2014 Oct. 29: Court Beat: Suspected lesbian killers remain behind bars

by Lerato Dumse

Sthembiso Yende made her third appearance at the Tsakane Magistrates court on October 27, facing a charge of murder.

The 20-year-old is accused of fatally stabbing Phumzile Nkosi (27) a lesbian mother of two boys.

Sthembiso has been held at Sun City Women’s Prison in Johannesburg, following her first appearance at the same court on October 14.

The bail application process was delayed due to Sthembiso opting for a private defence instead of a state lawyer.

Sthembiso returns to court next month, for the start of her bail hearing.

Miriam Nkosi and Themba Nkosi, Phumzile’s mother and brother, don’t mince their words and make it clear that they want to see justice served, calling for a 25year prison sentence, which is the minimum sentence for murder convictions.

Themba said it is alleged that Sthembiso lives in the next street from their home, even though the murder occurred in another section of their township.

Her arrest coincided with the victim’s funeral on October 12, surrounded by a lot of confusion caused by the different names used to identify the suspect.

Although details of why Phumzile was stabbed are still sketchy, Miriam recalled how she arrived on the scene in Extension 19, to find her youngest child’s lifeless body lying face up on the street.

She says it’s only when she turned her over, that she saw a single stab wound on her upper body.

Themba has been making the trips to court alone, as his mother doesn’t believe she is strong enough to attend with him.

He said losing his sister has been very hard on him, as they were inseparable and did a lot of things together.

 

Thabo Molefe appeared in Benoni Magistrate Court charged with the murder of Lihle Sokhela

Thabo Molefe appeared in court charged with the murder of Lihle Sokhela

While at the Benoni Regional two court, Thabo Molefe made it clear that he does not wish to apply for pay, opting to remain at Modderbee Prison.

He cited the fear for his life as his reason for choosing to remain behind bars, charged with the murder of Lihle Sokhela, a lesbian woman from Daveyton.

Judge Mitzi Schutte told Thabo during his court appearance October 23, that the investigation was concluded and prosecution was satisfied.

The case is likely to be transferred to the High Court in Pretoria, after the National Prosecuting Authority sent a letter requesting fir the case to be transferred.

Thabo who was out on parole for rape when the murder occurred, is said to have handed himself over to police, while his mother made the gruesome discovery of Lihle’s body in his room last month.

Members of the LGBT community and the Treatment Action Campaign came in numbers to attend the court case, which lasted less than 5 minutes, before being adjourned until December.

 

Previous article

 

2014 Sept. 28:  An emotional farewell for the recent victim of hate crime

 

and

 

2014 Oct. 13:  Mother of the recently murdered lesbian demands justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2014 Oct. 27: Untitled

Staring at a blank page
Thinking of scenarios to fill it
This life is too bitter for words
Too real for smiles
Words seems too simple to describe the soul within
Withdrawn, weird and strange.

If only this pen could unwrap all the layers of fat in my body
and reveal my broken skeleton.

If these words could unveil my naked brain.
All these weapons tearing me up inside: Caught them by my ears.

Cutting my soul  into million pieces,
Dimming the light within.

Taking away from crowds
Shutting all that operates this heart.

If only  this pen was connected to my heart,
So it’s ink could write the pen
That is hidden
by this imperfect smile!

 

© Sesi Mbele
(2014)

Posted in Another Approach Is Possible, Art Solidarity, Article, Articulation, Connected souls, Connections, Consideration, Crea(c)tive senses, Creative writer, Experience, Expression, Homosexuality, Moments in herstory, Patient, Poem, Queer Power, Queer Youth, Scripted, Sesi Mbele, Thoughts, We Are You, We Care, We Still Can with/out Resources, Words, Writing is a Right, Young female writer | 1 Comment

2014 Oct. 15: A letter to my Mom

by Sibahle Nkumbi

Sometimes I feel that we get so caught up on our same gender love and forget about where we come from… That sacred and safe space is ever forgotten. We hardly give a bunch of roses to our mothers and yet we claim to love women.
What is the greatest love that is there to be without a mother’s love?
I understand that we do not sleep (I mean have sexual intercourse) with our mothers but oh Bantu let us grant them some love.

