Activist encourages LGBTIQ+ community to continue fighting and standing up for their rights

LGBTQIA+ activist, Makhosazana Buthelezi has dedicated her life to fighting for queer rights, despite being disowned by her father. l MAKHOSAZANA BUTHELEZI

LGBTQIA+ activist, Makhosazana Buthelezi has dedicated her life to fighting for queer rights, despite being disowned by her father. l MAKHOSAZANA BUTHELEZI

Published Jun 29, 2024


Being rejected and disowned by a father, because of your sexuality can break one.

However, Makhosazana Buthelezi has risen above. Buthelezi from Tembisa “1632”, Ekurhuleni, described herself as an advocate for LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer, plus) community.

She is the founder and director of Thato One Big Family LGBTQI +Society.

Buthelezi is also a co-ordinator for Ekurhuleni LGBTQI and part of Tembisa stakeholders where she represents LGBTQI. As if this is not enough, Buthelezi is also a co-host of Tembisa Pride.

Some of the activities they get into include awareness campaigns, dialogues, workshops, sports, pride events, meet and greets, educational school programmes, team-building adventures, hiking and more.

Buthelezi identifies as a lesbian (masculine butch). She comes from a family of six and she is the fifth child; three of her siblings have passed away.

She said she was inspired by her personal belief and her ability to help others.

“The organisation started because I was rejected by my father due to my sexuality. I was disowned, and I noticed that many other people from the community faced similar struggles. That was one of the reasons the organisation came about to provide a safe space and support,” Buthelezi said.

Buthelezi said they had achieved notable successes.

“In 2022 we received our first certification of recognition. In 2023, I won a GBV award and the organisation also won a similar award. Our co-ordinator for school programmes and I were nominated for SA Heroes Awards. We won a soccer ladies tournament in 2024. We also won a netball tournament recently,” she said

Buthelezi said the organisation has helped many people and they continue to do so.

“When individuals express gratitude, it motivates us to keep making a positive impact. I love it when they say ‘God bless’ us, that is a pure blessing. It shows that you have done a good deed,” she said.

Buthelezi said it was unfortunate that some individuals still faced discrimination in workplaces and society.

“We will continue fighting for our rights and shining bright like the rainbow we are,” she said.

“My wish is for homosexual individuals to be considered natural and normal people like others. Several societal changes and initiatives could be beneficial like; education and awareness.

“Increasing education and awareness about sexual orientation in schools, workplaces, and communities can help dispel myths and reduce stigma. This includes teaching about the diversity of human sexuality and the importance of acceptance and inclusion,” said Buthelezi.

Her message to those struggling in the community is that they should take their time to understand themselves.

“Don't hide forever; show off your colours like a beautiful rainbow. You are a child of God, born to serve your purpose,” she said.

Buthelezi said today (Saturday) they were hosting a closing of a pride month event called “awareness campaign” mixed with dialogue, chess and table tennis.

They will have a meet and greet with LGBTQI learners. They will start with a fun walk, aerobics and soccer they will be having fun dancing competition.

Saturday Star

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