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Mpofu lives her passion at Cakes by Quinta

Keikantse Lesemela

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driven by PASSION: Neo Mpofu

Young graduate Neo Mpofu realised that she could feel great satisfaction and fulfilment when she is pursuing her passion for baking instead of wasting hours on a 9 to 5 job and waiting for month end to earn money.
After working for five years at an internet service provider she decided to quit her job as a customer care officer and plunged into the baking business. She had always been passionate about baking when she was growing up.
The Bachelor of Arts in Humanities degree holder had a yearning to do something she really enjoyed and she knew that her special baking skills would do it for her. “As an employee, I was merely there to earn money but I was not fulfilled. I felt an aching in my heart to be engaged in something else when at work.

“It was always this sick gut wrenching feeling every time I woke up to go to a job that I had no interest in. I knew it was only for the benefit of my stomach, which is the sad reality most people face when they shut themselves in away from available opportunities, or are forced by other circumstances,” said Mpofu.

She registered a company in 2015 and called it Cakes By Quinta. This is where she works tirelessly week in and week out producing uniquely decorated cakes, cupcakes and muffins. And she can do any type of cake for any occasion.

She acquired her baking skills during her childhood. She would bake with her family and enjoyed it very much. “My aunty was a Home Economics teacher and she taught me how to bake very well, by teaching me the basics of baking from the right proportions to add in the bowl, to how to stir the mix consistently and finally to adding the mixture in the oven,” she says.

Mpofu eventually developed a desire to learn more techniques in baking cakes, cake pops, scones and other products. “I learnt how to bake at a more competitive level. So after marketing my products around Gaborone I increased my skills set and learnt how to make edible flowers, figurines and other highly delicate parts of the cake that are very important to the aesthetic,” said Mpofu.

After operating for a few months her business blossomed and she began to receive more than three orders per day. Her major clients are individuals, organisations and corporates. She manufactures for all occasions including parties, weddings, celebrations and other special events.

Cake prices start from P550 and increase depending on the type. Currently she has one employee working full time but always gets more people to help when working on large orders.
At the moment she is investing in developing her baking skills by enrolling for baking courses to keep up with the changing trends in the baking industry

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Botswana urged to sign Maputo

Keletso Thobega

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Botswana is one of the five countries that have been advised to sign the Maputo Protocol. Botswana, Egypt and Morocco are the only three African countries that have not signed this Protocol. Adopted in 2003 and implemented in 2005, the Maputo Protocol is a ground-breaking protocol on women and girls’ human rights, both within Africa and beyond.

It compensates for the shortcomings in the 1981 African Charter with respect to women and girls rights. It includes 32 articles on women and girls’ rights, and also provides an explicit definition of discrimination against women, which was missing in the African Charter.

The Maputo Protocol defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction or any differential treatment based on sex and whose objectives or effects compromise or destroy the recognition, enjoyment or the exercise by women, regardless of their marital status, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all spheres of life.”

The State of African Women Report 2018 stipulates that more still needs to be done to implement laws and commitments to the rights of women and girls in African societies. While there has been significant improvements in addressing issues affecting women and girls over the years, the report notes that commitment to girls and women’s right is still lagging behind.

The report highlights that:
“Three in five countries in Africa do not criminalise rape, young women aged 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5 times more likely to be infected by HIV in comparison to men in the same age group, more than half of maternal deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa and that gender based violence and sexual assault still affects women more”.

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Mama Rampa, the Good

Yvonne Mooka

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NOBLE CALLING: Martha Rampa on a mission to rescue the underprivileged

Martha Rampa, project manager at AAP Home Based Care and Family Life Programme quit her nursing job over ten years ago to attend to the needs of orphans, poor and sick.

AAP has 3119 orphans and underprivileged children from South East, Kweneng, Kanye and Kgalagadi districts. The Non-Governmental Organisation aims at supporting, providing food, clothing, shelter, education, nursing care, counselling and supporting destitute, terminally ill patients and orphaned children.

According to Rampa, the thrust of the practice is the link between the patient and the clinical management services. “It is a person-centred approach, which ensures that patients receive the appropriate service in a supportive and effective manner. Destitute and orphaned children have over time become integral part AAP programmes,” she said.

Last Saturday, she organised an appreciation dinner for donors. It was a colourful event where beneficiaries had also come to testify about the way their lives have changed since they were enrolled.

One of the young girls said that she had given up on life as she was from a poor family. The under 15 girl said that through AAP, she managed to continue and is exceling at school. A young man under 20 said that he was moved from a settlement where he could not focus on his studies because of his family background.

AAP put him through a different school that has boarding. “At AAP, we call her mama Rampa. She is our mother and we are so blessed to have her,” he said at the event in Gaborone.

The primary aim of AAP is to rehabilitate and develop children in difficult circumstances such as orphaned children, street children, economically poor and socially oppressed children and work for the eradication of child labour and child exploitation.

Rampa said the vision is to help and give many more children a real and loving home which helps them to live and grow up to be free, healthy and independent individuals; to influence behavioural change of individuals, especially those in the realm of sex and family life and to introduce a change that will bring a transformation, which alleviates the impact of HIV/Aids infection and stops the spread of the virus within the community.

She said there were local companies that had committed themselves to giving the children food after every two weeks. Through her gift of counselling, she also assists with providing emotional and spiritual support including counselling to orphans, destitute, terminally ill and the poor. She also prays for them.

She said that since the project started in 2000, the focus was on the care of HIV/AIDS patients. Volunteers were trained to take care of terminally ill patients in their homes. “Due to lack of funds in supporting the volunteers, for three years only 45 were full time serving in the project with great results.

“A networking relationship was established with Ministry of Health/AIDS department and Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as well as other NGOs like BOCAIP, Clinics around Gaborone and Church leaders. We effectively communicated our mission to our leaders like Counsellors, Members of Parliament and diKgosi in the areas where we are operating,” she said.

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