Not all of us that still have mothers take time to express their feelings to their moms and not all lesbians write letters to their mothers. The ones that are fortunate enough to have mothers take their existence for granted and those that do not have mothers weep for them daily. This is a letter to my Mom.

Dear Mom

I will never be blessed with another woman like you in my life. I want to thank the Lord for making you my mother and I want to thank you for giving birth to me.
Having a child does not come with a manual you had to teach yourself parenting skills. Firstly, I love you Mommy and I want to apologise for the sleepless nights you had to go through because of me.  Let alone the pain you endured while I made all the wrong decisions growing up.

Secondly, I’m deeply thankful for the love you have given me the lessons you taught and showing me how to be a woman in this life.
Lastly I want to express my feelings of being under your guidance from birth up until my 24th year. If tomorrow never comes I don’t want to shed tears drowning in regret and sorrow. “If only” there is something I never want to say should the end comes. I want you to witness me blossoming into a woman you always wanted me to be.  My wish is to share all my happiest moments with you, God knows you have always been there through the bad times and rescued me from a lot of things and my time is now to thank you.
Most times as Daughters and Sons of our mothers, we find ourselves distant from our birthplace, this is my way of reconnecting with you Mom.

My Mother, Yintombi yaseMampondweni ezalwa yintombi yaseMaqadini.
Out of 9 children she is the 7th born and her name is Noxolo (meaning a peaceful being). She is indeed my sense of peace in this world. I’m talking about a woman with a big heart full of Love and forgiveness.
She’s not only a mother to me and my siblings but a mother to every child she crosses paths with.  The kind of woman that doesn’t sit and watch if you need help.
There’s a phrase that says ‘count your blessings’. That saying has a deeper meaning. when you take time and count your blessings you will realize that that simple act of gratitude will connect you with the things you have started taking for granted.

Momma is getting older now, old age is kicking in and she is still on the grind making sure there is food on the table. She does not owe us anything. She raised us gave and us love and education along with words of wisdom and life lessons. The lessons you don’t need a degree to be able to teach the next generation.
Thank you Mother.
I have heard people close to me that are left on this earth without Mothers saying that they feel their Mothers were gone too soon.  Some still weep at the thought of their mothers that are no longer alive wishing for their physical presence on a daily basis.
I asked myself one question: Who am I to take the mother that I have for granted?
While some will do anything for a mother’s love just one more time.

Growing up, Mommy never read any bedtime stories, instead she took time to tell us folk lore every night and stories that would always catch my attention. Now I realise that morals of stories were life lessons. When mother told stories she used to connect us to the story by action and expressions, I understand why I’m a filmmaker. I love sharing stories where people learn lessons from. I take that from Momma. The same stories she told us are still the stories I share with my nephews and nieces. Mommy has made me the strong woman that I am today.
I remember how mother used to fight my battles growing up.
One day I came home crying and asked her why do all my friends stand when they pee and I’m the only boy down?
At one point I thought there was no difference between my male friends until puberty. She sat down and explained why we pee differently but that shouldn’t change anything about who I am because to her I’ll always be her little man.
She came through for me again when an old man asked her why is the youngest girl always in Men business.  Correcting him she said “I am a mother of two girls and two boys” the two boys were my little brother and I.
She always came to my rescue and she still makes fun of how I transformed from a little boy to a young woman, today I’m a proud lesbian because of her. She loves supports and advises me everyday. We share a lot in common, those that know me well will describe me as a person that laughs and smiles a lot, and I take those traits from my Momma too. The point I’m stressing here is that all mothers are treasures they deserve our undivided attention, love, respect and care all the time. Once they leave us on this earth the world turns Black, instead of weeping we must be grateful and respectfully know that she has left you with enough to continue facing the world with endurance and patience. I want to be like my mother to my children in the future. It’s the little things that count, offering to massage her when she has back pain, offering tea when she’s thirsty. You don’t have to be rich to make your mother happy.

Mother I have a wish to give your own sanctuary for Dogs. Your love for nature and animals has taught me a lot about understanding God and his creation. I feel like I have four legs instead of two, you have always been and still are my rock.

