On Womens Day, businesswomen from the Ratanda community gathered together for the launch of WOLIBO – Women Leading in Business.

The organisation is for women by women. Founded in 2019 and officially launched on August 9, the main objective of WOLIBO is to help women in business thrive in their respective sectors and bring economic change to the people of Lesedi municipality.

Founding president of the organisation, Nonhlanhla Mofokeng-Mkhwanazi, encouraged the women in attendance to be at the forefront of the local economy.

Before she ventured into business herself, Nonhlanhla worked at the Lesedi Local Municipality, where she came to learn about the various socio-economic issues in her community. Some of these challenges include poverty, unemployment and lack of access to information.

She thought of solutions that would help people whilst generating an income for her, that’s when she formed WOLIBO. Now the group is seeking to make their first positive impact after their launch.

Pretty Kekana, is the deputy secretary of the organisation. She heads the MoTsha Change in Motion, a community-based social enterprise.

Making her first public appearance after recovering from COVID-19, Lesedi Local Municipality mayor, Cllr. Lerato Maloka gave a keynote speech during the launch. She paid tribute to the heroines of 1956, who bravely protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the “pass laws”.

Lesedi Local Municipality executive mayor Lerato Maloka (centred) with the board members of WOLIBO – Women Leading In Business Organisation.

She focused her address on economic freedom for black women and the need for women to partner up in business in order to grow the local economy.

“Economic freedom will not be delivered by us to men,” said the mayor in her speech encouraging the women in attendance.

WOLIBO consists of seven board members: Nonhlanhla Mofokeng Mkhwanazi (President), Patty Radebe (Deputy president), Nomsa Mbatha (Public relations), Ntombifuthi Mayaba (Spokesperson), Pretty Kekana (Deputy secretary), Grace Mahlangu (Co-ordinator) and Nobantu Mthethwa (secretary general).

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