Inspired to lead

My journey from Botswana to Malawi for the Women Steering Innovative Leadership in Africa went well and was fulfilling. And when we got to the venue, all the delegates were well taken care by the organisers, who were very welcoming and helpful.

I was inspired as I interacted with young and seasoned leaders with abundant empowering knowledge – and by the opportunity to learn more about feminism from diverse groups of people and relate their experiences with the Botswana environment.

October 3rd, 2013

My journey from Botswana to Malawi for the Women Steering Innovative Leadership in Africa went well and was fulfilling. And when we got to the venue, all the delegates were well taken care by the organisers, who were very welcoming and helpful.

I was inspired as I interacted with young and seasoned leaders with abundant empowering knowledge – and by the opportunity to learn more about feminism from diverse groups of people and relate their experiences with the Botswana environment.

The actual was an eye opener and I learned so much from leaders from all corners of Africa. In particular, I appreciated the sessions on feminist leadership for social transformation, sectorial leadership, young women leadership, media, economic empowerment, capacitating future leaders and funding and sustaining the women’s movement.

Indeed, I was especially interested in the session on sustaining the women’s movement, as we do not really have a strong young women’s movement in Botswana. This session helped me to understand how best I can contribute towards building and enhancing a strong and sustainable women’s movement in Botswana.

I was very thrilled to meet the Queen of Uganda, Queen Sylvia of the Buganda Kingdom. I have never met an African queen before so for me this was truly exciting as I was fascinated by her etiquette – how she addresses people, how she holds herself in public, etc. – and by the fact that she remains such a humble woman. Truly a great role model.

And I was also inspired by Gogontlejang Phaladi, an 18-year-old advocate for women’s and children’s rights from Botswana, who was invited to the conference by Genderlinks. GG – as she calls herself – gave a very encouraging speech, urging women to walk the talk, to support each other and to develop young women through mentorship.

I was also glad that there was Internet access during the conference, which enabled us to share messages from the conference through twitter and Facebook.

And the impact of the conference is clear. Afterwards, I did an interview with Duma FM discussing Youth and Leadership in relation to my experiences at the conference – sharing what I had learned and what I planned to do post the conference. Encouragingly, a lot of young women messaged me after the interview asking me on how they can best participate in their communities to build their skills.

I will also be working with Portia through TAWLA’s Mentorship Programme for youth, while continuing to mentor young women on my own on a monthly basis on personal development.

I shall also continue to use social media and my blog to encourage the active participation of youth in leadership, particularly young women. And I am sure that my posts will regularly refer to my experiences at the conference.

Indeed, I have managed to connect with most delegates and we shall be keeping in contact with each other – aiming to motivate one another and to discuss how we can collaborate in future. I was also inspired by my new-found friends from the DRC and Senegal to learn French and have just registered to start learning the language.

I would like to once more thank OSISA for continuously contributing towards my development as a young women leader. One of my dreams is to work for the UN and through the opportunities that OSISA has provided for me, I have interacted with leaders from across the continent – some of whom have worked or are working for the UN – and they have encouraged and advised me on how to fulfill my dream.

Ke a leboga…Thank you…Merci…

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