Activism has turned into Politics.

By Nonkululeko “Sicka” Mthunzi

The late Tswarelo ‘Pinky’ Moths,  was brutally murdered and left under a platform in Northmead train station, in Benoni, Ekurhuleni Municipality. A 21-year-old full of life and free spirited, he loved and sacrificed for his mum and sadly today his family had to say good bye so soon without any justice for his death. On 7th October 2019 I received a text and a picture about the death of Tswarelo. Personally I didn’t know him but I have seen him once or twice around our township.

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This brought so much emotions to me and even heartbreak when I was told he was Lesego Masilela’s cousin. No family deserves so much sadness and no mother deserves to bury their child especially in that state. I called Lesego the same day to confirm the news and I didn’t love what she had to say about how she felt. Firstly before the family even knew what happened to Tswarelo, the was already confusion about how he had passed.

A lot of people shared their views on how he died and took to social media,  others took it as far as saying they were witnesses, while others said he committed suicide. The worst part about this confusion is that all of this false information was from some of the Queer community who didn’t know Tswarelo but they already felt the need to say so much. Imagine going through the death of a sibling and trying to understand their departure and have to deal with people who have taken the authority to be ‘Police officers,  Forensic specialist,  Paramedics, Judges and lawyers’ without any form of qualifications.

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My call with Lesego was so sad because as I was about to offer my condolences she started telling me what she has been through ever since she heard of her cousin’s death. She told me a lot of people mostly LGBTIQ+ members kept on asking her why hasn’t she told anyone she was related to Tswarelo and what was Tswarelo doing at the train station. The same community we are supposed to be safe with interrogated Lesego instead of offering her condolences. Lesego carried on asking me what was she supposed to do? Tell the whole world she has a gay sibling or share all her family pictures just to prove they were related?

Honestly when I was told Tswarelo was related to Lesego I didn’t even see the need to ask because the resemblance was evident. We spoke for a long time coz I could feel she needed to vent about the outmost disgust she had about a lot of the LGBTIQ+ individuals who didn’t even come to the funeral. So make me understand my good people when did we move from being activists, advocates and fighters to being judges,  lawyers and interrogators about such incidents?

Tswarelo died brutally,  his body suit was found above his chest,  his jeans were torn,  a zip was missing,  his body was full of bruises and his head was full of blood.   Now explain to me,  does a train do that to a person trying to commit suicide? Does a person trying to kill themselves look like that? “Tswarelo never liked the train” those were words from family members and friends and even one of his friends testified further to say, “when we go out partying we travel by taxi, we don’t use the train, we can afford taxifare. Please don’t disrespect our hustle like that.”

On the 11th I attended the memorial service which was memorable. We sang, others shed tears and his friends shared beer on his behalf and danced to his favorite song titled ‘Jobe’. Sadly there were a few of us Queer people at the service less than 10 to be exact and all the loud horns that had so much to say were no were to be seen. I am angry,  I am broken by this,  why the hell are we even fighting if we can’t show face when one of us has been brutally murdered? Or is it because he was not known? I didn’t know that you had to be famous to be buried by our fellow comrades. After the service more interrogators come forward asking why they were not told,  I don’t know how this makes sense,  it means when you lose a member you must market their death and invite people since a lot of them want to be told personally. Majority of people knew of a gay person being killed and none of the loud horns bothered to ask about funeral arrangements or a helping hand all they knew was to talk B*** She** about the deceased.

The funeral was on the 13th of October which was a Sunday and the number of people increased as time went by and eventually it was packed to a point that some people didn’t have transport to go to the cemetery. Everyone who wanted to see him for the last time were asked to come see him in the hearse since his body cannot enter the yard. In our culture someone who was killed or died from an accident is not mourned the same way,  it is said if his coffin enters the yard it will bring a curse to the family that will bring a lot of death in the same way. Sad part about all of this is that after everything Tswarelo went through before his death his body couldn’t enter his home for the last time. The service was beautiful every speaker spoke truth even his church members from ‘Church of God and Saints of Christ’,  it was a shock to some people who thought they knew him that he was religious and was baptised. Again the attendance from the LGBTIQ+ was limited and majority where friends,  ex schoolmates,  ANC youth league members and church members. I got a lift from an old friend Lindiwe with Lesego, Lebo Magaela,  Vuyelwa ‘Vuvu’ Mtsweni, and Kabelo, the journey to the cemetery was long because there were so many cars. We the LGBTIQ+ members that were present sang comrades songs sending away our fellow member off while I documented with the help of Lebo. Apart from everything that hurt me it was a beautiful and memorable funeral and to Tswarelo la ulele khona,  your execution will not silence us. Let your spirit live in the people you have touch lala ngoxolo muntu omusha

