Muholi and Qampi collaborate on Limise exhibition.

Frankfurt/Main, GermanySakhile&Me Gallery presents “Limise” – a selection of photographs by South African visual activist Zanele Muholi and photographer Lindeka Qampi. The exhibition pays homage to the 63rd anniversary of the iconic 1956 Women’s March during Apartheid South Africa and will run from August 8 until September 7, 2019. The exhibition is guest-curated by compatriot Lerato Dumse who has collaborated with the duo since 2013.

“Limise” shows a series of iconic high-contrasted black-and-white self-portrait photographs by Prof. Zanele Muholi from the award winning “Somnyama Ngonyama” series and color self- portrait photographs by fellow long-time activist and ally Lindeka Qampi. The duo-exhibition comes at a crucial moment in both their careers as 2019 marks South Africa’s 25th year of independence and the show highlights their long-standing contributions as human rights advocates and dedicated members of South Africa’s photography community.

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MuMu, London, 2019 © Zanele Muholi 

“Limise“ is an isiXhosa word, meaning “to build”. The two photographers’ work side-by-side in “Limise” culminates in a timely and intimate appreciation of their contributions for more than a decade to the history of South Africa’s photography and contemporary art. In her body of work, Muholi tackles issues of race and gender specifically: “My aim is to produce 365 self-portraits to represent each day of the year because I live as a black person 365 days in a year”. Qampi’s series touches on the universal topic of sexual violence. She too approaches the topic from an insider’s perspective, exposing, confronting, and rising above traumatic personal experiences from her childhood. She employs metaphorical re-enactments to raise awareness while administering healing for herself. In “Limise”, both photographers speak to and remember their relationships with their mothers, their community work, and the power of telling stories through photography.

Since 2002, Prof. Muholi has been best known for advocacy work supporting the rights of LGBTQI communities in South Africa, training a younger generation of photographers and building an archive of testimonials for and with the LGBTQI community, using photography as a tool to document and tell their stories. As part of the “Somnyama Ngonyama” series, Muholi denounces social injustice and racism.

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Blanket Worms © Lindeka Qampi

Qampi started doing photography in 2006 at Iliso Labantu (“the eye of the people”), aphotographers collective, spending the first decade of her photography career focusing ondaily township life. Lindeka Qampi’s photography also developed from her human rights work, especially focusing on anti-xenophobia, anti-sexism, and anti-homophobia. Qampi develops a series of color self-portraits that collectively tell an interconnected narrative. In “Limise”, both Muholi and Qampi develop on their past work taking portraits of friends and close associates and turn to face the lens.

Zanele Muholi was born in Umlazi (South Africa). In 2002, Muholi co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW). In 2009, Muholi was awarded their Master of Fine Arts degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and founded the INKANYISO collective in the same year. Muholi has exhibited at institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town. Muholi’s work is currently on display at the Central Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, with the traveling exhibition “Somnyama Ngonyama” recently opening at the Seattle Art Museum in July 2019. Muholi is also an Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts/Hochschule der Künste Bremen and has won numerous awards, including Book of the Year for “Somnyama Ngonyama” during the prestigious Kraszna-Krausz Awards (2019), Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from French Embassy (2017), and the Prince Claus Foundation Laureate (2013). Muholi was also shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2015).

Lindeka Qampi was born in 1969 in Bolotwa (South Africa) and her work is part of collections in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the University of Cape Town. Her awards include the Mbokodo Award (2015) in the category “Creative Photographer” and the Brave Award (2016) with Muholi, acknowledging their outreach work.

Posted in Collaborations, Exhibition opening, Exhibitions, Germany, Lindeka Qampi and Zanele Muholi, My name is Zanele Muholi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 July 30: When Faces Meet

by Mercury Duma

A day of triumph and celebration was held at the Stevenson Art Gallery in Parktown North, Johannesburg on the 20th of July 2019.

Rainbow colours covered the the fence leading up to the exhibition. Different outfits, different personalities and different individuals from all walks of life brought together to rejoice and celebrate the 13th instalment of Faces and Phases.

