Thu. May 23rd, 2019

How Ts’ita-Mosena landed in politics

’MATHATISI SEBUSI

MASERU – Hard to believe as it might sound, the newly elected deputy leader of Movement for Economic Change (MEC) Ts’epang Ts’ita-Mosena had not always been a fervent believer in politics, let alone the notion of actively joining a political party.

But Ts’ita-Mosena, 42, saw an opportunity to change the economic and the political landscape of Lesotho.

“For that reason, I joined MEC because I felt the movement was speaking my language which is about moving forward and empowering the nation and setting aside the political hatred that has consumed some political parties.

“I therefore joined the executive committee and when MEC was launched on February 1, 2017, I was already part of the structure that helped run the party affairs,” she says, adding she intends to brand politics going forward.

Among other things, she wants to empower other women and make them aware that joining politics does not mean that they have to change and behave like men.

“I want women to remain proud, humble and patient because they are very strong enough to make things happen.

“Women hold families together and that is enough to prove their courage and strength” she says.

She contends that the political hostility reigning in the country is a result of women letting me to make decisions alone to the detriment of the entire nation.

“This has been going on for the longest time and it is threatening the stability of the country. So, mine is to come in and try to influence other women to help shape the nation’s leadership and bring oneness in Lesotho.

“The idea is not to use force or change our personalities when things don’t go our way but use our intellectual capacities as women to bring together the nation so that the country could respond to all our needs.

“Although we love to put men in leadership positions, sometimes they make decisions which are not in the best interest of the nation,” she says.

She adds: “It has also come to my attention that squabbles in politics do not benefit the country but, instead, destroy it, hence the need to apply a different approach with a more sensitive and feminine touch.”

Ts’ita-Mosena, who is a twin, was born and bred in Lithabaneng by her late parents Bambatha and ’Makhosi Ts’ita.

The Bambatha Ts’ita Sports Arena was named in honour of her late father who was a famous football administrator.

Ts’ita-Mosena who is also an astute businesswoman is married with three children – two boys and a girl – and the family lives in Khubetsoana.

She and her twin sister Nts’epeng did their primary education at Iketsetseng Private School and both passed their Standard 7 examination with first class.

Both proceeded to Mabathoana High School where they both obtained a merit at Junior Certificate and first classes at the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate examinations.

Entertainment and empowering others had always been close to the famous Ts’ita twins’ hearts.

At high school, the inseparable pair was active in debating, dancing, taekwondo and volleyball.

They both enrolled at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) in 1994 after high school where Ts’ita-Mosena pursued a degree in computer science before graduating in 1998.

When she left varsity, she worked briefly as an intern at the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) before she was employed full-time as an analyst programmer between 1998 and 2000.

In 2000 she went to France through a United Nations Educational scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) programme for young professionals.

She, along with 19 other young professionals from other least developed countries, worked in France as a young professional. After two years, she got a formal full-time job as a system development specialist.

She remained in France for eight years until she resigned in 2008 when she decided to return home before the end of her contract because she was both home sick and wanted to serve her country.

“A lot people thought I was crazy to leave a first world country to come back and work in Lesotho, of all places,” she says, adding their efforts to encourage her to stay in Europe were in vain as her heart belongs in Lesotho.

She felt that by staying in Europe, she was not adding any value to her country and she ended up being restless.

But by staying in France, she managed to perfect her craft and was actually regarded as one of the best performing workers in a foreign country.

“I actually went to France at the entry level of people who were in the UN’s systems,” she says.

While she was still in France, her twin sister Nts’epeng started a company called BAM Consultancy in 2005.

Ts’ita-Mosena was able to work with the company from France, handling the information technology side of the business where she developed systems while her siblings sold the developments she did.

When she arrived in Lesotho in 2008, she joined BAM as a director of management information services.

“During my service at BAM Consultancy, we introduced BAM promotions which I had interest in starting after seeing how France treats matters relating to arts and culture, by turning talent into something economical.

“Then we started BAM promotions and began promoting artists, and I was then working as the director of BAM promotions as a standalone company,” she says.

The Ts’itsa sisters run Informative newspaper under a media company called BAM Media.

BAM Media also produces the Finite Magazine, which was first published in 2000 and Achiever Magazine.

Nts’epeng manages BAM consultancy while their younger sister ’Malisema Mahloane is in charge of Informative newspaper. Ts’ita-Mosena managed Finite Magazine before she retired to join politics.

Under the Finite Magazine, the company also runs projects that award outstanding men and women in the society from different fields of work.

One of their projects is a women empowerment programme which, among others, empowers female politicians.

Ts’ita-Mosena met MEC leader Selibe Mochoboroane at one of her company’s functions after which he poached her to join his party.

She thinks that is when Mochoboroane was at the event that she believes observed her work and efforts she takes in empowering others hence why he approached her to join his political party.

When Mochoboroane first stated enticing her into his party, she adds she had no interest in politics whatsoever.

After joining the party, she immediately became a member of its executive committee.

“I did not have interest in politics, not necessarily because it was a foreign topic to me but because I thought it was a hostile environment, that was unfairly insensitive to women.”

She adds: “One of my tasks while we were training in the empowerment space was to encourage people to go for things that they know will transform the nation and joining politics was one of them.”

At first, she says her family was worried that her joining politics would compromise their business interests.

A decision was therefore made by the family and she left BAM group and only stayed on as a board member and attends meetings only when necessary.

Although other people believed hers was a wrong move she, however, saw it as an opportunity to encourage other women to join politics like her.

“I considered myself to be relatively young, especially because politics are normally dominated by old people nearing their retirement,” she says.

She believes Lesotho needs fresh, young people who are active and have some freshness to deal with current issues that they relate to.

“In our society girls have a frustrating upbringing and are raised to be good wives who end up being dependent on men.

“This causes women and young girls to be vulnerable and seek men to look after them and end up being pregnant, at times ill and end up becoming victims of gender-based violence because they fail to economically provide for themselves.

“So, when a woman becomes an entrepreneur, she is able to make her own money and only relate with a man only because she would want to, not because she is forced by circumstances.”

She adds: “This is why I encourage women and girls to become entrepreneurs so that they can be independent and be able to run their families and their affairs.”

Ts’ita-Mosena’s achievements, among others, include being recognised as a driver in the media fraternity who was able to address gender equality issues while still in BAM group through gender links.

“Some people believe that money is the only thing one can live for but for me my achievement is to ensure that I impact positively on the lives of the people I interact with and that has been an ongoing journey.

“I have testimonies of people who told me that through my mentorship, through my guidance, training and books they have changed their lives in a positive way,” she says.

When she arrived in the political arena she made it into parliament after the 2017 elections as the sixth member of MEC.

She is also a member of the economic cluster committee which deals with economic growth in the country.

Among others, she influenced decisions that helped communities in response to their economic needs.

“I was part of a group that tried to persuade government not to put the nullified wool and mohair regulations in place because that would affect a lot of Basotho’s livelihoods who mainly survive on selling wool and mohair.”

She says although the government did not heed their call, she is happy that the regulations have been nullified.

She also attended a Sadc parliamentary forum together with five other members and was elected to the position of vice chairperson of trade industry finance and infrastructure.

 

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