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Fighting Infertility

Ikanyeng Molemele
PHILANTHROPIST: Ikanyeng Molemele

Dr Molemele sets out to destigmatise barrenness

Through her organization, Destiny Organisation (DO),established in 2016, Dr Molemele and other stakeholders, including medical professionals offer support to both couples and individuals struggling with barrenness at no cost.

D.O was conceived out of concern about the psychological and social burden experienced by those with fertility challenges. It was inspired by the need to provide knowledge, awareness, counseling, support and where possible medical intervention.

Dr Molemele was also concerned about the stigma associated with infertility and how in traditional settings, fault has always been placed squarely with the woman even without an official diagnosis.
So passionate about this project, was Dr Molemele that she decided to self-fund to shuttle between the United Kingdom where she resides and works and Botswana, her home country to drum up support for the organisation and to raise awareness on issues of infertility and barrenness.

Her selfless work was recognized when she was conferred an honorary doctorate last year during the Global Peace Summit in London and her organisation given a UN Humanitarian Award at the University of Birmingham in 2019 by the Universal Peace Federation.

The Universal Peace Federation acknowledges individuals whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others, and who dedicate themselves to practices that promote universal moral values, strong family life, inter-religious cooperation, international harmony, responsible representation to the public and media, as well as the establishment of the culture of peace.

Shedding more light on what drives her, Dr Molemele said. “For as long as I can remember, I have admired the role that women in all their diversity play in society.” However, it is the many voiceless women who suffer silently that Dr Molemele has always particularly felt drawn to.

“It is no secret that part of our culture shuns open discussion of certain issues such as infertility. Growing up it was not a subject openly discussed, although thinking back I realize how cruel the environment was to the women who could not bear children. Even if not said to their faces, these women were considered an embarrassment and often they were ostracised by their communities. The stigma surrounding barrenness is a huge problem and it is sad that infertility is still considered a taboo subject hence very little gets said about it,” lamented Dr Molemele.

She then went on to highlight that the worst thing about infertility is that it was still largely associated with women and not considered a couple’s problem even though it has been proven medically that there is a 50/50 chance that it could be either the woman or the man that has a condition related to the difficulty and inability to have children.

The award winning Doctor from the village of Lokhwabe prides herself with being resilient in her undertakings and counts among her career highlights the opportunity to deliberate on issues affecting women at a conference hosted at the House of Parliament in London alongside the former President of Malawi, Dr Joyce Banda.

In addition, Molemele has launched LUBU Signature merchandise, which comprise of LUBU Art and LUBU Lingerie. LUBU (which means salt pan in Shekgalari) is used as a representation of Dr Molemele’s Shekgalari heritage.

Her work, she said is also meant to give a voice to the voiceless whilst shining a spotlight on the beauty of her country through her Sesarwa lineage.

“I am proud of who I am and where I come from. As a people, we need to move away from shunning that which we know little about. Bringing people together in beautiful spaces lined with the most enthralling artwork has led to many conversations that resonate with the work I do,”.she said flashing a beautiful smile.
Through the creative industry, Molemele has infused relevant and related messages to reach wider audiences who in turn can participate in any of the key projects she is involved in.

LUBU Art for example manages the talented, Qaeghao Moses – a Mosarwa artist from D’Kar who has exhibited at the renowned Bricklane art gallery in London during the Black History Month alongside another celebrated artist from Nigeria.

ENTREPRENEURIAL: Ikey in Lubu Lingerie

“The exhibitions were a success leading to the production of merchandise to honor the contemporary beauty of Botswana and our continent’s cultural art. Not satisfied with these successes, in 2019 Molemele opened a luxury online lingerie store called LUBU Signatures. “I wanted to celebrate women of all shapes with lingerie that oozes class and sass.

Women need to feel empowered and always remember that they are the most beautiful creatures to ever grace this earth with no labels of what a Queen should look like or feel like. The challenges faced every day, even the ones battled privately make us who we are,” said the Doc in conclusion.

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