Connect with us


The re-usable pad



MORIJA-IN the past, Nthabiseng Mohanela has used her skills as a musician, creative artist, activist and researcher to make a difference among young people.

Now, the 28-year-old is touching lives with her latest initiative: making reusable sanitary pads for young girls.
Made from cotton foam, the pads have great absorption quality and can be reused for at least two years, she said.

“This was very huge…I hope many girls won’t have to miss school because they cannot afford to buy sanitary pads,” she told thepost, highlighting that the materials she uses are very affordable.
She started the business in 2016.

“It was inspired by being broke. I was very broke as a young mother and I wanted to make a living and leave a legacy for my family and child,” she said.
She said it is important for every child to have access to sanitary pads to avoid resorting to pieces of cloth.
With the outbreak of Covid-19, technology has played a vital role in reaching out to people, said Mohanela, who used her huge social media presence to draw people to her latest project – Sustainable Pad.

“It is a very new project and technology has helped me gain new support. I posted a trial run pad and it has gained so much traction,” she said.
She said she has received the support of the Big Six fast food outlet, which is willing to donate money and machines to help with production.
“They understand the vision,” she said.

She said she has been in contact with a sanitary pads manufacturing company seeking advice about the designs she should try out.
“We have done this through zoom calls and other social media platforms,” she said, adding that more research on her product is still ongoing.
Mohanela, popularly known as TeReo Sapphire Soul Child, owns an arts and entertainment business that focuses on arts, crafts and music.

“I recycle plastic and fabric from different sewing dressers, clean it up and prep it and get it ready for production,” said Mohanela, who holds a BA Honors Degree in Interior Architecture from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
She said she runs workshops to raise awareness on sustainable living and conservation.

She said the mission from the onset was to provide information, educate, entertain and bring a different kind of awareness “about starting from nothing and making something great”.
She said one of her projects is called Trash to treasure.
“I repurpose materials to make functional art. I believe in just making beautiful art that cannot only decorate a space but also art that can be used and that is functional,” she said.

She said her parents were artists but they wanted her to be more academic because they feared she would not be able to make a living from art alone.
“Something that will make them safe is that I will have enough money as a back-up plan.”
She said her mother is a dressmaker and her father is an all-round carpenter, builder and electrician.

“He is worldly, knowledgeable about handicrafts and I think I take some of the skills from my father and definitely some from my mother,” she said.
She said she looked up to her mother as a designer.
“She gave me an eye for quality as she always told me not to cheat when doing things.”

“I look up to them because I realise I have all these skills because of them.”
She said her father always taught her to save up as they were running a small business selling cold drinks and ice blocks.
“I have been making money and working with people for the longest time since I was a little girl.”

Her aim is to make other people see value in the arts industry.
“I have explored so much in music ability to educate kids as a way of stretching out my vision through teaching,” she said, noting that a start up in the arts industry does not require much capital.
“All one needs is a skill, which requires time not money. That’s my thinking,” Mohanela said.

She said her public relations skills played a big role in her career.
“I think I am able to articulate my ideas to the relevant people and I believe I have a strong relationship with other artists. Trust is gold,” she said.
Regarding her sanitary pads business, Mohanela said she is not looking back, adding her research had shown that only two other companies make reusable sanitary pads locally.

She said one of the companies invited her for a workshop to share ideas.
“I am dealing with competition by joining them and I believe in kopano ke matla (unity is strength). Together we can cover more ground and help more vulnerable girls in remote areas in need of pads,” she said.
However, due to Covid-19, business has been slow.

“Our last workshop was before the lockdown and the studio was boosted by international gigs via recordings.”
She said that is why she is trying to venture into broadcasting for universities such as LUCT.

“I would love to pay back to the institution by partnering with them, we have only done a proposal but we see potential,” she said.
She said coming second in the Tangerine-organised Hook-up-Dinner competition was validation of the potential of her business.
“That moment makes me very proud because all the lessons I received for the dinner molded me into a better person,” she said.

