add to this: I am a student who sells vegetables after school to raise money for my school fees. I am proud to say that ‘Mateboho inspires me as a student.

Turning to ‘Mareitumetse Mokhoro, who is the organiser for the Lesotho Clothing Allied Workers’ Union (LECAWU). ‘Mareitumetse inspires me because she seeks to represent the rights of factory workers who are women. She said that, in some factories, only men get promotions.

‘Mareitumetse went out of her way to speak about the problems that women factory workers face. She left her job as a factory worker to fight for women’s rights outside, so that the factory management had no control over her. She hated the fact that in some factories only men get promotions and men earn more than women, even when they are doing the same job.

To quote Chinua Achebe: “Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.” ‘Mareitumetse has shown the same resilience and adaptability. She left her work to fight for equality between men and women. She is a single mom raising four children.

Here is a piece of news: my mother is also a single woman raising three children, and she also works at a factory. I sometimes get expelled from school because of outstanding school fees. When this happens I have to stay out of classes. My mother wakes up early and works hard for nothing. It is my contention that all women must rise up, struggle and fight for their rights. In a nutshell, I do believe that I will finish school, because my mother is a fighter.

As already stated, ‘Makatleho Pitso is another woman who should be remembered. She educates people about HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality and a range of life skills. She was raped, but for a long time she did not talk about the incident. As ambitious as Lady Macbeth, ‘Makatleho wants every woman to understand that men are not superior to women. Likewise, women also need to stand up for themselves and for others. She goes on to say that women should be able to say “no” to men if they don’t like their ideas.

‘Makatleho wants young people to understand the importance of speaking out about rape. She says: ‘’the person who has been raped should never be blamed.” ‘Makatleho says that there will never be an end to gender-based violence if people do not speak out whenever they see or hear about rape happening in their communities.

Speaking out about rape helps the victim to get medication and to get tested for other diseases. This reminds me of a friend of mine who was raped. She told me about it, but I didn’t tell older people about it. I have made it my own secret and have not spoken out about it, even until today. As a result, my friend did not get tested and did not get medicine, so she fell pregnant and her child was born HIV positive. Today, I say that my life has been useless, but I have seen everything in it. Today, I am able to speak out about violence.