• Beautiful and successful

When she was crowned the most beautiful girl in Botswana way back in 1996, little did Joyce Manase know that it was just the beginning of other achievements to come in her lifetime.

BOSS LADY: Joice Manase-Ntau

Fast forward to 2012, Joyce who is now Manase-Ntau is sitting in the high office of Gabz FM, one of the country’s leading commercial radio stations as the leading woman or the captain of the ship as she calls herself.
And does her position or any positions that he has held in the past have anything to do with her being a former beauty queen.

She laughs out loud, smiles and looks into the horizon before answering the question.
“You won’t believe this but I literally walked from the exam room to my first job. So yes being crowned Miss Botswana back then did open some doors for me though some of the doors I shut before they could even open wider,’’ she said.

She further explains that this is in reference to some of the opportunities that she turned down after being crowned because she still wanted to finish her Social Sciences degree at the University of Botswana.
“There were some Indian businessmen who were into property development who wanted to partner with me but I turned them down because my priority then was finishing my studies.

Soon after writing my last paper I joined Cresta Lodge as a Guest services coordinator.

This was after I had given them unsolicited advise on how they could have handled one of their events which I had attended. The manager I had spoken to liked my advice and thus offered me a job, so you see I am

BEAUTY QUEEN: Joyce after being crowned Miss Botswana

beauty with brains,’’ she says amidst her contagious laughter.

Although she is quick to say she does not mean to blow her own trumpet, it would be folly for anyone to doubt that Joyce is indeed a brainy beauty. As the captain of the Gabz FM ship which she joined in 2009, Joyce who became the first woman to lead the station has managed to make sure the station which mainly caters for adult contemporary adults stays afloat.

“As the captain I have to make sure that I direct the ship to a certain direction so that it remains relevant to the listeners,’’ she says exuding confidence of someone who is on top of her game.
“We still have a long way to go though because we have to take the station in all corners of the country. We are working with other radio stations in this regard and the roll-out is being done in phases. We will get there,’’ she says.

Her ambition in as far as her role as the boss lady is concerned is to make Gabz FM a solid brand with an unshakeable foundation. “I want every radio listener to feel there is something missing in their life if they don’t listen to the station. I want our billboards to be dotted all over the country  so that people can always remember that it’s all about today’s hits, yesterday classic,’’ she says in reference to their station’s tagline.

Businesswoman, mother and wife

SPREADING WINGS: Joyce during her reign

Besides holding such a demanding powerful post Joyce still manages to hold other positions which she says she does with bride and ease.

“I am into a health and beauty and property development businesses, am a mother of three and a wife and always make sure I give quality time to all my roles. When I get home I kick off my shoes

HAPPY FAMILY: Joyce with husband and kids

and take on my role as mother. I have to make sure the kid’s homework is done and that I attend to all their needs. I have a supportive husband who also plays his role. I know it’s never easy for working mothers but we need to strike a balance,’’ she says.

Women’s day message and what she thinks women should be fighting forIn this era I think women should be fighting for gender parity, not equality, at all levels of leadership, not just in politics. Is the male to female ratio of our general leadership reflective of our demographic composition? What is it that informs the 70% male to 30 female % preavailing ratio? It’s high time we catch up with the times and improve on that in favour of women. When will we have a woman president? Chief justice? Vice Chancellor, etc?

One other aspect closest to my heart is that of women fighting to reclaim their voice as a collective, and sustain that.  As women we ought to stand together and address women’s issues as one big strong voice. It is our prerogative to rally behind one another and be the change we want to see. I am still to see (powerful and influential) women pulling together in my country for the common good of their fellow women in Botswana. That is happening elsewhere, but not in my beloved Botswana. We can, and I believe we should.
Happy women’s day to my fellow women voice readers!! Let every day be “a commemoration of women’s day” in your lives.

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