The dinner, which brought businesses together to exchange ideas and forge partnerships, was held two months ago but it has changed Mohanela and how she does things.
“I see myself in business in a different way now. I feel confident, I am less intimidated and I feel I can take on any challenges.”
She said although Covid-19 has affected her income, “things are also gradually happening”.

“It’s a good balance and I don’t want to say everything is completely destroyed because Covid-19 has inspired fluidity, adaptability and change. We need to find a way to gracefully transcend to more adaptable living.”
She said the people who have inspired her are people running artistic businesses like fashion designer Thabo Makhetha who makes beautiful jackets and coats using a Basotho Seanamarana blanket.

“The branding is remarkable and she aspires to find a proper branding for her products that can catch even international eyes because we don’t just want to serve Basotho but go all the way across the world,” she said.
She said Itumeleng Mothobi also inspires her a lot when it comes to business “as she is a very driven woman with a beautiful relationship with her customers”.

“Mothobi is an inspiring overall human being and I look up to her a lot.”

’Mapule Motsopa

Continue Reading


[BREAKING NEWS] Lebona sets curfew



MASERU– In an effort to curb the rampant increase of homicides in Lesotho, the Minister of Police Lebona Lephema has announced a 10:00pm-4:00am curfew, effective Tuesday May 16, 2023. Failure to comply with the curfew attracts a 2 years imprisonment or a fine.

Staff Reporter

Continue Reading


Two nurses deleted for misconduct



MASERU – A Kolonyama midwife, ’Mamalibeng Ralenkoane, who allegedly neglected a woman during labour has been deleted from the nurses’ register for the next six months.

The woman went on to deliver her baby by herself without professional assistance.

In another case the secretary-general of the Lesotho Nursing Council (LNC), ’Mamonica Makhoswonke Mokhesi, has also been deleted for violating a patient’s privacy.

The LNC’s disciplinary chairman, Advocate Rapapa Sepiriti, said Ralenkoane had committed an act of serious misconduct and deserved severe punishment.

Advocate Sepiriti ruled that Ralenkoane “should not be seen anywhere attending (to) patients”.

Ralenkoane was working as a midwife at the Little Flower Health Centre in Kolonyama, Leribe, when ’Mateboho Letlala was admitted there for labour in August 2020.

Letlala told the panel that Ralenkoane took her to the examination room and later left her despite that there were signs that she could give birth anytime.

“At 19:00 pm Ralenkoane examined the patient but left her unattended and the patient had to deliver on her own,” Advocate Sepiriti said in his verdict.

“Clearly the blame has to be put at the door of Ralenkoane,” he said.

Adv. Sepiriti ruled that she should be deleted with immediate effect for 12 months, half of which was suspended.

“During these six months period, Ralenkoane is prohibited in any way from attending patients and this judgment should be delivered at her place of work,” he said.

Letlala in her testimony said by the time Ralenkoane arrived, she was already having severe labour pains and was told to go to the labour ward for assessment.

She said when she stepped down the labour bed Ralenkoane said to her: “Ua seke ua tatela ho hema empa molomo oa popelo o buleile ka 3cm’ (meaning she seemed to be in a hurry yet the cervix had opened by 3cm only).

“I was so surprised because I could feel I was very close to delivering because this was my second child and I could say I have experience,” she said.

She said she told the nurse that she needed to use the toilet but was instructed to use a pan instead.

“As she left me on the bed pan I could not stand from the pan as the pains were severe. I called for help but to no avail,” she said.

She said the moment she got energy to stand from the bed pan she saw blood, she called her but there was no response.

“Ralenkoane promised to come after two hours but there were no instructions on what to do in case I needed help prior to two hours,” she said.

“I wheeled myself to the bed and sat on it, still calling to no avail.”

She said while still alone, her membranes raptured and the time of birth came and the baby was delivered.

“The child did not fall as I was able to hold him,” she said.

