Mme Mapotsane Hlopho
[mme – a respectful way to address an older woman in Sesotho, the official language of Lesotho]
MEET OUR HARVESTERS
Mme Mapotsane Hlopho (53) is one of nearly 3 500 harvesters, mostly female, who picks our rosehip by hand every season. She has been part of the harvesting team for close on 9 years now.
Like many of the women in Masemouse village, mme Mapotsane is the sole provider for her three children and five grandchildren. Poverty and disease have claimed many lives in their village over the years, and two of her children have died from HIV/AIDS.
When they are not working, mme Mapotsane enjoys listening to current affairs on the radio, staying up to date on happenings in the world around her. Tending to her vegetable garden with her best friend since childhood, is another favourite passtime. Although running water is a far way off and they have to walk quite a distance to collect, singing and dancing always brightens her day!
HOW ROSEHIP IS CHANGING LIVES
Since mme Mapotsane became a part of the Rosehip family, she was able to see her eldest son finish his school career and provide food and clothes for the rest of her family. As soon as this year’s harvesting starts, she will be able to pay the school fees necessary for her grandchild to begin his Grade 8 academic year, something that would otherwise not have been possible.
Through harvesting rosehip, mme Mapotsane has uncovered in herself an ability to work without much supervision, an indestructible sense of purpose and has the ancient instinct of providing for one’s family been kindled in her soul again.