Ouma Sekokole is not just popular for being a mountaineer; she is also a humanitarian and an entrepreneur. After bagging a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Sterling College, Kansas, United States, she ventured into multiple entrepreneurship, health, arts, education, and humanitarian works. One of Sekokole’s popular humanitarian services is the OUMA Foundation, where she works as the founder and the Executive Director of the foundation.
At a young age, Sekokole lost her mother to cancer. This was what inspired her to launch the OUMA Foundation in 2006. The foundation focuses on awareness of cervical and prostate cancer, arts, education and enterprise development.
In 2013, Sekokole also founded the OUMA Cycling Charity Tour (OCCT), which undertakes an annual bicycle ride that performs humanitarian works in selected underserved poor communities. This was done with a team of doctors, nurses, counsellors, community leaders, and educators. She pays regular visits to these underdeveloped people with a mobile clinic truck, supplies and equipment that people might need.
Sekokole and her team occasionally perform cervical cancer screening, detecting early signs of cancer, and some treatments like cryotherapy and loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP). That is not all, she also performs regular medical services like male circumcision and HIV testing to these communities at no charge. The program has succeeded in reaching out to over 900 communities in Botswana.
Her Entrepreneurial Ventures
All these services mentioned above just cover Sekokole’s humanitarian works. As an entrepreneur, she has equally outdone herself. In March 2020, she founded RnO Technologies (PYT) LTD and UNLOCK Botswana Safaris (PYT) LTD. RnO Technologies is a biotech company that focuses on human and animal wound care, electrolyzed water disinfection systems and electrostatic foggers while the latter is a travel and tourism company that is specifically made for tourists that visit Botswana.
Aside from that, Sekokole is also a strategic thinking professional that specialises in maintaining a strong relationships with people. She has rendered her services to both regional and international groups.
Her Journey to the Mountains
On the 20th of February, 2018, this Motswana woman went ahead to set up another milestone, and this time, her passion was for the mountains. It was soon recorded that Ouma Sekokole successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. “It’s not easy to climb a mountain, especially coming from a country like Botswana, we don’t even have a single mountain,” she said.
She recalled how it felt impossible at the beginning and how she had to undergo training and put in the extra work to reach the summit. But she didn’t give up because she climbed mountains to raise awareness about her foundation.
On the 5th of April, 2019, Sekokole even took up a larger challenge by setting up another adventure into the mountains, again and this time, it was the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. “I have prepared well, and I am ready to overcome Mount Everest and make history by becoming the first black African woman to summit Mount Everest,” she said in a press release.
Her action attracted a wide range of attention to the extent of her trip was supported by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development. While on the 60 days adventure, Sekokole gave updates on her activities. She explained how she would go through breaks and camps just to reach the summit. By the 8th of June, 2019, she professed her victory.
Besides her love for adventures and mountains, Sekokole is also the only Motswana who is a Habitat for Humanity International Fellow. In her quest to support other aspiring mountaineers, she said “you have to remove fear because when you remove fear, you would be fearless and when you are fearless, nothing can stop you from exploring your human potential”.