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Cold weather took centre stage during the proceedings of the day. Though there was sunlight brightening up the day but the warmth of it provided a brief relief during the day. This didn’t deter people from coming out in their numbers. The weather was also a symbol of the cold struggles queer people face everyday because of their sexuality and gender identity.

With each hour passing more and more people flocked into the gallery excited to see the black and white portraits in the gallery. This is no ordinary exhibition as it serves a raw and distinctive measure to create more black queer visibility. The portraits were taken by Professor Zanele Muholi, portraits with an in-depth look at black queer people across South Africa.

The Faces and Phases participants captured are either lesbian, transgender men and women and gender non-conforming individuals. Smiles and excitement filled the room with each participant seeing their portrait on the wall. You could tell how much it meant for them to have their portraits in the exhibition.

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Noluthando Mbuyisa captured by Nonkululeko Dube.

For some of the participants seeing their portraits in the exhibition triggered them to have a moment of reflection of how far they have come, the trials and tribulations they have gone through.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Cecil and Derek Schrier from San Francisco, United States of America during the exhibition viewing. They spoke highly about the work of Professor Zanele Muholi. “ We have two images which my husband has bought from Zanele, we really love her work.” Said Cecil Schrier.

The exhibition was graced with various performers each leaving a piece of themselves on stage to signify the love and celebratory mood the exhibition held throughout the day. It is without a doubt how much talent LGBTIA+ individuals are.

When Professor Zanele Muholi went on stage to deliver a key note address, she started with one of her signature songs that resonate with every LGBTIA+ individuals zizojika izinto meaning things will turn around in time but for now we shall continue the fight for equality.

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In her address she thanked everyone for coming to the exhibition and celebrating this memorial day, which is significant in the queer community. She gave a special thanks to all the Faces and Phases 13 participants and lastly thanked the Stevenson Art Gallery for opening doors to hold the exhibition.

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A moment of silence was observed for all the hardships queer individuals have gone through in their lives. Muholi also urged everyone to work hard, respect each other and fend for themselves.

Before finishing the address Muholi reassured everyone that the Faces and Phases series is continuing and more and more participants are going to be part of the series. She said in her final words “today we are making history.” As the day descendent to an end , it was evident to everyone that history has been made and the work of black queer visibility is well ahead of time.

 

Posted in A decade of Faces and Phases, Faces and Phases 10, Faces and Phases 13, Faces and Phases 2006 - 2016, faces and phases exhibition, Faces and Phases participant, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 July 30: Our history will not be forgotten.

by Tinashe Wakapila

A journey that started with a face and a camera has evolved to phases of queer beings leaving a forest of family trees of the LBTI+ COMMUNITY. Positive Narratives of Queer beings centuries ago was nowhere to be found. If it was found it would be open for all sorts of negativity and wrongful ideologies behind it. It was more of a subjective topic. Leading the whole idea of a simple thing as a different sexuality to the other being something that people have to fight for to be accepted. That is why the great Prof. Sir Zanele Muholi saw it fit that we may be a part of this journey participating in the project named Faces and Phases.

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A modern day documentary through photography (portraits to be specific), which is an important method of recording history, sharing emotional truths, and often inspiring change and kick starting dialogues with regards to an appropriate and enlightened narrative about LBT+ persons. This has become for me in my own opinion a book of reference with accurate interpretation of Black Queer Folks without no miscommunicated or misunderstood information. This documentary has fundamental brinks of empowering minority groups of people that have been marginalized for centuries.

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‘I started this project in 2006’, Muholi mentioned and continued to say, “those I shoot from there will be 13 years older from that project, meaning the years have already started to pile upon this positive project and maturing it into an archive’ … images contain a great big deal rich or wealthy life story telling which may be used effectively in historical research. Also it could help lobby many gender and sexuality issues. For example, there is no one who will deny the existence of black Queer individuals coming in all shape form size or belief system when the images are speaking for themselves the existences… The potential uses of photographs as primary sources for inquiry are not limited to professional historians, but may be taught too, and used by students and upcoming generations for their own informative know of mankind and their diversities.

