Paballo Mokoqo
Paballo Mokoqo , Maseru , 29

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

When I started working at the start of my career, I struggled to find somebody who could clean my house while I was at work. I thought I couldn’t be the only person in this dilemma. On the other hand I was challenged by the fact that many women did not get formal education but can work. I decided to start a cleaning company and employ and empower able bodied women who are not absorbed by the job market. I wanted to empower them through training such that they can realise opportunities for growth and financial independence just like men.

As a start up entrepreneur, I have learnt that most of us fail because of lack of proper training. We are not well equipped with the right skills and attitudes to run businesses. One needs good support system. Basotho are brilliant people with great ideas. But we lack information, networks and platforms where like minded people meet and share ideas, knowledge and experiences as well as mentorship structures. I applaud international initiatives like YALI because one can only learn so much from people around them. Our only salvation may as well be found in entrepreneurship in order to achieve economic development, the kind of entrepreneurship that is sustainable and adds value to people’s lives and it is my wish that people are stimulated and hungry enough to want to play even the smallest part in their corners of influence to drive Lesotho forward.

Kananelo Phakisi
Kananelo Phakisi , Berea , 24

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 5: Gender Equality

Promoting gender equality is a passion of mine. I went to an all girls school and got to interact with girls from all walks of life and subsequently developed a deep appreciation of what it really means to be a girl child, and now as I have grown older, what it means to be a woman. I have seen how we have been cheated out of opportunities. I have also seen how we have been treated unfairly because of our sex, and just the challenges that we face. It has always been important to me to see to it that we are treated the same as men and that we are opportune the same things as men. I have tried to pass that message out on my social media platforms using #GirlsLikeUs, that we need to push for the girl child to understand who she is and where she comes from so that she is equipped with the sort of tools that will help her be a better woman of tomorrow.

We need healthy women who understand that it is not up to a man to protect them from HIV, but it’s also their responsibility. We need girls and boys that are vaccinated on time and they get all their vaccinations. Old and sick people need to get access to good healthcare. I have been vocal about all these things. It is something very scary, especially with my generation that seems to be very sexually fluid, and because of that we put ourselves in situations that could increase our chances of getting infected by HIV and STIs. It is therefore important to be vocal and educate people about safe sex, to be vocal about seeking good health care. There is nothing worse than knowing that there is a problem but not being able to discuss it. I am all about letting women in communities know that they are capable, they have power. I tell women that they don’t need to be held back by society and that they can work hard and earn as much as their male counterparts. And that they also need to be responsible and accountable.