I am Thando Nkonzwana, originally from Cape Town. I would love to tell you about my recent journey. Everything is a new chapter to me, the traveling and meeting new faces.
The 18th of June 2015 was my first time going to Johannesburg. It was not just a journey, but also a lifetime memory for myself. I was excited knowing that my mom allowed me to visit my partner Thembela Dick, and for having the courage to let her daughter travel alone.
I arrived at my partner’s new home. The warmth and comfort given to me by her were wonderful. On the day of my arrival I received good news that we would be going to the Joburg Theatre to see Romeo & Juliet.
I was wondering how the performance would be. I couldn’t wait, up until I had a seat number and waited patiently for the show to start. Considering that it was my first time to be at the theatre. The play was different compared to the book I read, and even more different to the movie. If someone read the book (because its similar) then they would understand the play.
The cast gave a beautiful outstanding performance. Great movement, the energy was flowing, you could tell that the performers rehearsed. Their energy was terrific. I would love for someone else to watch it as well. It was a once off experience and now I want to watch more plays. It made a slight change in me and now I can explore plays in my own province and support people who have talent.
I can’t wait to express how I felt about my second surprise. Thembela told me we would be going to Durban LGBTI Pride parade. Remember that this is my very first time going to to a different province, then I am told I will be going to another province, Durban city.
I’ve never experienced Pride Parade before. Yes, I am from Cape Town but I don’t normally do outings.
I had this glow in my face as we packed our bags. It was a smile that didn’t want to go away. The warmth of having my partner next to me, exploring, it was amazing and felt so good. We arrived at one of the Faces and Phases participant’s home in Durban. Tinashe Wakapila welcomed us with a warm heart, and then I met another Faces and Phases participant, Phila Mbanjwa. These ladies are very beautiful and outspoken. I felt free to communicate and wouldn’t mind spending a week with them.
The following day was Saturday, June 27, Pride day. We joined the march and wow, it was incredibly stunning. Seeing bright colors which represent the LGBTI community. The way marchers sang songs that have powerful meanings, dancing, holding hands was all very beautiful. What I learnt in that moment is that being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, is always about “us”. I’m saying “us” because we unite together, to boost one another.
I believe my holiday isn’t only about having fun, its also about what I learnt. Phila and Tinashe spoke so much sense to me about life. I was the youngest and they told me the basic challenges about life, how they overcame it and are still going strong. We all have our specific talents/gifts and paths that God has given us.
Thembela is a special person in my life and gives me direction in life. She supports and encourages me with my schoolwork. It is a blessing having her because everyone needs a person to tap on his or her shoulder and say work hard. To remind you that nothing is easy, but that everything comes from hardwork. Having someone like her makes me know which path I want to take in life and how to handle life’s challenges. Her motivation makes me realise that I am so blessed and I don’t take it for granted because someone is seeking for it while I am getting it.
I am back in Jozi and enjoying it. I must say I am thankful for the opportunity I am getting, learning and seeing famous provinces. My brain is so fresh and I am looking forward to telling my siblings. I can’t wait to go back to school so I can discuss it with my tourism teacher. Now I can actually speak to her in class and be able to relate to what she’s saying when she speaks about Johannesburg and Durban.
My dream is to travel the world, I’m still a high school learner but hope my dream comes true. Tourism is one of my major subjects, and there are chances I might end up in the media or business fields. I want to work hard so I can travel with my partner. I need to make my mom proud, she is one woman I look up to. She’s in the business field. She is one of those single parents that would do anything for her children to achieve their goals. I know for a fact that she’s waiting for me to make her proud because she’s been working hard for that. I wouldn’t be exploring if she didn’t allow me, she made me an adult for a moment. I call her and tell her how I am doing so that I don’t make her worry about her little daughter.
My mother is taking my sexuality seriously. Telling her about going to my partner and how we are traveling around and being given this opportunity must have surprised her. Honestly not many children get such permission from their parents. I am thankful for her support.
I am a young lesbian, about to turn 20 years old soon. I’m approaching adult age and I know what I want, why I want it and how I will achieve it. Am grateful for this opportunity given to me.