20th of July was a day not to be missed as this was the day of proclaiming and acclaiming the greatest through photography. Historian and custodian of today’s Queer human beings stories. This day marks how important it is mingling with people from all walks of life. Performances were executed and they had many meaningful life lessons in a metaphoric manner. The talent that was showcased through dance poetry prayer and singing was rare sapient. It defined that the humans on those walls and in those portraits have a life and careers they are pursuing besides being queer, making tthen nothing less or more than any mankind. There is nothing important than having a place to display your talent and capabilities of entertainment. Faces and Phases 13 celebration creates jobs and gigs for a lot of artists who owned the space as it is at most rare to just get an opportunity anywhere. This project/documentary is not only for activism and advocating for the lives of Queer beings but is also a time in moment many can show their abilities.

This is what makes photography one of the most important methods of documentation, both historically and in the present day. In wrapping up, a piece of all the work also compiled as digital photography in the gallery was an eye opening intelligence that our history will not be forgotten as the world unfolds.

Previous posts by Tinashe:

https://inkanyiso.org/2017/06/30/2017-june-24-humanity-reigns-in-our-society/

https://inkanyiso.org/2016/06/14/2016-june-10-contains-explicit-content-for-good-knowledge-aluta-continua/

https://inkanyiso.org/2016/01/06/2015-dec-27-qhawekazi-elihle-memoir/

 

 

 

Posted in A decade of Faces and Phases, Article by Tinashe Wakapila, Black Queer Professionals, Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014), Faces and Phases 10, Faces and Phases 13, Faces and Phases book launch, Faces and Phases book launch in New York, faces and phases exhibition, Faces and Phases participant, Faces and Phases participants, Faces and Phases project, Lesbian Professionals, Prof/Sir Zanele Muholi, Professional black lesbians in South Africa, Professionals, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 July 29: 7 years of writing Pieces of Expressions.

by Nonkululeko Dube

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On the 27th of July 2019 at AGOG Gallery in Johannesburg, Lebo Diverse launched a book titled PIECES OF EXPRESSIONS in the name of art-create. The book was published under Seven27 project that is an artist hub that grooms and document a collective of artists. I am nervous for them wondering if people are going to come through for the book launch and at the very same time, I am superbly excited for Lebo. We have a new baby created in the family. Lebo Diverse says it has been 7 years of writing and Pieces of expressions comprises 27 poems from that 7 years of writing and 30 years of life experiences.

Seven27 project was celebrating its 3rd annual celebration, since it was founded on the 27th of July in 2017 and since then it has two sub-projects under it, Pieces of Expressions is the 3rd sub-project. The first project was theatrical performance in Kwa-Thema based on conflicts and conversations of 27- year olds. Then the second one is Exclusive Publication that has not been launched yet.

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Musician Sliq Angel was one of the performing artists at the launch, before his performance he emphasised on black people supporting each other and expressed his gratitude towards Lebo Diverse publishing their book. Prof Zanele Muholi graced the book launch with their presence and they bought 25 books in the name of celebrating 25 years of democracy in South Africa. Then Lebo Diverse added 2 books in those bought by Prof Muholi to make them 27 in the name of seven27 project. Muholi also emphasised on supporting Artists and paying Artist fee. The crowd was enjoying the music and live performances of poets including Saint, Zodaic and musicians Sliq Angel, MJ and Naledi. Not forgetting the MC Pablo with his hilarious jokes.

“It is not everyday that people publishing books are people that we come into contact with, we have never thought it could be us. Now having authors Like Lebo says to me, it is possible black child,” says Wakhe Sebenza who was also attending the book launch. The highlight of the launch was the collaboration of poetry by Lebo and dance performance by Kwagala Stellah-Marie from Uganda, who took off her clothes and the crowd was blown away by the performance. You could hear the screams of excitement afterwards.