It’s amazing how easy it is for us to get irritated when our mothers do not understand.
How we shout when they cannot hear us correctly and get grumpy when we have do their laundry. Forgetting that now that they are getting older it is our turn to look after them and make sure they are safe and protected, like they did with us when we were young.
Mother never shouted at me when I was learning to talk.  She taught me how to instead. She did not get tired of carrying me on her back simply because I couldn’t walk. The same applies when our mothers get older. The time is now for us to be fe-male(s) enough and appreciate everything they have sacrificed.
After all, if you ill-treat your mother you won’t be capable of loving another woman.

 

Previous by Siba

2014 Oct. 10: “ I tried to commit suicide…”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in A letter to my Mom, Another Approach Is Possible, Apology, Archived memories, Article, Articulation, Attention, Background, Beautiful, Beauty, Before US, Before You, Being conscientized, Birth, Birthplace, Black, Blessings, Brave, by Siba Nkumbi, Celebrating my mother, Dear Mom, Death, Difference, Disrespect, Endurance, Expression, Family, Feelings, Forget, Give, God, Happy, Irritation, Laughter, Life, Living, Living ancestors, Love, Mother and daughter relationship, Naming, Nature, Pain, Patience, Pee, Protection, Proud lesbian, Reflection, Relationship, Respect, safe, Smile, Support, Supporting each other, Survived, Talented, Teachings, Tears, Textualizing Our Own Lives, Thankful, Through thick and thin, Time, together, Together we can, Togetherness, Transformation, Treasure, Weeping, What black lesbian youth wants, When Love is a Human Right, Woman, Women loving women, Women's power, Women's Pride, Women's struggles, Women's Work, Words, Worked for us, Writing is a Right | 1 Comment

2014 Oct. 26: “I am Human” regardless of sexuality


by Mandisa Giqika

On October 25. 2014, South Africa celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Johannesburg Pride March and 20 Years of Democracy. The LGBTIQ community looked forward to this enormous event that reunites fellow sisters and brothers.

This year Mushroom Park in Sandton sheltered all humankind from babies to grandparents, after a long parade around the streets of Sandton chanting, “I am Human” regardless of sexuality.

Simone Heradien, Human Rights Activist gave a great speech after the march and said:

Johannesburg pride is not only for Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals, Intersexual and Questioning; Johannesburg pride is for everyone.

South Africa became the first nation in the world to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

This brings us to an issue of corrective rape around townships. Lesbians get raped and brutally murdered, but then a Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa has guts to file a draft document calling for the removal of LGBT rights from the Constitution of South Africa.

South Africa does not have any statutory law requiring increased penalties for hate crimes, however; hate motivated by homophobia has been treated by courts as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

In April 2014, then Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe launched a National Intervention Strategy for the LGBTI Sector developed by the National Task Team (NTT) to address sex-based violence and gender-based violence against members of the community.

The NTT has established a rapid response team to attend to unsolved criminal cases as a matter of urgency and produced an information pamphlet with frequently asked questions about LGBTI persons.

The first South African pride parade was held towards the end of the apartheid era in Johannesburg on 13 October 1990, the first such event on the African continent.

Now we on the 25 years later, we are still fighting for political advocacy against LGBTIQ hate crimes, such as the so-called corrective rape of lesbians in townships, and to remember victims thereof.

Zuki Khuse & friends_3164Zuki Khuse and friends was present too…

In his speech during the first pride Simon Nkoli, a gay and anti-Apartheid Activist said, “I’m fighting for the abolition of apartheid. And I fight for the right of freedom of sexual orientation. These are inextricably linked with each other. I cannot be free as a black man if I am not free as a gay man.”

Away from the crowed and pumping music were many danced for hours, someone was heard saying, “I am a Lawyer, you can’t tell me anything.” it came from a feminine lesbian when securities tried to escort females out of the male toilets.

 “We don’t mind, we don’t mind, they can share toilets with us, these are our brothers and sisters you can’t discriminate” an angry Gay man proclaimed, forcing security guards to surrender to the situation.

The event was well organized with maximum security, while bottles and cooler boxes were not allowed. Marques with different choice meals were available in numbers.

Paramedics were on standby at the event the whole day and monitored the situation, giving first aid to those who required it.

