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Khumbulani Pride Remembers The Fallen, Condemns Hate And Attacks Against Women’s Bodies By Cheryl Roberts

19 May

The annual people’s event Khumbulani Pride, taking place this week in cape Town and culminating in a people’s street mach/protest remembers the fallen people, most of them young women and teenage girls who fell victim to attacks of sexual and body hate. The hurt is still there as families and friends and community organisations never forget the attacks which black gay and queer people must endure because they dare to be different from the stereotypes imposed by a heterosexual dominant society.

It’s the ending of young lives of teenage footballer, Zoliswa Nkonyane, Sihle Sikoji and Nontsikelelo Tyateka and all others which galvanises communities into action of resistance and protest against sexual discrimination and attacks. The lives that have ended too quickly, too violently, too soon, too incorrectly and the horrendous sexual attacks and violence,  are forever enshrined in people’s memories and hearts, like the families, the sports teams, the friends and the organisations which protest against sexual discrimination advance a society of non-discrmination and prejudice.

Hate and prejudice attacks against bodies have been violent. They have been condemned. They have been called out and protested against. But still the sexual discrimination, prejudice and attacks continue as if heterosexism is the sole sexual owner of society and despite South Africa having a non-discriminatory constitution.

‘Sparked by the brutal murders of Zoliswa Nonkonyane, Nontsikelelo Tyatyeka, and Waldo Bester amongst others in the Western Cape – Khumbulani Pride remembers these lives by empowering and engaging communities to act against forms of injustice against lgbti people. The event happens in close conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May) in order to acknowledge the violence faced by LGBTI people all over the world’, says the Khumbulani Pride media statement.

Khumbulani Pride has its beginnings in the year 2013, on the Cape Flats in Cape Town where much of the sexual attacks have taken place and are likely to happen. Khumbulani Pride ain’t another commercial Pride event, such as that organised by the commercially interested and moneyed, white male-dominated Cape Town Pride.

‘In its third year, Khumbulani Pride will be hosted by a network of Cape Town lgbti organisations under the banner Alternative Inclusive Pride Network (AIP). Each year Khumbulani Pride takes place in a different township in the city. This year the event will occur in Langa on 21 May 2016. Pre-Pride activities will begin on 12 May. For more information about these, please refer to the contact information at the bottom of this page.

Through Khumbulani Pride, the AIP Network engages with diverse communities surrounding Cape Town in dialogues about homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia. ‘The Network also celebrates the lives of lgbti people who continue to sustain one another in our communities. Khumbulani Pride is a community event that contributes to the work of making South Africa a place where homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia do not terrorize lgbti people. It is an event that mobilises community members in different townships to care enough not to discriminate or harm others on the basis of their gender identity, sexual orientation or nationality. Each of the organisations in the Network works towards creating safe and supportive environments for all lgbti persons. This year, we emphasise khumbulani by remembering those who have been killed in the Western Cape through violent acts of hate, including Zoliswa Nkonyana, Waldo Bester, Sihle Sikoji, Sibongile Mphelo, Sasha Lee Gordon, Phumeza Nkolonzi, Nontsikelelo Tyatyeka, Neil Daniels, Ivan Johannes and David Olyne through a rememberance wall,’ says Khumbulani Pride organisers.

‘2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the South African Constitution, the first in the world to recognise LGBTI rights, and comes ten years after South Africa became the first (and still only) country in Africa to allow same sex marriage.  This remembrance Pride comes at a time when crucial hate crime legislation is being drafted in South Africa to outlaw hate crimes, including those carried out against the LGBTI community.

‘We invite lgbti individuals, allies and community members to join us in remembering members of our community we have lost to the violence of homophobia and transphobia and in celebrating the resilience of our communities. We want Khumbulani Pride events to move us toward a future of safety, security, and celebration of lgbti people in our communities. Please join us in working towards ending homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia in our communities.

‘On 21 May 2016, the Pride March in Langa will resume at 10 a.m. at the corner will be followed by a programme in Monwabisi Sports and Recreation Centre.

The March on 21 May 2016 in Langa will start at 10am at the open field which is at the intersection of Jakes Gerwel Dr. and King Langalibalele (Washington Road) and end at the Monwabisi Sports and Recreation Centre with a programme of activities.’

This people’s Khumbulani Pride takes place in the hood, in the people’s backyards and hangout places, where communities look out for each other but also where the negatives within society prey on those who seemingly don’t fit the heterosexual billing.

Although not many of them and with nominal resources, organisers of Khumbulani Pride work tirelessly to ensure a memorable and well-organised week long event. There will be some partying and pleasure moments which will wrap Khumbulani Pride after the community march in Langa on Saturday, but most importantly, all participants and supporters of Khumbulani Pride will be strengthened to defend and advance ownership of black people’s bodies, especially, black, queer women’s bodies.

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