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Previous by Nonkululeko:

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/06/13/2019-june-13-using-soccer-and-pool-to-change-lives/

Posted in Article by Lebo Mashifane, Black Queer Professionals, Book launch, Book launches, by Lebo Mashifane, Faces and Phases, Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014) book review, Faces and Phases 10, Faces and Phases 13, Lebo Mashifane, Lebogang Mashifane, Lesbian Professionals, Nonkululeko Dube, Poem by Lebo Mashifane, Poetry, Prof/Sir Zanele Muholi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faces and Phases turns teen

by: Lindiwe Dhlamini

Professor/Sir Zanele Muholi’s longstanding photographic project known as; Faces and Phases (F&P)celebrates thirteen years in existence. Some of the faces have faded with the phases and some of those still alive were in attendance. On the 19th of July Muholi celebrated their birthday as the installations were taking place for what was termed ‘mini LGBTIAQ+ Pride’ taking place on the 20thJuly 2019 in Parktown North, Johannesburg at the Stevenson Gallery.

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Friends, collaborators and family pose for a photo after watching the Lion King movie in celebration of Muholi’s birthday © Thembela Dick

Faces and Phases is renowned for the documentation of Black African lesbians and transgender men and woman from various countries. The images have been exhibited in over 40 countries since its inception. In 2014, a second book was published as a literary archive to preserve a rich part of our history that is often ignored or recognized when attacked, bullied and ridiculed. Thus, F&P is a very important historical archive for future generations to know, see and read about these faces and the phases in their lives.

Inkanyiso crew organized for the participants to be in attendance, people from Eastern Cape, Durban, Cape Town, Gauteng and other parts of the world graced the place with their presence. It was lovely to see people taking selfies next to their images displayed on the wall, for some of them it was their first time as F&P participants. People looked free, happy and filled with pride which was my highlight of the day. The performances that took place were amazing and as Muholi took the stage to give a speech, they did not spare us their comedic side.

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Annalyzer next to her portrait is one of the participants who gave a stunning performance © Nonkululeko Dube

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Andiswa Dlami (left) another Faces and Phases participant with fellow Dj on the day Ellen Chilemba ©Nonkululeko Dube

The day before the event I had the pleasure of interviewing some of the participants to check which phases in their lives they were in and how has it been since their images were first taken. I cannot emphasize how proud it made me to learn that education and acquiring qualifications has been a phase they have passed or are currently in. It is important to celebrate LGBTIAQ+ success because mainstream media airs the broken, raped and murdered phases of our stories and very seldom our victories and achievements.

Speaking and meeting some of the faces only I had seen in the book and written about in my academic papers really warmed my heart. Hearing some of their stories and seeing them rejoice gave me hope that maybe things really do get better with time. People looked beautiful, their outfits and hair were on point you can tell it was a very well planned affair. Inkanyiso and Stevenson Gallery teams have worked tirelessly for the success of the event and the results were outstanding. Everything was well taken care of from the wonderfully curated and installed show to the great tasting food and refreshments provided.

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Inkanyiso Team members Tinashe Wakapila (left) and Thembela Dick worked hard in the media department © Nonkululeko Dube

It was a bit of a nightmare to find parking space since the gallery is situated in a very busy road and we had to park there but, the care and security was reassuring. There were mini bus taxis organized to make sure people returned home safe and for those who were from outside of Gauteng province hotels and guest houses were secured. For some of the people it was their first time in Johannesburg and you could see and feel the excitement and I hope they enjoyed themselves. The festivities of the day ended with a few after parties in Maboneng, Braamfontein and Melville while others chose to chill at the hotel.

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New Faces and Phases participants from Port Elizabeth traveled with their partners to see themselves ©Bathini Dambuza

Once again Prof/Sir Muholi had outdone themselves with a beautiful show and while it was Muholi’s birthday weekend they chose to spend it with people. A leader who acknowledges that umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu and practices that philosophy selflessly. The show is opened till 30 August 2019 and I encourage people to go and see it, it really will make you appreciate the beauty of our people on the walls a view I wish to see for years to come.

