Initiative for women to rise and do it for them selves

From the left, a representative from the DME; Head of SD Kumba: Ms. Priscilla Pholoto, Kumba Board Director: Ms. Dolly Mokgatle; MEC of Roads and Transport: Ms. Pinky Kekana and Mayor of Thabazimbi Cllr. Naledi L Matlou.
From the left, a representative from the DME; Head of SD Kumba: Ms. Priscilla Pholoto, Kumba Board Director: Ms. Dolly Mokgatle; MEC of Roads and Transport: Ms. Pinky Kekana and Mayor of Thabazimbi Cllr. Naledi L Matlou.

THABAZIMBI – Ha re so bonne Mathatha Kumba e teng (We don’t see any problems Kumba is here). These were the words that reverberated in the marquee after the women of Thabazimbi started to understand why they were at the Bomme Itsoseng launch on Saturday 29 August 2009.
Kumba Iron Ore launched it’s second rural women development initiative in Thabazimbi in conjunction with the Mayor of Thabazimbi Cllr Naledi Matlou, after the success of the first initiative that was launched last year in the Northern Cape at Sishen Mine.
The words mean “Women rise and do it for yourselves”. This annual event aims to empower, motivate, share information and to understand the needs of women in the mining communities. Simultaneously allowing the municipality and businesses to identify and implement developmental programs which are aligned with the needs of the community.
Bomme Itsoseng is the brain child of Priscilla Pholoto, manager Sustainable development and Environment at Kumba. She believes that there is a lot more that can be achieved if women are empowered to make decisions and to be part of community development. “We are gathered here today, to use this event as a platform to understand the needs of the community and to give our support. “We (Kumba) strongly believe that through empowering our women who are here today, we will truly empower families, our children, our future generations and the nation,” she said.
What made this event different was that it was not about office bearer but about ordinary women in the community who wanted to be heard. The Mayor of Thabazimbi and his councilors attended the workshop sessions with the women and listened attentively to their needs and priorities. The topics of discussion were broadly around issues of housing, education and skills development, social support, health care, security, economic empowerment opportunities and basic services.
The jam packed programme went off to a brilliant start with Mayor Matlou and the General Manager of Kumba’s Thabazimbi Mine, mr Emmy Leeka welcoming the guests to what promised to be a very informative event. Speaker after speaker the message was very clear to the women of Thabazimbi. Rise and to do it for yourselves don’t wait for government or private sector to come to you. This was summarized eloquently by the motivational speaker and facilitator Matsilo Motsei when she said you have to “make up the bed in your head, stop sleep walking and letting opportunities pass you by”.  She reminded the delegates that it is not every day that companies like Kumba extend this helping hand having worked on community development projects for many years.
Local development organizations and businesses also exhibited their services and shared information with the community. Kumba’s skill development centre was also present showing off some of the skills they have learned at the centre.
There were lots of prizes, sponsored by Thabazimbi businesses Shoprite, PEP stores, Spur and Wimpy. The entertainment was provided by the Di Alogenywe Thloping, Thabang place of safety Marimba band and the Kumba Thabazimbi Mine drama group.