2014 June 25: I consider myself beautiful not handsome…


Meme Motaung_2648BW sm

Featuring in Faces and Phases series, Mamello ‘Meme’ Motaung, Daveyton, Johannesburg, 2014.   


My name is Mamello but am also known as Meme Motaung. Mamello is a South Sotho name meaning perseverance. I was named Mamello by my grandmother and I do not know the reasons behind my name.

I am a young proud black lesbian and I was born on 27 November 1994, at Boksburg Hospital, now known as O.R. Tambo hospital.  My mother tongue is Sesotho but I also speak Zulu, Sepedi, English, Setswana and a bit of Xhosa. I was raised by my grandparents, as I lost my mom on the 14th of February 2003 and I have never known my father. I am the first born and I have a pretty sister named Bohlale.

I live in Daveyton with my aunt, sister and my two cousins – my aunt’s daughters. I am currently unemployed, am working on uplifting my organisation named Team Dress Fresh it is all about clothing and fashion because I am really passionate about clothes. I passed my matric with a symbol ‘B’. I love reading books, watching movies and socializing with people. I want to study film and television next year.

I am a lesbian I do not like people to classify me. I am masculine, I consider myself beautiful not handsome because I am a woman. My family accepted me for being me and not living a lie around people and they support me in everything I do. I do have a female lover and both our families are very aware of our relationship. Love is beautiful, Love has no definition but love is a verb ‘doing word’ love is unconditional, loving one another is not a sin even Jesus himself said love one another as my father loved you.


Meme’s photo featured with Black Queer Born Frees in an exhibition held at the Wits Art Museum (WAM) in Jan. 2014.


In 2013 February I entered the Mr & Miss Valentine Gay and Lesbian held in Daveyton. It was my first time entering a beauty pageant and I really felt nervous but happy at the same time.  I did not get any title but it was so much fun that I would not mind entering a beauty pageant again because now I have a better knowledge about the pageants. I really love clothes because I think they define me as well as make me feel good about myself. I really am into vintage clothing.

I think lesbians should enter beauty pageants and they should be seen for the potential and skills that they possess.  I would love to study Film and Television because I really love it and I am also passionate about it.  I fell in love with it while I was in high school where I took Dramatic Arts.  I did not like the practical side of it but I was best at theory. I would love to study Film at AFDA but due to financial problems with my family I must consider a government university such as Tshwane University of Technology  (TUT) or Wits University because those are the universities I know that have Film designations.

I attended a drama conference where we were given an opportunity to be on set and do a short film.
I really enjoyed it.  I would like to start a clothing line but my team and I, have not approached anyone yet because we just started the organization and we are still lacking in finance, but one step at the time we are going to reach our goal.

I am turning 21 but have not thought about my 21st birthday celebration but all I know is that I would love to have a party attended by friends, haters and family.



L-R: Meme Motaung, Shaz Mthunzi and Refiloe Pitso, all the three participants featuring in Faces and Phases series (2014) and the photos were exhibited at WAM in Jan. 2014


I agreed to participate in Faces and Phases because I knew people would love to know about me and I love being recognized even if it is for small things. I was really honoured to work with Zanele Muholi because she is well known photographer abroad. I agreed because I wanted be known for my sexuality, out and proud to be a young black lesbian.




Previous life stories



2014 May 24:  The special boy




2014 May 7:  I don’t like being identified in terms and definitions




2014 May 18:  Behind the beautiful face you see is a lesbian who is torn into a million pieces




2014 May 30:  I was a boy who would one day grow up to be a man




2013 Oct. 22:  I thought university was for the rich




2013 Oct. 16:  I am a beautiful young dyke, a woman lover




2013 Oct. 12:  I just feel she deserves much better




2013 Oct. 2:  I am a normal transgender woman’




2013 Aug. 22:  Am exactly where I’m supposed to be




2013 July 15:  The virus has become a silent relative




2013 June 27:  Who I Am




2013 February 28:  I am not a Victim but a Victor



















This entry was posted in Our lives in the picture, Participants, Participation, Photo Expressions, Photographs, Visual Language, Visual Power, Visual Voices, Visualizing public spaces, We Are You, We Care, We Still Can with/out Resources, We were (t)here, Words, Writing is a Right, Youth voices and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 2014 June 25: I consider myself beautiful not handsome…

  1. Ramazan Ngobese says:

    @Meme. Engathi koke okufisayo kungaphumelela ungaqala ngisho isotolo sezingubo ZamaButch ukhangise nendlela okumele bagqoke ngayo elinye lamatalent akho lelo Wish you all the Best Meme

  2. Pingback: 2014 July 26: “I was born this way and I cannot change the skin that I live in” | inkanyiso.org

  3. Pingback: 2014 Aug. 9: “I am not a lesbian by choice” | inkanyiso.org

  4. Pingback: 2014 Aug. 30: I’m a game changer, leader and activist | inkanyiso.org

  5. Pingback: 2014 Sept. 24: “At times I’d get jealous thinking she was taking my place” | inkanyiso.org

  6. Pingback: 2015 June 15: Being given the opportunity to study photography | inkanyiso.org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s