Neo Jane Masisi: More Than A First Lady!

She Quit her job to support hubby

By  | Jul 20, 2022, 04:14 PM  | Top of The

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Neo Jane Masisi affectionately known as Mma Atsile is the First Lady of Botswana, the wife of President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi. Mrs Masisi was born in 1971 in Francistown, the eldest of six children of Baruki and Irene Maswabi. Both her parents were university graduates. She grew up and attended school in Gaborone, where her parents were working. She married Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in 2002; they have a daughter named Atsile.

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Mrs Masisi is an accountant who trained at the Accountancy Training Centre of the Debswana Diamond Company and obtained membership of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She continued her studies at De Montfort University in England, where she obtained an MBA degree from 2001 to 2004.

In 2004 she joined the United Nations, initially working at the UN Headquarters in New York City and then at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. She has also worked for the UN in the Central African Republic.

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. This was according to Botswana Goverment.

According to the African Child Report, Neo Jane Masisi is currently the First Lady of the Republic of Botswana.  Masisi did not only begin her United Nations career at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA from 2004 to 2010 she always had a knack for humanitarian issues.

 In 2013, she accepted an assignment with the Integrated Peace building Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), in Bangui. This was during the height of conflict in war-torn Central African Republic. She cites this as one of her life changing experiences! 

Mrs Masisi returned again to New York from 2015 – 2016 to be part of the Umoja Team, responsible for deployment of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Implementation project across the United Nations entities worldwide.

Mrs Masisi has taken a break from her international service (since March 2018) to support her husband in his new role. Mrs Masisi is committed to the advancement of the girl child and rural women.  H.E. has been appointed UNAIDS Special Ambassador for the empowerment and engagement of young people in Botswana. First Lady Masisi holds an MBA from De Montfort University.

In one of the engagement speeches with De Beers Group, opened up about what it meant for her to let go of her job to support the President back home as quoted on The Weekendpost publication.

“On the 1st of November I cried because I was told to hand in my resignation. To me that meant breaking a bond of about fourteen years. I used to be a working mother, but last year April 1st, I had to say goodbye. Fortunately the organization I worked for was very kind and they offered me a leave without pay but it had to come to an end. 1st of August I was in denial. See how normal I am. The elections results came and we had won, and I was forced to hand in my resignation letter,” she said.

 “Leadership is also about sacrifices, sometimes we need to let go of the good things we had and perhaps my life because I love diversity and I love exploring.  True leadership does not believe in grand titles but in taking responsibility of other people’s lives,” she said.

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