“We have reserved parking at Gautrain, Sandton City and Radisson Blu. You only pay R10 to keep your car safe and enjoy the festival for free,” said Steven Khan, head of Strategy and Sponsorship Organizing team spokesperson.

Reactions from some who attended the event:

“Johannesburg pride is better. Music is awesome and the vibe is good we enjoying every moment” -Melissa and Nicole

“Turnout is half the Zoo lake and my friends could not come too because of the venue.” -David

“I think I will stick to Soweto pride; can’t stand this music” -Luyanda

“Black entertainers were unhappy for not being slotted in on the program including my fans when they heard that I won’t perform. This is the first pride that I wasn’t considered” –Sicka Star-ban (Mr Lesbian Daveyton and hip hop artist)

Amongst the public figures that attended the festival were Toya Delazy, Samkelo Ndlovu and Sade Giliberti.

We are hoping that all aspects will be considered in the planning phase of future pride marches. As Simone Heradien mentioned that pride is for everyone, let it apply to the entertainment.

 

2014 Oct 25 Thobeka & Londeka_3261With Thobeka and Londeka…

2014 Oct. 25 SlyPod @ Sandton Pride_3187SlyPod with friends at Sandton Pride…

 

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2014 Oct. 21: A tribute to the late lover

Phumy (Phumzile Nkosi) and Pretty Nanto met in 2010 December 31.
We fell in love and promised each other that “till death do us part,” and it did 4 years later.

She was amazingly smart, caring, loving, supportive, brave and the strongest person I have ever met.

Phumy was my first girlfriend and she was the best person I’ve ever met, because she loved me and I was her princess.

When I was with her we were always happy and that was the amazing thing, she always wanted us to be happy “HAPPINESS”.

She was one of those loving souls, I loved her, and she became someone so special or let me say a blessing. When I met her I never realized she can be such.

Although sometimes we had disagreements and arguments but she never laid a hand on me, that was the promise she made and kept.

We wouldn’t sleep or go a day without talking to each other because we believed that two people being in love means you can’t live without one another.

She was a special person and will always be in my Heart.

Losing her was the last thing in my thoughts.
Since she left me I feel like I am a foreigner living in the wrong world where she is not in.

Everyday depression is taking place, I really don’t understand why she had to leave me in this sad way, that she doesn’t deserve.

I feel if I was there with her such wouldn’t have happened because with each other nothing went wrong.

I’m really breaking apart everyday, losing her has really changed how happy and bubbly I was.

We would call each other every day or do callbacks if we have no airtime.
Now that beautiful voice is gone, I am crying every day.

In my life she became someone wonderful and I don’t think I would ever have such a soul.

It’s been weeks since she’s been gone, but still feels new to me that she is gone.

I’m trying very hard to be strong, and the more I try, the more it hurts deeply.

I’m strong around people but when I’m alone it all comes back and I sometimes feel like I’m losing myself because I’m often in tears and feeling empty.

So here I am all alone, singishiyile isthandwa sam’.  No one has ever treated me like her, because with her nothing mattered everything was well.

We’ve been through a lot together and she never gave up on us through all the sadness.

Intlupheko yethu (our poverty) was known by us and we wouldn’t show anyone but our love kept us together.

All that’s left now is memories and that she loved me very much.

In my life I don’t think I will ever meet such a person there was only ONE PHUMY for me.

Even if I can move on she will remain loved and no else will ever receive the love I have for her.

Every day when I wake up its very different and unique I’m no longer confident I am really confused and have lots of questions of why.

I feel she is going to call me or I will call her so I can hear that voice saying ”DOODO’.

In my life I made a promise to her that I will take care of our boys Thulani and Phumlani because that is what she always asked me if anything happens to her.