Related Articles:

https://inkanyiso.org/2016/10/15/2016-oct-15-a-decade-of-faces-and-phases/

https://inkanyiso.org/2016/05/09/2016-april-27-reuniting-with-faces-and-phases-on-freedom-day/

https://inkanyiso.org/2016/04/06/2016-april-2-faces-and-phases-follow-ups/

 

 

Posted in 'We live in fear' by Zanele Muholi & HRW, A decade of Faces and Phases, Baitiri Lumka Seleka; Charmain Carrol; Kopano Sibeko; Maureen Velile Majola; Lesego Tlhwale; Lerato Dumse; Nation Mokoena; Nqobile Zungu; Rene Mathibe; Zanele Muholi, Bathini from Faces and Phases, Beautiful faces, Eight years of photographing Faces and Phases, Faces & Phases portraits, Faces and Phases, Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014), Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014) book launch..., Faces and Phases 13, Faces and Phases book launch in New York, faces and phases exhibition, Faces and Phases participant, Faces and Phases project, Lindeka Qampi and Zanele Muholi, Uncategorized, When Faces meet, When Faces Meet and Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 July 22: The Queen’s Autobiography helps Women to find their path beyond real-Life calamities

by Donsi Kunene

Indlovukazi Mapule, Author of “Leaving the shadows behind” is helping other women to prevent and to overcome their life challenges while they can. The book is a treasure for gifted young people, troubled souls, teachers, counsellors, parents, mentors and friends. This book integrates insights regarding the social and emotional characteristics of the individual. Everyone will discover themselves in these pages.

Just in time, as we celebrate women’s month in August, this book will come in handy for all women who seek to look beyond their life misfortunes and soldier on. The book has 10 fascinating chapters that display her life challenges and jubilees as a widow, teacher, spiritual coach, actor, businesswoman and a wife.

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The book cover of “Leaving The Shadows Behind.” © Image courtesy of the author.

Indlovukazi Mapule’s life has been everybody’s business; society has been creating and telling her story in their own different versions, muddling the truth with lies, speculations and assumptions. Now she is telling her own story in her own way revealing uncensored truths about marriage, life and death.

“I couldn’t put “Leaving the shadows behind” down when I started reading as it is packed with bleak truths, difficult topics and ironically a lesson not to judge or talk about something you have never experienced. It was not what I was expecting at all. What I got was an utter shock and a sincere, to-the-point road map of one brave lady’s fight against her odds,” says Gugu Madonsela, one of her close business associates in the media industry.

Indlovukazi Mapule became fascinated with helping vulnerable women and established an organization called “Esigodlweni SeziNdlovukazi”, after observing too many incidents where women give up their lives because of devious families and friends.

The author is a revered giant in the field of gifted teaching, enlightening us over the years concerning moral sensitivity, creativity, leadership ability, and spiritual development of the gifted.

Read more in her book which is obtainable through placing orders directly to 076 120 9023/071 999 4846. The book will hit bookshop shelves soon.

Visit thelink Mapule’s Book images and bio for photos, and an author bio. For interviews and queries you can contact Donsy Kunene on 060 914 8272/centralroutemedia@gmail.comor stonefaceptyltd@gmail.com

Related Posts:

https://inkanyiso.org/2015/05/17/2015-march-24-lgbtiqs-of-kayamandi-attended-the-book-launch/

https://inkanyiso.org/2015/04/15/2015-march-26-four-generations-of-black-lesbians-at-the-faces-and-phases-book-launch/

https://inkanyiso.org/2014/12/08/2014-dec-7-the-joys-and-pains-of-organising-faces-and-phases-2006-14-book-launch/

https://inkanyiso.org/2018/12/11/visual-activist-launches-new-book-in-cape-town/

Posted in 2018 Somnyama Ngonyama Book Launch @ WISER, Author, Book, Book launch, Book launches, Book Review, Books, Life story, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2019 July 10: My New York Moments – Taking Centre Stage at World Pride, New York 2019! 

by Yaya Mavundla
 

It’s a Thursday evening 27. July 2019, I am on a flight to New York for World Pride, New York 2019 the biggest pride in the world which forms part of Stonewall 50

For some weird reason I am not overwhelmed, it feels so normal, like I have done this before, very weird for a first time experience, the last time I attended pride abroad was in 2014 in Belgium

One thing for sure is that I am excited that with this trip everything is just going so well. 

