Mme Mathlalisi Lebele
[mme – a respectful way to address an older woman in Sesotho, the official language of Lesotho]
MEET OUR HARVESTERS
Mme Mathlalisi Lebele (76) 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 Mathlalisi lives in Masemouse village, high in the Maluti Mountains. Earning an income in the area where they live is a daily challenge, and her two sons are currently in Johannesburg, South Africa, looking for jobs. They have not been home in a very long time. Mme Mathlalisi also takes care of her younger sister’s son who is deaf and mute.
Tending to her vegetable garden is one of mme Mapotsane’s favourite passtimes, but she admits that it can get unbearably hot at times. Such extreme weather patterns is characteristic of living at high altitudes. Whenever she can, she attends her church, which is about an hour’s walk from her home.
HOW ROSEHIP IS CHANGING LIVES
Since mme Mathlalisi became a part of the Rosehip family, she has been able to eat better and provide her family with their basic needs. Without the rosehip harvest, this may not have been possible.
Through harvesting rosehip, mme Mathlalisi has uncovered in herself an ability to encourage others, advise her fellow harvesters and regained some independence through supporting herself financially.