Previous by Nonkululeko:

https://inkanyiso.org/2015/02/19/2015-feb-19-trending-with-shaz-sicka-in-oslo/

https://inkanyiso.org/2015/09/07/2015-sept-1-mr-miss-lgbti-daveyton-2015/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/06/01/2019-may-29-forgiveness/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/03/23/2019-mar-20-struggles-of-uplifting-our-townships/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/02/07/2019-feb-6-ukuzalelwa-ekhayeni-lama-thonga/

https://inkanyiso.org/2017/03/15/iam-making-history/

Posted in Black lesbian murder, Black lesbian murdered in Daveyton, Black Lesbians & Allies Against Hate Crimes, Brutal murders of black lesbians in SA, Documenting hate crimes, Funeral, Funeral costs, funerals, Gay, Hate crime, Hate Crimes, Hate crimes Victims names, Iko Mash funeral, Lesbian murdered, murder, Murder suspect, murdered, Musa Williams funeral, New Task Team on hate crime launched by DoJ in April 2014, Photographs from the funeral, Thapelo Makuthle's funeral documented by Zanele Muholi/ Inkanyiso, Uncategorized, Victim of hate crime in Ventersdorp, Well organized funeral, Zanele Muholi documented Thapelo Makutlhe's funeral in 2012 | Leave a comment

LGBTI Destiny First Gathering

Text by Maureen Majola

Photos by Ts’episo Mahooe

A group of femme lesbians from Mpumalanga but currently residing in joburg decided to come together and form a group that will tackle issues that are faced by same sex couples and individuals on a daily basis. Their aim is to speak about issues that we don’t normally speak about as homosexuals and find ways to have healthy lasting relationships. The event took place on the 5th of October 2019 in Witbank at Klipfontein Dam. People came out wearing their denim and white clothes, looking fresh like the bright spring sunshine.

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The turn up in numbers wasn’t that good due to a number of other events that were happening like Pretoria pride, which is about an 1h30 minutes away from Witbank. This event happened a week after soweto pride which means some people spent a lot of money to attend and participate at Soweto pride therefore couldn’t make it to the event.

The day continued despite the number of people who attended and one of the speakers not showing up because of that. I was also one of the speakers to tackle a few topics. The topics were as follows:

  1. Dealing with family estrangement
  2. Marriage in our time (Cohabitation)
  3. Intimate partner violence
  4. How can you rebuild trust
  5. Blended families
  6. Behaviour change (what makes things to change in a relationship)
  7. Challenges we face as women dating women.

We were not able to discuss all the topics since one of the speakers didn’t show up. We first tackled number 6 and 7 as an open discussion. During that discussion a lot came up from the two topics that led us to discussing them a bit longer than we thought.

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The group spoke about how when we enter into a relationship we want to impress the new person in our lives that once we have won them over we stop doing the little things we used to do to impress them. They expressed how that particular change plays a negative role in a relationship and how one party will start feeling like they were sold dreams and that everything they based their relationship on a lie. We came up with a solution that we should enter into a relationship when they are ready to do so and when there is no need to mask yourself to impress the next person.

We spoke about how one needs to be emotionally, spiritually and mentally ready to start a new relationship because most of us are broken, hurt and are in deep pain because of our Sexuality. We have had to go through so much because of our Sexuality and the families we come from. Being a black woman, raised in a black society under cultural norms and beliefs also plays a huge role in breaking us and keeping us trapped inside ourselves. We are a community of broken people who are continuously breaking each other because of our past experiences and that has to stop with our generation.

The discussion led us to discussing cohabitation and how most of us end up living with our partners due to family estrangement. In these set up we often find ourselves compromising who we are and what we believe because we are seeking family and shelter. We are seeking for a place to belong and a place to call home even if the environment is toxic and abusive. Most of us end up staying in toxic relationships because we have nowhere else to go and sometimes we leave that one toxic relationship only to enter into another one.

