Black Queer Activist Funeka Soldaat Writes Her Story For Black Queer Women By Cheryl Roberts

13 Feb




It’s a life story of a black, queer activist and its written for black queer girls and women to not only know the story of another’s life before them but also a black and queer life that has a human right to exist.

It’s the life story of Funeka Soldaat, an anti-apartheid and human rights activist, woman in sport, Kaizer Chiefs fan, black queer activist and anti-crime community activist. It’s the life story of Funeka Soldaat from her roots in the Eastern Cape, through school, family life, her move to Cape Town and never tiring commitment of driving lesbian and queer rights and protection in a society that is at war whenever it chooses, with those who don’t identify as nor accept a patriarchal, heteronormative society.

It’s titled ‘Uhambo’ and is being launched in February with two launches already announced. And of course the first launch takes place in the hood in Khayalitsha where Funeka lives and undertakes much of her activism. Its here in Khayalitsha where Funeka has engaged police stations and justice courts, walked the streets in support of black lesbians, visited homes to give advice, protection and inspiration to young black queer women, held memorials for fallen black lesbians and founded the vibrant black lesbian structure ‘FreeGender’.


‘Uhambo’ is a dream fulfilled – Funkeka Soldaat


Me to Funeka on the phone……. ‘I’m sooooooo happy for you. I recall you saying in a convo, about two years ago, how you wanted to write your story. And we laughed because we both agreed it shouldn’t be academic and shouldn’t be accessible to only a few people.’


Funeka to me…… ‘Ay….I’m also happy. You don’t know how happy I am to have done this finally.’

The publication of ‘Uhambo’ is a fulfilled dream and passion for Funeka Soldaat, the non-commercial activist who doesn’t derive money from her activism. For Funeka, the book is about being there for black queer girls and young women especially to read and know they have a right to what life and sexuality they choose.


A personal black lesbian’s story


‘It’s not a book about someone doing research on black lesbian lives. It’s my story. Our black lesbian stories,’ says Funeka. ‘In my years of growing, acknowledging my sexuality, coming out as lesbian, I never had a book to read about another black lesbian’s life. I thought I was on my own, that the world was against only me. And then I found comradeship and lesbian activists who were prepared to fight to live our sexuality on our terms’.

Proud Black lesbian Funeka Soldaat shares all about her life in ‘Uhambo’, including estrangement from her mother when she tells her mom she ain’t straight nor heterosexual. She holds nothing back about her activism in the trenches, the violence inflicted on her body, her love and marriage, friendships and happiness.

I’m not saying much about the book’s content because you must get a copy of the book and read it. And if you know Funeka soldaat or want to know about this life story, then ‘Uhambo’ is a must read.



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