Reflection by Tshidi Olive Legobye
I still remember when the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) started and wanted to run LGBTi workshops in Vaal. We didn’t know where to start, but I came up with a plan and the first person came to my mind was Ausi Ouma.
I phoned her and explain the tasks we have at FEW and those tasks should be done as soon as possible. She didn’t deny the thought. She just said please do so especially for this kids who are coming up and those other lesbians who are living with hatred. It was one of the most memorable days of my life.
I phoned Donna Smith and Zanele Muholi and they were happy with those ideas and everything was possible. Arrangements were done. And Ausi Ouma offered us the space “Her House” to hold the ceremonies.
She never said NO to anything that builds LGBTi community.
Those are the kind of things that she will be remembered for – making people smile and bringing laughter in their lives.
Most of the Vaal Lesbians came out of closet for the first time at her place…her house in our presence. She was still supportive to the coming up lesbians and gays, she was so open and was also a teacher to most of the Sebokeng lesbians.
And while it’s going to be very difficult to think of this world without her, it is a happy thought knowing that wherever she is, she is only spreading happiness.
Baba Mahlabezulu’s house was warm and you’ll always feel at home.
There was peace and love in that house.
She taught her biological kids and Mathwasana /Sangomas to respect young and adults. And they have smiles on their face all the time.
Sebokeng/Vaal/Evaton was our territory Me and Zanele Muholi. We visited many places in those areas almost every weekend and even attended sangoma ceremonies “Mokete” Zanele even contributed some of the photographs for the researched stories in Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancenstral Wives a book edited by Ruth Morgan (former GALA director) and Saskia Wieringa.
“What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, we may not understand why you left this earth so soon,
or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget.”
May her soul rest in peace.
The funeral service of Baba Mahlabezulu “Ausi Ouma” will be held at No: 13971, Ext 7, Evaton West-Graceland.
Service starts at: 8:00 – 10:00
Proceeding to cemetery at: 10:30