From all the discussions we had I discovered how much we need healing and how the teachings of our parents of burying our issues and sweeping them under the carpet has affected us as the 21st century generation and how we need to move away from that and start living our lives according to our own values and standards. We ought to let go of all our pain and fix ourselves for ourselves so that when we enter into a relationship we are complete and fill people and we are ready to love the next person because we love ourselves first.

We spoke about how the church still plays a role in keeping us trapped and running from who we are because we try so hard to please our Christian families that we end up in marriages that we know won’t work and we compromise ourselves for them. Some mentioned how they can’t even attend church due to their sexual orientation and we told them how we have found a home in Victory Ministries Church International which is an all inclusive church that allows us to worship God in our own skin and how we are not judged for who we date but we were given the opportunity to serve God and participate in any church proceedings.

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And we mentioned that there are many more churches like this one, that they can attend and feel welcomed and have the ability to express their love for God without judgement. In conclusion I expressed how we all broken people trying to heal other broken people and that we enter into relationships we need to know that we will be carrying double the burden if we don’t deal with our own burdens thoroughly and heal before we get into new relationships to avoid bleeding on innocent people. We need to be gentle with ourselves and our friends. We have been through the most as a minority. We need to heal and move on.

Previous posts by Maureen:

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/06/01/2019-may-29-stwetla-living-in-danger-but-still-living/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/04/10/2019-april-10-alex-total-shutdown/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/04/09/2019-april-5-i-am-winnie-mandela-concert/

 

Posted in 1st Mpumalanga Pride, Baitiri Lumka Seleka; Charmain Carrol; Kopano Sibeko; Lerato Dumse; Lesego Tlhwale; Maureen Velile Majola; Nation Mokoena; Nqobile ZL, Baitiri Lumka Seleka; Charmain Carrol; Kopano Sibeko; Maureen Velile Majola; Lesego Tlhwale; Lerato Dumse; Nation Mokoena; Nqobile Zungu; Rene Mathibe; Zanele Muholi, Bread and tea before 1st Mpumalanga Pride 2014, Complicated Lesbian Relationships, First Mpumalanga Pride, From Mpumalanga to Johannesburg, Gender Based Violence in same sex relationships, Intimate relationship, Maureen Velile Majola, Mpumalanga, Mpumalanga province, Open relationships, Relationship, Relationships, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2019 Sep. 24: Ekurhuleni Pride takes over Daveyton for first time ever!

by Lindiwe Dhlamini

 It is that time of the year in Gauteng where LGBTIAQ+ Pride protests and celebrations take place. On the 14th of September 2019 I had the opportunity to attend Ekurhuleni Pride. Celebrating its 11thyear; for the first time ever, it took place in Daveyton hosted by EPOC LGBTI and Daveyton Uthingo – The Rainbow which are both LGBTIAQ+[1]organizations in that area. The theme was LGBTIAQ+ and religion which saw members of the LGBTIAQ+ community marching in their religious uniforms in celebration of who they are.

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It was particularly fascinating to see Reverends in their clerical gowns, in attendance and leading the Pride march. Rev. Klass, Rev. Nokuthula Dhladhla, Rev. Sibisi, Rev. Emma and Rev. Tebogo Moema marched proudly around the streets of Daveyton shouting, “End homophobia in churches, communities and our homes”, “End Gender Based Violence and End Xenophobia”.Escorted by a Brass Band that serenaded the crowd with both gospel and protest songs in efforts to create awareness that is so badly needed in townships about the existence of LGBTIAQ+ people. Representatives from The City of Ekurhuleni were among those who came to show their support and to address the crowd about its plans to work together in advancing LGBTIAQ+ rights.

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Also, in attendance were; Ekurhuleni Metro, South African Police Service, Department of Health, Aurum, Access Chapter 2, Daveyton TV and guests from Tshwane, eMalahleni and other surrounding areas in the East Rand. I was there with Inkanyiso Crew to document this historical event; importantly, to go and visit one of the organizers Lesiba Mothibe in hospital. Lesiba is a member of EPOC LGBTI and a Brave Beauties participant a photographical project by Professor/Sir Zanele Muholi, documenting the lives of transwomen. What a strong beautiful woman who was still helping to organize Pride while lying in a hospital bed; from all of us at Inkanyiso Media we wish her a speedy recovery.

