The Guard

The Truth On Board

Women in the arts speak up

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA– Women who took part in an arts imbizo held at the Phuthaditjhaba multipurpose hall last Saturday August 26,2023, hailed MEC for the department of sport, arts, culture and recreation (DSACR) Limakatso Mahasa for being a great source of hope for them.

Mahasa had described the imbizo as a forum for women to talk openly and honestly with each other about some of the challenges that they face in the arts, as well as unpack some of the issues that they face as women in that space.

Most of the women said access to the market was a huge problem in their community because, as much as they do have skills and create products, without access to the market and people buying their products, they get discouraged and demoralized.

Crochet artist, Mamphe Radebe, said her journey hasn’t been easy but with the help of MEC Mahasa and the various arts and culture departments in Thabo Mofutsanya District Municipality (TMDM), she has excelled in her work and even shares her skills with other women in her community.

Another woman, Kaycee Lesesa, said: “I’m a musician, poet, and humanitarian and I would like to acknowledge that I was very excited when MEC Mahasa became the MEC and a female representative for us women in the arts.

“It is very challenging to work in this industry because men still wield most of the power in the music industry and they like to take advantage of women.”

Women with disabilities also echoed Lesesa’s sentiment, pointing out that people – men in particular – like to take advantage of them in the arts space.

“Women must learn to be independent and respect themselves because men in the arts industry tend to take advantage of women, hence it is very important for mothers to guide and protect their daughters,” Mahasa said.

Among the honoured guests there were Mofumahadi Mathokoana Mopeli and MMC of sport, art, culture and recreation Bridgette Lebesa, who both underscored the need for women need to work hard and hand in hand with government and traditional leaders to make sure that Basotho arts and culture are marketed well and shared with the rest of the world.