This thing will make me happy and even her soul will rest in peace. She will always remain in my memories and I’m proud of her.
Love you my dodo…

 

Phumzile Nkosi_9603

 

 

Previous link

 

2014 Oct. 13:  Mother of the recently murdered lesbian demands justice

 

 

About the author

Nomfundiso Nanto is well known by the name of Pretty.
She was born on the 20th  October 1993 in Tsakane township but currently stays in Westdene, Johannesburg.
She is a 2nd Year student at the University of Johannesburg studying towards a Bachelor’s degree: Education for Senior and FET phase majoring in Psychology (Life Orientation) and Physical education (Sports).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in "Till death do us apart", 1986-2014, A tribute, Article, Boys orphaned by violence, Brutality, Family, Friendships, Life, Love, Loved, murdered, Phumzile Nkosi, Pretty Nanto, Relationships, Stabbed to death, Tears, Tsakane | 2 Comments

2014 Oct. 21: SA Lesbian Feathers of the Year

 

Bev Ditsie and Zanele Muholi © Photo by Lindeka Qampi (2014)

Bev Ditsie and Zanele Muholi both won Feathers of the Year. Ditsie in 2012 and Muholi in 2013.
© Photo by Lindeka Qampi (2014)

They are both South African lesbian icons. Most influential in different ways.
Some of the commonalities between them is their sexuality and being born in South Africa during the ’70s. Bev from Soweto and Zanele in Umlazi township.

About Bev Palesa Ditsie

Bev. is an activist, filmmaker, musician, actor, television producer and director.
She was at the forefront of the LGBT rights in South Africa and beyond through the whole of the 1990s. She was instrumental in founding the gay rights organisation GLOW, creating and contributing to public conversations regarding gay rights, women’s rights, human rights, influencing policy and raising awareness, and was one of the organisers of South Africa’s first Gay Pride March.
She is also the first gay African woman to address the United Nations.

She has been working in the television industry since the age of 10 as an actor and voice over artist.

In the past 18 years Bev has worked as a Director, Content Director and Series Director on music videos, variety, education shows, documentaries, and reality television shows such as Big Brother Africa, Master Chef SA, All You Need Is Love and Survivor South Africa seasons to date.

Awards and Citations

1994 June 17 Bev Ditsie/ Simon Nkoli Day, Washington DC, USA
1994 July 05 Bev Ditsie/ Simon Nkoli Day, San Francisco, USA
1995 June 12 Citation (Key of the City) Philadelphia, Penn, USA
1995 Nov.      Main Speaker at the 4th United Nations Conference on Women, Beijing
2004 March “Simon and I” Oxfam/ Vues d’Afrique best documentary, Montreal, Canada
2006 June  – Lifetime Achievement Award: GALA
2012 Feather of the Year award

Published Writing

Contributing writer – Curve Magazine, USA – 2000
Contributing writer – Tribute Woman, Tribute Magazine – 1997
Columnist – “Bev’s beat” – Outright Magazine 1995 – 1998

Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and was born in Umlazi, Durban, and lives in Johannesburg.
Muholi co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002.
In 2009, founded Inkanyiso (www.inkanyiso.org) queer & visual (activists) media.

Muholi mission is to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond.
Muholi continues to train and co-facilitates photography workshops to young women in the townships.
Current project: 2014 PhotoXPa collaboration with three women at Aurora Girls High School, Soweto.

She studied Advanced photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg.
In 2007 – 2009 studied MFA: Documentary Media at Ryerson University, Toronto.

Muholi is an Honorary Professor of the University of the Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen.

Her Faces and Phases series has shown on Documenta 13; the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, Imaginary Fact: South African art and the archive; and the 29th São Paulo Biennale; a book of the series published by Steidl Press will be launched in Ulm, Germany in Sept. 2014.

 

Awards
2013
Fine Prize – Emerging artist, Carnegie International
Prince Claus Award
Feather Award – Feather of the Year 
Mbokodo Award – Creative photography
Index on Censorship – Freedom of Expression art award
Campaigner of the Year, Glamour magazine

2009
Jean-Paul Blachère Award, Les Rencontres de Bamako biennial of African photography
Casa Africa Award for best female photographer, Les Rencontres de Bamako biennial of African photography
Fanny Ann Eddy accolade by the International Resource Network in Africa (IRN-Africa)
LGBTI Art & Culture Award

Publications

  • Faces and Phases (2006 – 2014)
  • Zanele Muholi: African Women Photographers #1  (2011)
  • Faces and Phases  (2010)
  • Only half the Picture  (2006)

 

 

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2014 Oct. 22: Paris meets Aurora Young Female Photographers

by Thobe Gumede

It is Tuesday, 21st Oct. 2014 in the afternoon at Aurora GHS where guest speakers come and share expertise with young photographers.

