The current first lady of Botswana, Neo Jane Masisi, is quickly garnering a social media presence outside of politics. Born in 1971, the 50-year-old beauty is said to have grown up in Francistown as the eldest child of Baruki and Irene Maswabi. Both her parents were university graduates and attended school in Gaborone, whilst her parents attended work in the city.
By qualification, Masisi is an accountant, but is said to have furthered her studies at the Accountancy Training Centre of the Debswana Diamond Company, where she was honoured with a membership into the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
The First Lady is also well travelled as she attended the De Montfort University in England where she obtained an MBA degree. Thereafter she joined the United Nations where she was based at the UN Headquarters in New York City and then at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa.
As First Lady, Mrs Masisi has focused on issues that affect children and adolescents, and on women's empowerment. In 2018 she launched Eseng Mo Ngwaneng, a UNICEF campaign against sexual exploitation and abuse.
In 2002, whilst simultaneously focusing on the growth of her career, Neo married President Mokgweetsi Masisi. He served as the 8th Vice President of Botswana from the 12th of November 2014 to the 1 of April , 2018, and was sworn into Presidency in April 2018. Neo was right by her man’s side throughout his political career and was ready to assume the role of First Lady from day one. According to the official Botswana Government Facebook page, Neo and Mokgweetsi have a daughter named Atsile, who they attempt to keep out of the media.
Whilst keeping their marriage conservative due to their roles as political leaders, the couple have also had moments which relate to us regular folks. One of these moments took place in November 2018 for Neo’s birthday, when her husband shared a touching post for her.
The post read "There are so many things to love about you. Every day I get to fall in love with you all over again. Here’s to a lifetime of being in love with you. You’re a wonderful wife & mother to our beautiful daughter. Kea go rata motho wame. Happy Birthday baby!" And was accompanied by a picture of His Excellency admiring Her Excellency.
Picture credit: Peter Yuri