What’s more interesting is that this is a decision that was made yesterday (Wednesday 26/06/19) after I received my USA visa, which has been a mission for me to get, not that I have failed the Visa, application, I just never made it to the embassy.

 

Halfway through the trip, the excitement kicks in, I am going to New York!
I start thinking of all the possibilities and things I am going to get up to there.
I am dying inside to research about World Pride, sadly, with SAA there is no internet connection on their flights. This means I will only have to finish the 14 hour flight then can access the internet and start research.
I keep checking the flight map to see how long we have travelled and how long is it still going to take us to get to our final destination.  Thank goodness I was not connecting, it was straight flight from S.A to New York. Finally, at some point I fall asleep for a few hours. When I wake up, I played some local music Zonke, Shekina, Kwesta, Thabsie,and fell involve with Berita which I played on repeat until arrival in New York.
Have you ever been at a place for the first time and feel like you have been there so many times? That exactly how I felt. On arrival I reconnected with Ras Silas, we were on a same flight and he was travelling to New York for his residency. Ras Silas is an artist I met at the Winnie Mandela concert at Constitution Hill and fell in love with his work.
I introduced him to Metro FM breakfast show with DJ Fresh and he got the opportunity to sketch Lindiwe Mazibuko like during her interview on Famous Fridays, I was proud.
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View from Williamsburg by Lerato Dumse

On arrival we went to customs and went to get the yellow cab to take me to Brooklyn where I was gonna be staying with Lerato Dumseand Terra Dick. Lerato and Terra were already there as we all travelled differently. I forgot to tell Lerato or Terra that I have arrived and they should expect me so they can open the door when I arrive. I arrived at the accommodation, there is no WiFi  downstairs so I cannot communicate with them to open for me. Yes I knew the address but I did not have the room number. Believe it or not, I guessed the apartment number of where we were staying, I got it right for some reason, thanks God it was correct and I found Lerato who then opened for me. Immediately when she told me I must come to the fourth floor, I said a little prayer that I hope there is a lift. I was so devastated to find out there was no lift and the staircases are very long, mind you my luggage was so heavy!
Managed to get to the apartment and reconnected with Lerato. The apartment we were staying in was so, so nice with a massive couch which I abandoned my room for and slept on until we left for Seattle.
A few hours later after refreshing we took a walk with Lerato to go see Muholi where they were staying which was a 15/20m min walk. It felt so good to be with everyone there, as always, Muholi fed me a lot of food. Reconnected with everyone and planned our weekend and headed to Brooklyn downtown to do some shopping for pride.
As part of supporting pride, in the US and other countries abroad most retail shops, brands and companies have something that speaks of pride, be it having a flag at their establishment, branding their venues and brands usually have special collection dedicated to pride. We went to H&M first which I was not really keen on, and I found a few items that I liked, one of them is a body suit with rainbow colours that I ended up wearing at pride on Sunday. We also went to retail shops where ADIDAS, Michael Kors, Dr Martin and many other brands had very interesting pride collection and shopped a few items.
I had never used a dollar before, understandably so. The shock of my life when I found out how much I was paying for everything, my heart at first sank. Imagine paying $32 for transport valid for a week, which is a bus and subway train.
Many other things got me worried, this is after I paid $55 from the airport to the apartment. I realised the cost of living in New York is really expensive.
Food, a place to stay, transport  and hot beverages are really expensive.
Come Saturday we went to the 10th edition of Harlem Pride which is an alternative  pride event that happens day before New York Pride march. It was nice and intimate and happened on a street, with the stage situated under the bridge. We had so much fun, reconnected with Lady Phyll who is a co-founder of UK Black Pride and have fell in-love with since 2018 when she attended Muholi’s major exhibition “Homecoming” at Durban Art gallery. I also got to meet Dominique Jackson from the popular series on FX Now and NETFLIX, POSE, who is my older sister from abroad as many who watches series would say.
I’ve never seen what people are talking about but it is said on the show she is a version of Yaya Mavundla, all we can do is admire an accept the compliments. The rain had to spoil the day and we left, went back home to freshen up and go dance!
Though I was warned that I should always carry my ID with me if I want to go to a club or go to a bottle store, I didn’t take it serious, got to a club and was denied access, even though I had an electronic copy on my phone they refused. After we got in with Morgan Mohape, we got drinks, which a cider cost me $10 and trust me when I say it was not worth it. We stayed for just one drink and decide to leave, the space was so boring and there were no black people. We were the only ones. It was boring.
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NYC Landscape by Lerato Dumse

