Kenewang Mbisana was born in Francistown, Botswana, in 1980 and was raised in Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone, primarily by her father who worked for Botswana Railways. She was brought up in the Zion Christian Church, but felt unsatisfied with it. When she was eighteen missionaries knocked on her door and introduced her to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Compelled by the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation, she joined the Church at nineteen. She loved Institute and ultimately decided to serve a mission at twenty-one. She was the first sister missionary from Botswana and served her mission in the South Africa Durban mission. Kenewang now works in a hospital in the semi-urban village of Serowe under the Clinical Services (blood donation) Department.

One challenge Kenewang has faced is navigating her life as a single childless woman in Botswana, where there is widespread expectation for women to become mothers, whether in or outside of wedlock. While that has been difficult, she feels the church has given her many opportunities to develop. She has taught Institute for several years and was Botswana’s first Relief Society president of a Young Single Adult ward. As Relief Society president, Kenewang worked closely with young women in her ward.

Kenewang names the Church Educational System as a major influence in her life, as it has built her into the woman she is today. She says, “I have been able to achieve great things, both temporal and spiritual blessings, because of its nurturing and tutoring. I have felt fully armored with confidence to do anything. I have been able to use this confidence … in job interviews, empathy, relating to people, and the fact that I am able to strike up a conversation with a stranger down a street corner in a bus or anywhere without any fear.”

Kenewang Mbisana