[box type=”note” ]We are still busy collecting information on this year’s IDAHOT activities and are waiting to hear back from activists and event organisers. If you have information to share with us, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org[/box]
National LGBT organisation LEGABIBO engaged in community mobilization through creating dialogue with members of the community including tribal leaders and the police to stimulate interest in LGBT rights. “It is very important that we have interventions at community level so that Batswana may understand what it means to be LGBTI, so as to avoid violating LGBTI rights” says LEGABIBO Coordinator, Caine Youngman.
In a recent interview in the lead-up to IDAHOT 2015 a LEBABIBO spokesperson highlighted the importance of the event, mentioning that the day helped raise awareness for Botswana’s LGBT community. The spokesperson also used the opportunity to call upon local authorities to work towards ending the discrimination targeted towards marginalised groups.
Additionally, activists held the UP KGALE event where participants took the rainbow flag to the highest point in Gaborone. This was to show that despite all the LGBTI community will rise and soar.
Find more details and updates here.
The Queer Shorts Showcase is Botswana’s first, and only, short theatre production festival focused on presenting original works dealing with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) themes through various theatrical means. The festival was founded by Katlego K Kol-Kes in 2014 and premiered on May 17, 2014.
The festival promotes interrogation of themes addressing LGBT livelihood in Botswana with the aim to generate conversations, promote socially relevant discourse, and educate residents of Botswana on these minority issues.
After a successful first instalment, the Queer Shorts Showcase Festival – Botswana’s first and only LGBTI themed theatre festival – will be headlined by South African actor Mogoshi Mogwera. Mogwera will be performing his heart-wrenching solo, Bring Back Our Gays, alongside 4 other productions from Botswana.
Bring Back Our Gays interrogates gay identity development following the story of a young, black boy growing up in the townships of South Africa. Navigating genderqueering from childhood games, to religion, to self acceptance and the coming out process, this work the pushes boundaries of racial portrayals of African homosexuality.
The Queer Shorts Showcase will be mounted on 16 May 2015 at Thapong Visual Arts Centre, in Gaborone, Botswana. The line-up also includes new works by Katlego K Kol-Kes, such as Mmele, Top Centre, and Somebody Give Me The Strength Not To Kiss A Straight Man And Ruin His Life. Additionally, Kol-Kes will be directing Kgotla Molefe in a performance to poke at the proverbial beehive of male privilege in the 2015 instalment of the festival.
Inspired by the efforts and support of a young Motswana boy, Tshimo, Queer Shorts Showcase Festival organizer, Katlego K Kol-Kes has launched the “Bokamoso Bracelets” campaign. The 50 bracelet limited edition debut collection will be made to support LGBTI Visibility and Youth in Botswana. “This collaboration is a symbol of how educating our youth helps them free themselves” says Kol-Kes, “Tshimo is already a great LGBTI ally at the age of 9, and he will be making each bracelet. We’re excited to support his business.”
The official branding “Bokamo50” is inspired by Botswana’s upcoming 50th Independence, with the name being inspired by the 2015 IDAHOT theme focusing on LGBT Youth. “Bokamoso, which means Future in Setswana, is hoped to inspire our allies to wear their support and hope, quite literally, on a sleeve” says Kol-Kes. The bracelets will each go for P35 ($3.53) each and will be on sale starting 8 May 2015.
They have launched a campaign video, which you can view here.