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At the park where the rest of the festivities for Pride were taking place, I had the opportunity to interact with some of the people through the #SelfieWithLindiwe for Instagram and Facebook. I met a lot of interesting people who were very keen and excited to take selfie’s and have recorded conversations about their experience at the first ever Pride to be held in Daveyton. I had a wonderful time interacting with the people and hearing some of the most beautiful and inspiring stories about love, art, life, issues affecting the youth etc. I also enjoyed meeting Queer parents who came with their children to Pride. The community of Daveyton came out to support even though some of them did not know what the event was about. I met some of the Queer identifying people who were attending Pride for the first time. “I have never been to Pride before because it always takes place far from Daveyton and I cannot afford the transportation fee. I am very happy that this time they thought of us gay people who are unemployed and brought it to our neighborhood. It is very nice being here!” – Thabiso Pooe

It was a bit disappointing not to see some of the well-known LGBTIAQ+ organizations and activists from Gautengin support Ekurhuleni Pride. This was a concern that was raised by some of the attendees at Pride. While doing voice pops, I met Busisiwe Nhlapo an out and proud bisexual identifying mother who expressed; “I am very happy that finally Pride came to Daveyton it is amazing to see our community coming out to support us. However, it is sad to see that people from Soweto are not here to support us but we always go to support them”. Speaking to some of the organizers of the event they also expressed their dismay at the lack of support from the big organizations and activists from around Gauteng. Nonetheless, the success of the event and the community support made the 11th anniversary of Ekurhuleni Pride spectacular.

Although we missed some of the performances that took place as we had to go to the hospital to see Lesiba; the reviews from the people I interviewed were great to say the least. I saw some of them on social media and I can attest that; LGBTIAQ+ talent deserves bigger stages and audience. The support from the community of Daveyton was good some of them did not know what the event was about while others had a clue. I loved that those who knew that it was Pride came prepared to educate while having fun. I do applaud the organizers for working hard to put that event together and ending it successfully with no reports of any violence. I do hope all the stakeholders who attended and gave speeches of support do follow through and do more to educate people in Ekurhuleni about LGBTIAQ+ people.

[1]LGBTIAQ+ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Asexual and Queer/Questioning+

Related posts:

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/04/12/2019-april-12-free-state-pride-2019/

https://inkanyiso.org/2018/12/12/mzansi-pride-2018/

https://inkanyiso.org/2017/07/30/2017-july-29-pride-and-loss-during-amsterdam-pride-2017/

https://inkanyiso.org/2015/07/04/2015-june-28-my-2015-durban-june-pride/

https://inkanyiso.org/2015/06/27/2015-june-27-my-best-oslo-pride/

Posted in 10th Soweto Pride, 1st Mpumalanga Pride, 1st Soweto Pride, 2012 Paris Pride, 2014 Durban Pride, 2014 Paris Pride, 2014 Sandton Pride, 2014 Vaal Pride, 2015 IBhayi LGBT Pride, 2015 Oslo Pride, 2016 Durban Pride, 2016 Vosloo Pride, Bread and tea before 1st Mpumalanga Pride 2014, Bringing photography to the community, Community, Community education, Community Mobilizing, Community organizing, Community outreach, Community Police Forum (CPF), Community visit, Documentation; Filming; Photography; Community, Durban Pride march, Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee (EPOC), First Mpumalanga Pride, Johannesburg People’s PRIDE (JHBPP), LGBT community, LGBTQI+ community, Our Zulu Pride, Paris Pride, Pride is a Human Right, Pride is political, Pride March, pride marches and community based projects, Queer community, Queer God fearing community, Queer Pride, Respect & Recognition from our community, Southern African Development Community, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2019 Sep. 19: Ikhono Lase Natali voyages to Cape Town

by Lindiwe Dhlamini

2019 Aug. 31 Muholi _ Ikhono LaseNatali CPT020919_31

It is a few weeks since the opening of Ikhono Lase Natali (ILN)at A4 Arts Foundation in Cape Town on the 31st August 2019. Taking place for the first time in the Western Cape; ILN is a commissioned project by Professor/Sir Zanele Muholi to have Somnyama Ngonyama interpreted in different styles of art.