She phoned her aunt who told her to find s scissor to cut the umbilical cord.

She said she bled a lot and ran out of energy, then Ralenkoane arrived at around midnight.

“When she came in she asked where the baby was and I pointed to where I had put him where he clamped the cord,” she said.

She said it was then that she got assistance.

The investigator for Professional Conduct Committee (PCC), one Nteso, told Advocate Sepiriti that his findings were that “the mother’s life was in danger as she was found having bled heavily and tired and the baby’s life was also in danger from prolonged exposure which could lead to hypothermia and brain damage”.

“Ralenkoane was not there for the mother until she delivered in the absence of the midwife, this is a case of negligence,” he said.

However, in mitigation Ralenkoane said this was her first time to appear before the panel and has been a nurse for more than nine years.

She said she has two children to support and she has already been punished by the clinic as she was dismissed and that she has policies and loans.

She pleaded with the panel to have mercy on her.

In another case Mokhesi who was the Secretary General of LNC was also deleted from the register for two years after she was found guilty of sharing a patient’s picture on social media without their consent.

She was accused of defamation of character and violating the patient’s privacy by posting pictures of the injuries he had incurred.

’Malimpho Majoro

Continue Reading


Nurses back at work



MASERU -NURSES who have been on strike since Monday are set to resume work this morning after the government started paying their salaries.

The nurses went on a go-slow last week but escalated to a full-fledged strike on Monday after the government delayed their salaries. Some nurses claimed they had not been paid since March.

Morephe Santi, the secretary general of the Lesotho Nurses’ Association (LNA), said they have started telling members to go back to work after the government said the salaries will start reflecting in their accounts last night.

The strike has inflicted huge reputational damage on Prime Minister Sam Matekane’s government which came to power on promises of efficiency.

Minister of Public Service Richard Ramoeletsi blamed the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) for the delay in April salaries.

Ramoeletsi told parliament last week that the two financial management systems were unable to reconcile, leading to delays in salaries.

But that explanation was little consolation for patients who bore the brunt of the strike.

At least 20 expectant mothers at Machabeng Hospital in Qacha’s Nek were told to go home because nurses could not help them.

Some of the women were later admitted at Tebellong Hospital, a facility under the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL).

“We were staying at the hospital’s roundavel awaiting our time to go to labour but on Thursday afternoon (last week we were called by the nurses and they told us to go to other hospitals or go back home,” said Maretlotliloe Mpeli, who is heavily pregnant.

She said the nurses told them that they could not work on empty stomachs.

’Matlotla Poling, 19, from Ha-Rankakala said she had to call her parents because she did not have any money to either go back home or to Tebellong Hospital.

The Machabeng Hospital management declined to comment, referring thepost to the ministry’s headquarters in Maseru.

Ministry of Health spokesperson, ’Mateboho Mosebekoa, said Machabeng Hospital “did not expel the expecting mothers but merely sent them back home”.

“Due to the ongoing strike by doctors countrywide …they decided to take those women to the places where they would get help,” Mosebekoa said.

There was similar anguish at Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital.

“The strike has affected all the departments including the kitchen, maternity, and emergencies, but the managers are on duty,” said ’Makananelo Sepipi, the hospital’s spokesperson.

Sepipi said managers were forced to hold the forte “because some sections cannot be left unattended utterly due to their importance”.

“The operations are happening in the emergency section, even though they do not operate in a normal way.”

She said patients whose operations were scheduled for this week were sent back home.

Santi, the LNA’s secretary general, blamed the government for the chaos caused by the strike.

Santi said as much as the government likes to call them an essential service they do not prioritise their ministry.

“They do not appreciate us, it is like they do not see the importance of our job,” Santi said.

“The government turns a blind eye to the fact that our working environment alone can put us at risk of contracting diseases.”

“Now we are not able to buy food and other necessities.”

Nkheli Liphoto & Thooe Ramolibeli

Continue Reading