The interaction started with a traditional icebreaker, a good meal, brought by the visitor for the photography learners at Aurora Girls High School. The learners had been waiting in anticipation to meet the guest speaker of the day, Veronica Noseda, a member of Equipe Les Dégommeuses, Paris, France.

 

The AGHS PhotoXP learners after guest speaking session. © Lerato Dumse (2014)

The AGHS PhotoXP learners after guest speaking session.
© Lerato Dumse (2014)

 

Introductions were in order and the learners were happy to hear that Veronica was impressed with their work. She liked the fact that the learners have their personal perspectives and own realities’ which is priceless and is a great start to being good photographers, writers or filmmakers.

They were both excited and shy to introduce themselves until the journalist, soccer player and activist introduced herself to the students, and later emphasized that, that’s how the learners should also introduce themselves wherever they are, clear, loud and proud.

Veronica shared with them that she spent the past 15 years living in France and it is during these years that she met Zanele Muholi, a South African activist and a photographer who initiated the meeting, and worked with her on a number of projects including the documentary which was screened minutes later.

The documentary titled “Foot for Love” by Equipe Les Dégommeuses was screened at Aurora Girls High School for the 2014 PhotoXP learners was produced during the 2012 Paris Pride week in France.
It tells the story of trip that Thokozani Football Club (TFC) took and how they spent their time in Paris.
The team is named after Thokozani Qwabe, a young lesbian victim of hate crime who was murdered in 2007.
The documentary played on the small screen laptop and the learners gathered closely. Veronica translated when people in the documentary spoke in French to ensure that the viewers understood what was going on.

Discussions followed after the screening, and then there were questions and answers.
Q1. How did the French audience react when they saw black South African lesbians parading on their streets?

VN Answer: The French were both welcoming and curious and some of them joined in after they find out what the parade was about.

Q2. Did you get support from the community?

Answer: Yes, the community showed great support and they were extremely happy to march and sing with the Thokozani Football Team.

Q3. What challenges did you face when you edited the documentary?

VN Answer: There weren’t that many challenges other than technical problems of which were overcome easily since it was a collective project, the documentary cost nothing and some of the people volunteered with their skills and some provided their video footage.
Sometimes we would post on facebook to ask for assistance with fixing technical challenges that were beyond us.

Q4. What is your organization doing for the Thokozani Football Club?

VN: Our organization worked with Thokozani Football Club to show solidarity and visibility of black South African lesbians at the height of hate crimes in South Africa. This was to show the realities of what is currently going on in SA which is not seen on mainstream television in France.

Q#5. How different or similar is the lesbian scene in France compared to the South African lesbians?

VN: We don’t know about hate crimes but some of us are also discriminated against and face a lot of homophobia as well.

Veronica went on to explain that the visual part of the documentary was to start conversations about human rights issues such as women’s rights to equality, homosexuality and so forth.

She also stressed to the learners that everything is interesting, explaining to them how important it is to observe things that happen around them, and encouraging them to take more photos and videos.
A follow up documentary titled Team Spirit was produced and directed by Thembela ‘Terra’ Dick which focuses on the lives of some TFC soccer players back in Umlazi township, Durban.
It was premiered at IFAS, Johannesburg during the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).

 

 

Related articles

 

 

2014 Oct. 16: The lawyer in the classroom

 

 

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Previous links

 

2014 Oct.:  Long trip to Cape Town from Johannesburg

 

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2014 Oct. 7:  Robbed while shooting

 

and

 

2014 Sept. 30:  “I truly love Cape Town”

 

and

 

2014 Aug. 30: Insightful analysis from the guest speaker

 

and

 

2014 Aug. 30: Young aspiring photographers experimenting lithography

 

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2014 Aug. 28: Fine Artists on importance of being creative

 

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2014 Aug.1: InterGenerational conversation with current and future stars

 

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2014 July 16: Through the eyes of young women photographers

 

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2014 July 12:   From Soweto to Paris for the love of photography

 

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2014 July 13:  “Give children cameras not candies”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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