Taking the first steps
Skhululekile Moyo, always viewed herself as a leader beyond her community. She however, did not have the confidence to participate in political leadership apart from her community`s residents association.
In 2017 Moyo participated in a series of Running to Win Mentorship Conversations where she interacted personally with other female leaders and finally got the courage to run for council in Pumula North in the 2018 Harmonised Elections.
“I did not even know how to present myself or speak fluently. I was scared and did not know what to say when given a platform. I had a horrid time when WILD provided platforms to engage with residents because I lacked the confidence, let alone the ability to properly articulate my ideas,” Moyo said.
The election outcome
On 30 July 2018 in Bulawayo, Umzingwane and Gwanda, seven women that were part of the mentorship programme since 2017 were duly elected as Councillors and Members of Parliament. Moyo is one of the successful candidates who has done remarkably well and she attributes the changes to the Mentorship programmes.
“A vigorous grooming session and mentorship cafes were conducted where I met with my mentors. I was part of the grooming and etiquette sessions where I gained confidence and now, I can speak on any topic and the fear is gone,” she added.
The ‘Running to Win’ Mentorship Conversations
The ‘Running to Win’ Mentorship Conversations targeted women in politics aspiring to rise and become effective public leaders and politicians in the near future. Since 2017, WILD prioritised capacity building through mentorship programs funded through the Women Empowered for Leadership programme through Hivos provided a platform for sharing ideas among seasoned female politicians, and imparting knowledge to aspiring female candidates.
“The people who contributed significantly to my political career include female politicians such as Honourable Priscilla Misihairambwi – Mushonga and Honourable Jasmine Toffa,” said the Councilor, “My mentors held my hand when I never had understanding of what political leadership involved. I made mistakes numerous times but there was never a time when my mentors left me out in the open.”
Moyo applauded mentorship programmes for aspiring female leaders alluding to mentors’ contribution to uplift mentees at times when they are demoralised. Moyo says she has already started imparting the knowledge and skills she gained to others who wish to learn from her.