This project is a collaboration with twenty-five (25) artists from KwaZulu-Natal where Muholi was born and bred.  The 25 artist selection is done to commemorate 25 years of democracy in South Africa. And to inspire established artists to share wealth by working with community artists who may not have the same privilege to occupy spaces that show off their artistic talents. ILN is curated by Bajabulile Dhlamini and Thobeka Bhengu who work closely with the artists and conduct schools’ educational programs on art and photography to encourage young artists in high schools.

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A4 Arts is an organization that is founded by Wendy Fischer and directed by Josh Ginsberg who shared their vision with the crowd at the opening. “A4 is here for the type of art that creates dialogue about social issues…”, said Josh while giving a speech at the opening. The statement by Ginsberg confirmed the works on display, already, Muholi’s work challenges social issues and norms about queerness, race, class, and gender. The interpretation which was done by the artists depicted exactly that even though most of the artists identified as heterosexual and male.

At the opening Reverend Tebogo Moema was the Master of Ceremony (MC) who opened with a prayer to bless the proceedings. Christie Van Zyl collaborated with Thoko and gave a stunning performance of “Dudlu Ntomb’ emnyama” a poem interpretation of Somnyama Ngonyama. The last performance was done by Sisipho Ndzuzo who serenaded us with a song she had written as her interpretation of Somnyama Ngonyama. All the commissioned artists were given the freedom to express their talents and use their own creativity in articulation of Muholi’s images.

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Each of these artists did their best to show off their talent, on display, there was a variety of different art expressions ranging from beads, drawings, oil, paint or sculpture. ILN seeks to open space for freedom of expression and to change the artistic narrative where Black artists create works that are rarely exhibited due to either; language barrier or lack of access to information or spaces. Muholi’s vision with ILN is to create space for these artists to get exposure to galleries and to network so they can flourish.

Although, ILN was born from a depressive period for Muholi; also, Wits University had invited Muholi to do a Phd. Muholi’s interest was documenting 100 men in KZN who have never been convicted of any crimes. Instead of accepting the offer to study, Muholi thought it would be best to share space, wealth and love with fellow artists from their hometown. At the opening Muholi also expressed the gratitude to Inkanyiso crew for the hard work and support for the vision to work together as Black artists.

Furthermore, Muholi expressed their hope and wish to commission 25 female artists only to do the next round of ILN. This project cost more than 2 million Rands, all of which comes directly from Muholi’s pocket. What inspired me the most was the announcement that none of the works were on sale as they formed part of Muholi’s private collection. As a young person working with Muholi this taught me the value of preserving our own history and the importance of telling our own stories as Black artists. Equally, the fact that this kind of collaboration has never been done before. Muholi is truly one of the artist that are here to change how Black artists are valued, seen and celebrated in the art world.

During the speech that Muholi gave at the opening, they expressed their ongoing support for Black young artists of different genres from photography, poetry, writing, music and any other forms of expressions. They further encouraged all the artists present to read Sarah Thornton’s book; Seven Days in the Art World stating how the book helped them in their journey as an artist. Apart from being one of the best artists of our time; Muholi is a philanthropist, an educator, a parent and above all a visionary with a heart of gold.

Muholi sponsors young aspiring photographers paying for their fees at Market Photo Workshop where Muholi also studied. Additionally, they have opened their Johannesburg (JHB) home as an art residency for the students who are from outside JHB. Personally, I think the most powerful part of Muholi’s work is the creation of a children’s book; an interpretation of Somnyama Ngonyama done by Thembi Mthembu one of the artists from KZN. I believe the children’s book will encourage younger artists to be able to learn, explore and express their race, class, gender and queer identities while young. I am certain that this will motivate children to know that they are worthy and that they are beautiful despite how they identify or where they come from.

