11 OCTOBER 2018
THE AWESOME 50 ANNUAL LIST CELEBRATES INSPIRATIONAL LGBTIQ AFRICANS
Johannesburg, South Africa – The #Awesome50 Annual List of Awesome LGBTIQ Africans is a first of its kind platform aimed at celebrating, honouring and profiling LGBTIQ Africans who are doing work that benefits LGBTIQ people. The list, honours 50 LGBTIQ people who are from the African continent whose work directly and indirectly positively impacts the lives of LGBTIQ people in human rights, media, politics, corporate, social and civic development, academia, health and other areas. The list further recognises five LGBTIQ allies who’ve used their work and platform to benefit LGBTIQ people.
The #Awesome50 List is the brainchild of LGBTIQ activist, publicist and entrepreneur Motlatsi Motseoile. The List includes South African marketing guru Sylvester Chauke, actor and singer Nakhane, Feather Awards founder Thami Kotlolo and entertainer Somizi Mhlongo. Among the unsung heroes are South African AIDS Council co-chair Steve Letsike, human rights lawyer Mpho Nefuri – who has represented LGBTIQ people in hate crimes cases, and Ekurhuleni Pride organiser Ntsupe Mohale. Ensuring that the list is as diverse as possible, it has listed Botswana Transgender rights activists Katlego Kesupile-Kolanyane and Ricki Kgositau, Nigerian human rights defender Pamela Adie and Kenyan journalist Denis Nzioka, among others. The project further recognises five LGBTIQ allies who include Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Dr Sindi van Zyl and Business Leadership South Africa CEO Bonang Mohale.
“The rights of LGBTIQ Africans have come under threat in recent years and forced many of us to hide or run from what is close and familiar. It has forced many LGBTIQ people to stand up, shout and be heard, if not for the queer community, then only for themselves. It is important for us as a community to then speak the names of these heroes and icons, to celebrate and thank them for their tireless and heroic efforts and ongoing work. This list is only the apex of what needs to be done to thank and honour those who have laid down their lives for us to even be able to have this list, be present in media, politics and other spaces in greater society and leadership. As we celebrate #PrideMonth it is important to do so by honouring these Africans who have stood up, to ensure that we are proud, by just living their lives in brave, bold and proud manners. To each listed African and to the allies, I personally thank them” – Motlatsi Motseoile, curator
The list is supported by UberPride, an employee resource group at Uber Sub-Saharan Africa which aims to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity within the company. The list is the culmination of a process of selection and consultation with the LGBTIQ community. It represents a wide group of LGBTIQ activists in a diverse selection of industries, practices and regions. Representation on the list includes South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana.
“We believe the world is brighter, more colourful, more productive, more creative, and happier when each of us can be authentic to who we are. UberPride advocates to build intersectional, supportive, and empowering communities—within Uber’s workplace and across the cities we serve” said UberPride’s Ross Adami.
The Awesome50 Annual List will be published on 20 October 2018 online – www.theawesome50.africa.
You can access the names AWESOME 50 FINAL LIST – 10.10.18 (1).
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Curator: The Awesome 50 Annual List