2014 May 8: “I was not aware that this project would be this big”

by Hlengiwe Amanda Nyandeni 


My name is Hlengiwe Amanda Nyandeni, but I am better known as China.  I consider myself as a fun, sweet and lovely  individual to be around other people.  I was born on the 15th July 1982 in Eshowe, North of KwaZulu Natal.


Amanda 'China' Nyandeni, Yeoville, Johannesburg, 2007

Featuring in Faces and Phases (2006 – 2014) book.       Amanda ‘China’ Nyandeni, Yeoville, Johannesburg, 2007.                       (c) Photo by Zanele Muholi

I am the only child to my mother and I have half siblings from my father’s side.

I live and work in Johannesburg.
Prior to working I attended college and graduated with a certificate in Office Administration.
When I am not at work, I enjoy watching soccer, listening to music, and going to theatre.  I am just a happy person who takes each day as it comes.

I identify as a lesbian, a person who happens to be in love with another sex same person, but it does not change the fact that I am human first.  My mother fully accepted me from the day I came out to her and she is very supportive.  My extended family have been supportive too.

I am in a long-term relationship. I feel like love is a beautiful feeling shared by two people, whether same sex or not. Love is love and everyone deserves to experience it fully without shame, fear or discrimination.

The violence against us is a sad reality that we live with daily, with some experiencing it and some reading about it, where fellow human beings believe that inflicting pain to the next person would change who they are into what they want them to be. It is not every man who is like that (homophobic and violent).  Some men are very supportive, it is a difficult situation that I highly doubt that we would ever have a solution to people who believe in what they believe in and are extremely afraid of change.

I stay in a fairly safe area and I have not experienced any harm, probably because it is in a suburban area.  As for my neighbours around where I live, we hardly know each other, but I believe that if I was in a township dynamics would be different.  Also it could be that I have not personally experienced any harm due to my sexuality because I am in a semi open closet.
I am human first, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a fun loving being who loves life.

If I were to become a leader/ politician/ radio or Tv presenter I would most probably talk about the basic needs of human beings, basic human rights issues. I’m aware that one can never please everyone, but the reality is that when you are in that position you have to always try.

When I agreed to participate in Zanele Muholi’s project it was mainly because of the love and respect I have for Muholi, and women. I was not aware that this project would be this big, I thought it was Muholi having fun with her camera, but it has turned out to be a beautiful project and now I realize the importance of it.  I am greatly humbled to have participated in it and I hope my words will make a difference.
It is possible to LOVE and to be LOVED!!!


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This entry was posted in Articulation, As we are, Attention, Background, Black lesbian beauty, Choice, Claiming blackness, Clear with own plan, Emotional support, Empowerment, Honesty, Hope, South Africa, Time, Together we can, Togetherness, Words, Youth, Youth voices, Zanele Muholi, Zulu is a language, Zulu is a South African language and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 2014 May 8: “I was not aware that this project would be this big”

  1. tsetsechino@gmail.com says:

    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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