Previous by Lindiwe:

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/01/23/2019-jan-16-last-school-visits-as-the-crew-heads-back-to-jozi-mobile-school-of-photography/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/08/20/2019-august-10-the-dawn-of-a-new-era-for-terra-dick/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/04/11/2019-april-11-makaziwe-she-exists/

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2019 Sep. 9: Celebrating Phindile Madlala: A life well lived.

by Wakhe Sebenza

There are very few people who really live life to the fullest, this is how the late Phindile Madlala was described at her Funeral on Sunday 08.09.19 in Pinetown KwaZulu-Natal where all her friends and family gathered to pay their last respects. I know there are a lot of reasons one might not be able to attend a funeral of their loved ones, be it distance, finances or timing. I almost didn’t make it to this one too, I found myself talking to the spirit of the late saying “My friend, you understand my situation, you know I’d love to attend but you understand right?” isn’t it amazing how when our loved ones pass on we feel they are staying with us in spirit? Stepped out of view Yes, but they become more present than ever, is it just my belief?

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The last time I wrote about Phindile, I was sitting with her, getting to know her, connecting with her, telling me about her dreams and aspirations. Today I’m writing about her and sadly she is no more. I know we have a list of things that we say they would make us happy, what we intend to pursue, buying that dream car, getting that dream job but what if we die before all these things come true? I think it’s time we learn not to postpone our happiness and find the little things that makes us happy, that was Phindile’s life, that’s why she was described as a person who lived her life to the fullest.

Phindile was part of the Queer family of Inkanyiso Media, conceptualized by Prof. Sir Zanele Muholi and recently worked as an educational officer for the first edition of Ikhono Lasenatali exhibition that was taking place at KZNSA Gallery. The show is currently on its second edition in Cape Town at A4 Gallery.

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Inkanyiso team was at the funeral paying their last respects in all black attires, with yellow ribbons representing one of Phindile’s favorite colors, she was a lady of green and yellow. It was a sad day for everyone but we were there to celebrate a life well lived. We were there to support her family, we had an incredible program director to channel the mood of celebration. The MC was Pastor Ndlovukazi Mapule, who is a Marketing Manager and an On-Air Personality at iNanda FM 88.4 in Durban and an Author of LEAVING THE SHADOWS BEHIND, oh and she is vocally gifted as well. Ndlovukazi and her music team knew the right songs to sing for the occasion, From the well-known hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL to Phindile’s favorite song, WEBATHANDWA YENKINHLANHLA YOKUKHOLWA NGUYE UJESU, loosely translated; “You the beloved, embrace Jesus Christ and feel the warmth of his love.”

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I thought I would hear about the other side of Phindile that I’m not familiar with from the speakers on the program but that was not the case, we all knew the same Phindile, a happy soul yet a cry baby. I can’t remember a time when Phindile has not shed tears on a long phone call and laugh within seconds, that’s the Phindile all her friends knew. Speakers included her beautiful daughter Lwandiswa who is in her 1st year at University. She described her mother as her best friend, she shared all the good times and funny moments they had. She knows her mother loved and wanted the best for her, she will miss her and her long calls every morning but she understands that her mother’s spirit will live with her forever. Another speaker was Phindile’s Partner, Wendy Khumalo who initially had someone to speak on her behalf but could not resist the urge to share the beautiful memories she shared with her partner.

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I’ve been wondering if people really know when they are going to die, maybe the mind is not aware but the soul knows its time to go home? We also can’t tell until they are gone and we start connecting the dots that signals one knew they were going to die. When Prof. Sir Zanele Muholi shared how was their last time together in Cape Town for the opening of Ikhono LaseNatali Exhibition, a weekend before she passed on, she was the happiest, she was having the time of her life and she was grateful.  I connected my dots too, her last voicenote to me was “We shall talk on the other side of town” in thought she meant Cape Town but no, we did not speak while she was there, that was her goodbyes. Muholi describes Phindile as someone who was clear with her duties and loved her work, a person who listened when Muholi needed a friend, wasn’t judgmental and really cared.

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The service was led by Pastor Tebogo Moema, an openly gay pastor who is known for his tireless work within the LGBTIQ+ Community. He took up on his role to bring comfort to the family and friends, as he stated his role as pastor, he also mentioned how he knows Phindile and how he is saddened by her passing, although he was to bring comfort but he also needed that comfort too.

Phindile was laid to rest at Newlands Cemetery, she will forever be in our hearts.

