Mme Malerato Makoae

Traditional Basotho woman

Mme Malerato Makoae

[mme – a respectful way to address an older woman in Sesotho, the official language of Lesotho]


Mme Malerato Makoae (67) 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 more than 10 years now.

Mme Malerato lives in Masemouse village, high in the Maluti Mountains. Although only 100 kilometres from Lesotho’s main centre, Maseru, traversing the winding roads and admiring the beautiful countryside may add a few hours to your journey.

Three of her grown-up sons still live with her while they herd cattle, as a steady income is hard to find in the area. Mme Malerato not only takes care of her three sons, but also her one daughter-in-law and her grandchild.

Growing carrots, spinach and beetroot with her own hands, gives her great joy and she gets even more inspiration by listening to gospel radio with her neighbours, singing and dancing with true African passion.

When the rosehip harvest is done for the year, mme Malerato earns an income by doing laundry for the other villagers in Masemouse. Unfortunately this source of income is not as reliable as what she earns as a rosehip harvester.


Since mme Malerato became a part of the Rosehip family, she has been able to buy some chickens and have eggs to eat and sell.  Every harvest time she also earns enough to buy new clothes for her and her family.

Through harvesting rosehip, mme Malerato has regained some independence through supporting herself financially, and has been using her entrepreneurial skills to expand her options for earning an income.

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