We decided to leave and try another venue, thanks God for the 24 hour transport system in New York, we took a metro bus and went to another place that was suggested by our contact in New York. Immediately when we got in, we felt like we are at home, and we were not asked to produce our IDs. The club was a vibe and we had so much fun.
The music was the one, had a few drinks and so we are fresh for the big day, we went back home to sleep.
The World Pride 2019 Stonewall 50 takeover! At around 14h00 on Sunday the 30th we left the apartment with Lerato Dumse, everyone else had left already. We took a train to the venue, and immediately when we got the train, we met so many queer people and friends/supporters going to the march too. Our first stop was at Madison Garden Park and asked security which was was the march heading to. My pride outfit caused a stare, imagine isicholo (A Zulu hat for women) with a rainbow body suit. Those who are familiar with it would greet me in IsiZulu.
We took a lot of pictures with those who admired my outfit, it was something so unique that one wouldn’t really expect at pride.
Well, they say, once a Queen, always a Queen regardless of where you are in the world.
I knew there was no way I would walk such a long route, so I got myself into the BUD LIGHT float and was one of the girls to lead the float, that was much fun!
With an estimation of about 5 million people who attended, I can safely say that was indeed a successful pride ever, rightfully so, it was World Pride. Those are the memories I will keep forever and I do hope one day South Africa will have such major and successful pride event, but it all starts with unity.
After we all reached the finishing line, people were exhausted, I lied to myself that I will go dance,I couldn’t. I was so exhausted, after I got home I had a few drinks and fell asleep. I missed out on all the thousand massive partied that took place around the city. Which I do not really feel otherwise about.
My wishes to meet up with Thami “Dish” Kotholo who was also there were unsuccessful, a very sad moment, its always great to connect with people from home in a different country. To console myself, I went back to reality that chances of meeting were slim as there was just so much happening in between, worse at pride there were zero chanced to meet unless there were prior arrangements of where would be the mutual meet up spot and time. It was fulfilling though to see through pictures that Thami was able to attend pride with Makho Ndlovu and Phedra Fifi. Sithi VIVA LGBTI VIVA!
A few days before we left for Seattle, Washington, we did some last minute shopping and met up with our beloved Christina Mavuma who is based in New York, she came and fetched us with Lerato Dumse to her place in Staten Island.
We did some shopping, we slept over and the following day she took us back home and got to experience the ferry which was a beautiful experience and you get to see the famous Statue Of Liberty. Later on went to Times Square to meet up with Muholi and Dr. Bajabulile Dhlamini, just like you see in the movies, it as hectic, akulalwa.
I got home in the early hours of the morning, around 2am, had to pack and we had an early flight to Seattle. For me, packing is always a nightmare. I managed to finish and got an hour sleep. Got up and was ready to hit the airport and my morning was spoiled, felt so disrespected and made to feel so small by one of the team member, which reminded me why I am never really keen to travel with people, I really am one for peace.
Nonetheless I carried on with life and to date it has been like nothing ever happened, one of those experiences I rather not chat about.
Story of our lives, a group of six we missed our flight because of racism in America. Yes we had too many bags, which one of my luggage was 2 pounds overweight and had to re-arrange but the treatment we received at JFK International airpot by the officials and staff members at jetBlue airline was uncalled for. Luckily there was another flight traveling to Seattle at 17h30 but that meant we had to wait at the airport for 9 hours for the next flight.
Between me and you, don’t believe everything you read and see on TV about New York, they have many flaws too just like any other countries, but it is a beautiful country to live in. If you never been there, try it, but you need to get your visa approved first.

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