Related Posts:

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/07/28/2019-july-21-a-conversation-with-phindile-madlala/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/03/28/inkanyiso-crew-out-and-about-for-human-rights-day/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/05/31/2019-may-28-the-cost-of-democracy/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/05/30/2019-may-27-umbelebele-grade-12-tour-to-watch-banyana-vs-jamaica/

Posted in "Free from My Happiness", "Till death do us apart", 1972 -, 2014 Photo XP, A decade of Faces and Phases, Beautiful faces, Faces & Phases portraits, Faces and Phases, Faces and Phases (2006 - ), Funeral, funerals, Ikhono LaseNatali, Inkanyiso crew, Inkanyiso media, Inkanyiso team members, Photographs from the funeral, Uncategorized, Well organized funeral, Zanele Muholi movements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Sep. 8: The Queen has taken her last bow: #RIPPhindileMadlala

By: Lindiwe Dhlamini

The cliché “life is too short” has never made sense to me because most of those who would use it are people who have been alive for 20 years or more. To me that is not short, it was until the untimely death of our colleague Phindile Madlala when it started to make sense. Phindile was a dedicated member of Inkanyiso.org who was working with schools around KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) educating learners about art and photography. Most of us know Phindile as Wendy Khumalo’s lover who is also a member of Inkanyiso. Both Phindile and Wendy are participants in Faces and Phases (F&P) a photographical documentation of black Queer [1] identifying people.

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When the news of Phindile’s passing were circulated on the 2nd of September 2019 we were all in disbelief as most of us had just seen or been in communication with her a day before that. On Saturday; 31 August 2019 Inkanyiso crew was in Cape Town for the opening of Ikhono Lase Natali a commissioned project in collaboration with KZN based artists founded by Professor/Sir Zanele Muholi. Phindile; as one of the people working in that project was also in attendance. Wearing her favorite colors green and yellow with her forever welcoming, warm personality and smile. She did not look ill, not even a bit nor show any signs or plans of taking her last bow yet, there we were travelling to Durban to go lay her body to rest for the last time.

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Most of us are worried about Wendy; losing the love of her life is not going to be easy to heal from. But, seeing how strong Wendy has been throughout the week in preparation for the funeral shows that the support she has been receiving was immense. The memories of their beautiful love are what remain and Wendy has been sharing them on her social media as a reminder of what a gem we have all lost.

Many people attended Phindile’s memorial service which was held at Nazareth Community Hall in Pinetown; KZN on the 6th of September 2019. For me; that was the first time it hit me that indeed Phindile is no more. Seeing the slideshow of her images with Wendy confirmed my deepest fear of never seeing Phindile again. Phindile and I were due to travel together to the Eastern Cape to conduct interviews with the participants of F&P for the upcoming book publication. I wish I had a chance to interview her so her story could live on along with the memories she has left us with.

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We are all deeply saddened by this loss of such a wonderful soul, even the way people spoke fondly of her was testament to the person Phindile was and how she will be remembered. One of the saddest moments was listening to Phindile’s daughter Lwandisa; a beautiful young woman who is currently studying at the University of Pretoria. She spoke warmheartedly about her mother, the good and bad times and how her mother was always her pillar of strength. In fact, everyone who spoke about Phindile said how she was always supportive and loved helping people.

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People showed up for Phindile’s funeral looking good to accompany the Queen to her last resting place. There were wreaths and yellow ribbons to symbolize the love Phindile had for life and others. The attendance was high further confirming that Phindile was indeed a people’s person, while all of us were still in shock of how sudden her passing was. The universe was ready to receive the Queen. Indlovukazi Mapule from Victory Ministries Church International (VMCI) was the Master of Ceremony (MC) at the memorial and the funeral service. While, Pastor Tebogo Moema conducted the last service to lay our loving Phindile to her final resting place.

Losing a loved one is one of the most painful and hardest things to experience Losing Phindile so suddenly was a reminder that no one is invincible. All that remains are memories we have shared with those we love and Phindile left us with many happy ones because of how much she loved life and being happy. Sizohlala sikuthanda kakhulu Phindile; lala ngoxolo Hlokohloko.

[1] Queer – An umbrella term to identify people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Queer/Questioning

Previous posts by Lindiwe:

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/01/23/2019-jan-16-last-school-visits-as-the-crew-heads-back-to-jozi-mobile-school-of-photography/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/08/20/2019-august-10-the-dawn-of-a-new-era-for-terra-dick/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/08/02/faces-and-phases-turns-teen/

https://inkanyiso.org/2019/04/11/2019-april-11-makaziwe-she-exists/

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