A thriving career, supportive husband and well-behaved children, can a woman have it all?
Books have been written on the subject and television shows have tried to tackle this subject but the jury is still out on the question; is female success bad for romantic relationships?
“There is a common belief that when a woman climbs the corporate ladder it is often at the expense of close relationships, where partners and husbands are relegated to the backseat.
Concerning the above, a successful career woman and banker, Lorato Morapedi says, “This could not be further from the true, in my case anyways.”
Happily married with children, Morapedi says she enjoys a loving and supportive relationship with her husband of 13 years.
“To be able to do it all has been possible through his support. Besides I have never been one to subscribe to society’s perceptions of what is supposed to be because I believe life is what one chooses to make of it.”
Many outside her inner circle would know Morapedi from her meteoric rise in corporate Botswana.
Currently at the helm of Botswana National Development Bank (NDB) with a portfolio that includes providing strategic leadership and yielding results as the bank goes through major transformation, her previous posts include deputy Chief Executive Officer – Ceda and high posts within the banking industry.
However it is not her impressive resume she chooses to highlight, although she is not shy to admit the fulfillment she draws from her success as a professional.
Although by her own admission, she has chartered muddy waters to firmly earn her place at the table, she chooses to celebrate feats away from the boardroom, rather triumphs from her tireless work of nurturing a family, uplifting other women, her spiritual journey and fostering personal relationships.
“I am a humble, loving Motswana woman who is a wife, mother, sister; friend and I provide a shoulder to lean on for many as I believe this is my purpose in life.”
Driven to make a difference through the knowledge, wisdom and energy that God has endowed her with, Morapedi also acknowledges that she grows through interactions with those whose path she crosses.
“I have always had optimistic goals about my life and I have achieved a lot, and in certain cases exceeded my own expectations because I am a strong believer that “our timing is not God’s timing” and “if you believe God will provide”.
Morapedi says one can achieve all they put their mind to.
“Through my father I learnt to be self reliant. My father could do anything. He was a builder, electrician, cook, tailor, and businessman! This also cemented my parents advise; ‘you should always work hard to become independent and not be bossed around.”
“O seka wa tsoga o ja leswe la bankane ba gago.” They would say to us” In a sense I believe this pushed me to work hard. Morapedi hastens to add that; even in life’s pursuit one must remember that “Motho ke botho”.
A person’s greatness and success is from humility and being selfless.”
Staying true to herself, Morapedi had her children later in life, defying societal expectations to have children earlier on in life.
“I had my kids after I had allowed myself to achieve a lot of milestones within my career path. Despite what some may say about having kids in one’s late 30s; I get to raise my kids with greater experience of the world around and when I am a lot wiser to guide them accordingly under my Catholic religion” She however laughs off the idea of a perfect work life balance.
“We all strive for that but we are human. We don’t always get it right. Sacrifices are a part of our existence.”
She readily admits that juggling between her executive role and raising kids often results in her not spending a lot of time with them.
“ This however certainly doesn’t make me a bad wife and mother. I do miss out on some moments and my hubby steps in. That is what partnerships are about. A relationship should never be about competition and holding one another at ransom. I have never worried that my ambition would be viewed as a threat within my marriage. In fact my husband Reuben is truly my greatest cheerleader.”
Morapedi says her girls; Leona 8, and Aone 5 often make fun of her as the world of technology exposes them to so much information.
“I sometimes find them ahead of me and having to play catch up, which never ceases to be a source of fun because mummy has to know it all.”
Like many parents, Morapedi says she is concerned about the pressures facing young people today.
“It is all too much; drugs, child trafficking and the world of fake glitz and glamour. As a parent my greatest fear is losing my children to the evils of this world, hence the importance of making time for my family despite being busy. I encourage an open relationship with them and try to instill a sense of humility and respect of oneself and others. To ensure that the little ones are reminded of these lessons, Morapedi says they schedule quality family time.
“We take walks, cook, play games and go on outings. I also drive them to school every day so that we can catch up.”
Though there are treats when deserved, Morapedi says the greatest gift she has given her children is love.
“I truly shower them with love (and with a huge laugh) she adds and tough love.
“I have learnt along the way to make peace with my choices and live consciously building myself and contributing positively to others.” To other parents she says, “Work is a necessary evil that robs us of time spent with loved ones but also aids us to provide comfort. It is a choice for both men and women. Away from the shackles of work and playing her multiple roles, Morapedi takes time out to work out, meditate and indulge her love for watching reality tv!