My name is Keabetswe Lianna Koorapetse
and I am a 25-year-old female on an amazing mission in this life. I am proud to
be an African woman from Botswana. My passion is to help people achieve their
life goals and happiness.

 

I have come to realise that there are
different stages in life. It is okay to be happy about where you were, where
you are now and also where you are striving to be in the future. Right now, I
am in a new stage in my life. I hold a BCom Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma
in Financial Planning both from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South
Africa. I have recently started my new job as a Financial Coordinator at the
deVere Group Botswana. The deVere Group is one of the largest financial
services companies in the world and specializes in investments such as pure
savings, for retirement, education plans, for property and so forth.
But before now: Growing up I was that
child that was outgoing, had many friends and was full of life. Going through
school, I was academically smart but also gifted in sports.
I used to play tennis, hockey and
rugby. I was very determined to play these sports to the best of my abilities.
I ended up playing hockey for the Botswana National Hockey Team U16 and U18 for
a period of almost eight years. For the same length of time (at the same time) I
also played tennis at a competitive level, won a few medals and a trophy from
many tournaments. I have also done a few drama/theatre roles and tried so many
other activities (I was good at some and not so good at others).
It was not easy to juggle both
academics and extra-curricular activities but I performed well in both. I went
to Rainbow Primary School and Legae Academy Secondary school, Botswana. I
managed to be a prefect at both schools and polished my leadership skills.
I attended the University of Botswana,
and realized that though I had passion for my programme, I wasn’t passionate
about the lifestyle the occupation was to come with thus I changed programmes
and universities to explore another passion of mine. Ultimately, they both
would have had me helping people but I know that what I chose in the end is a
better fit. “If something doesn’t work for you, choose something else. It won’t
be easy but it will be worth it.”
I attended the Nelson Mandela
Metropolitan University in South Africa and there I got my current
qualifications in Financial Planning. Still with academics, I was very involved
in societies. I became part of the Golden Key International Honour Society: a
society for academic excellence, service and leadership; was the Chairperson of
the Black Management Forum student chapter branch level: a society which
focused on economic empowerment, community upliftment, national policy reviews
and suggestions and so much more (it was an honor to also be part of the many
events that proposed and compiled the “Free Education” mandate) and was also
the President of the Financial Planning Society: a society directly facing my
field. I was also a Computing Sciences student assistant (#demi) for two years
at this university and I am so proud of the many students lives I have touched
in the little that I did.
I am still on a mission and taking it
one day at a time.
WHAT FUELS ME?
Faith: What is life without it.
Respect: I respect everyone and
anyone. This is a very important quality to have in life.
Passion: Is what drives me.
MY GREATEST INFLUENCE:
My mother and father. They have no idea how much I look up to
them but now I guess they will. I try to learn something from everyone. So, I am most great
grateful to my parents for all they have done, I am grateful to my primary and
secondary school teachers, my university lecturers, my tennis coaches,
university society officers and so many others as they are too many to mention.
I have been truly blessed to have these people in my life.
MY TOP THREE ROLE
MODELS:
God as He is the father of fathers and king of kings. I am truly
blessed to be a princess. He has guided me and has kept me to this day. He is
always there and has never forsaken me.
My mother for being my mother, for her caring and for her
nurturing. This woman is truly an angel on earth. An amazing God fearing woman.
She has a big heart but also the brains of a CEO. She is the one who taught me
how to find and follow my passion with determination and direction. She has
taught me independence as well as to know when to ask for help. She is a woman
of many gifts. She is a mother, a teacher and a strong pillar to me, our family
and many others.
My father for being a man who is not afraid to show that he has
a big heart. A strong man that is always there for me, our family and many
others. A very humble man too. He was at my first tennis match and my first big
theatre role many years ago, as boring as they must have been for him, he was
there and seeing him in the stands and in the audience gave me strength to
perform to the best of my abilities. He has taught me to find happiness in
everyday of life whilst working towards achieving those final goals.
My role models are the ones that have helped shape me into the
person that I am today. Life does not get any easier, but the people in our
lives make it worth living.
IN THE NEXT FIVE
YEARS…..
In the next five years, I will be a Certified Financial Planner
and will have helped many people to start having plans to achieve their
financial goals. In addition, I will have helped many people find their passion
and happiness.
THE AFRICAN WOMAN’S CHALLENGE:
The challenges of African women are many. We are strong,
determined, have direction, care takers, nurturers and much more but somehow we
continue to accept not getting recognition for all we do. The challenge of
African women is that often the men in our lives are the ones that receive
recognition and praises for what we do and there is no mention of us. The
challenge of the African women was that the opposite sex was not okay with
working with us on the same level professionally. Now, the challenge of the
African women is that it is a problem to work with our men on a higher level
where we are leaders and we are in the front row. That is the current
resistance the African women are faced with today.
I say this because I have experienced this first hand. It was
mind blowing to discover this challenge and that it was not how good or
qualified or my abilities to lead but that is was because of my gender. I
didn’t let it stop me! I led with passion and worked as hard as any leader
would to lead. I have been blessed to have friends that have also had this
challenge but did not let it stop them. I continue to encourage and support any
African woman who aspires to be a leader and have mentored a few myself. I try
to keep up to date with events that our African women organize and also try to
attend.
WHAT
I DO TO RELAX:
I try to do something relaxing on a daily basis as I am not a
machine. I like watching horror movies, inspirational life movies, actually I
just like watching a lot of movies. *chuckles
I like taking walks to appreciate life and I like to spend time
with those I love to talk about anything and everything. Sometimes, since I
haven’t gone back to playing tennis as yet, I like to go watch others play and
support them.
MY   –
I.C.E. [INSPIRE|CELEBRATE|EMPOWER] VISION
Why shouldn’t we be inspired, celebrated and empowered. We are
strong, we are bold, we are determined, we are passionate, we are Queens and we
are so much more than we think. There has always been writings on the great men
of our continent, it is time we have writings of our great women! They have so
much wisdom to share with us, it is time we give them the recognition they
deserve.
MY
AFRICAN UNION PLANS:
That would be an honor. I would want the responsibility to open
up the communication lines among African women across the continent and the world
(we have so much wisdom to learn from), I would want to locate women who have
and are doing great things among us to give them the platform to share their
experiences, I would want to help maintain a platform for our young ones to
have training in developing their leadership skills to lead the industries they
aspire to be part of, I would want to be part of strategy planning to make sure
that the plans made are actually achieved if not overachieved, I would want to
be someone that has direct access to the women of this continent to check on
how they are doing and what I else I or the union can do to help them and
empower them.
FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE:
Find what makes you happy in life and
do it, stay strong, stay determined, keep working hard, keep the focus, do not
let the challenges and downsides of this life stop you from achieving what you
want to achieve, stay motivated, continue to be a caretaker and a nurturer as
that is our nature (it is not a weakness as they might say, it is a strength
many wish to have), be proud to be African: seek your heritage and be proud of
it, let’s support each other and finally celebrate being the African Queen you
are!