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All posts for the month November, 2012

Another South African lesbian murder

Published November 11, 2012 by Miss Pamstar

ImageA past couple of months I blogged about almost seven murders of LGBTI people, and today I find myself writing about yet another murder of a young lesbian woman in Cape Town. This morning (10/11/2012) I received a call from Ndumie Funda the founder and Director of Lulekisizwe a project that nurses, supports and feeds the lesbian bisexual and trans woman (LBT) in townships who are victims and survivors of “corrective rape”, whom I had just seen the day before and we were just talking about the current situation facing the LGBTI community in Cape Town especially in the townships. Funda sounded stressed and in shock over the phone when she asked me to get the word out about the murder of Sihle Skotshi (19) who was an active member of Lulekisizwe. Later I met up with Funda and  had an opportunity to interview the two survivors of the attack who were with Sihle when she died.

The attack and murder of the aforementioned victims happened last night (09/11/12) at around 11 at night in Cosovo an informal settlement in Phillipi Cape Town. The three young women were drinking at a nearby tavern when they ran out of money for alcohol. Sihle (the woman who died) asked one her friends to borrow her R50 so they can buy more alcohol, the friend agreed, but they had to go and get the money from the friend’s house who resides not far from the tavern where they were drinking. The three women left leaving another friend who is also a victim of “corrective rape” just a month ago and had not reported the rape, nor gone for medical checkup of sexual transmitted disease and pregnancy with the fear of the perpetrators receiving bail and going after her. On their way to fetch the money they passed a male who greeted them whom they know, but on their way back to the tavern that is when they were confronted by five or more males who were swearing at them and said “Ayo ndawo yenu le, yindawo yamaVura”-(this is not your place, it is amavura’s place) (Amavura is the gang that is known and feared in the area). In the midst of the attack one of the gang members pulled out a mini spear and stabbed Sihle in the chest. One of Sihle’s friends attempted to intervene and she also got stabbed in left arm, whilst the other friend ran to tell the other friend and to try and get a car that will take Sihle to hospital.

Sihle passed away in hospital and according to the friend who was with Sihle before she took her last breath, Sihle uttered her last words saying “Please apologize for me to my mother, and I love you all”. The survivors were teary throughout the interview; I could see they were shaken by what they had witnessed. Who wouldn’t be? I mean seeing your friend die in front of you is not a joke and the thought that you might be wanted by the perpetrators is enough to scare anyone. I was shaken by just listening to them telling the story, and what is even worse is the fact they have to go back to the same township where the attack took place, they live by themselves and they are targets of homophobia as they are constantly victimized and called names. Listening and seeing the fear that these young women go through really broke my heart. The fact that after so many years that homosexuality has been acknowledged by the government to be legal and is equally recognized as a constitutional right, but still homosexuals are being murdered and raped is just fucked up.

While I was posting the news on the social networks I already knew the kind of comments I would be getting such as “what have we done to deserve this?”, “these bustards why are they killing us”,  “something needs to be done, this getting out of hand”, blah blah blah… Fact is, “we” never really do anything about it, unless it is protesting and yapping on social networks about these crimes. Maybe we should look at ourselves first, activists do their bit but, what about the rest of the homosexual community? Think about it if we stood together in the fight for our rights maybe, just maybe we could be heard and taken seriously. Or maybe we should start by educating each other about safety measures, these young lesbians need our help and we can do that by guiding, nurturing and teaching them how to protect themselves. So my plea to you guys is let us support each other in whatever struggles to fight for our freedom, after all activists are not fighting for themselves alone but for the whole homosexual community at large. The least we can do is to support and help them. So next time you see my facebook updates with invites to marches, workshops and research studies please take part you are not only helping me but also yourselves because the findings could take us one step closer to our freedom. The cliché that division of labor gets the job done quicker was not created just for the fun of it, it does work. So think about it if we help each other in our fight for freedom as homosexuals we might just get it sooner than we think.

Sihle was a friendly young woman to those who knew her; she was a soccer player and has recently matriculated and was working and saving money to study further. Another young lesbian has been murdered if we don’t do anything about these murders we might as well look forward to WHO IS NEXT?!

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 MAY SIHLE’S SOUL REST IN PEACE AND JUSTICE BE DONE!

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THE UGLY TRUTH

Published November 2, 2012 by Miss Pamstar

Often we sell ourselves short as homosexuals, not only in love but also in life in general. We tend to let life and love treat us unfairly and we settle for second best. Hoping things will get better in time and that someday we will meet the one who will be ours and ours alone or enjoy our rights and have a better justice system. Perhaps sometime you do have the one, and you are well off but nevertheless we always want life to be hard on us unnecessarily so. We are so used to being oppressed and treated like dirt that we have come to embrace the shame of being inferior.

Slogans and quotes that support homosexuals are always written not only to make us feel good about ourselves, but also to remind us that before our homosexuality we are human regardless of whom we love. In my expedition to finding myself I came to realize that not only me but most of my fellow homosexuals tend to accept mistreatment because we are used to being oppressed. Growing up we are taught of heterosexual’s ways of living, loving and we are forced to believe it is the only normal lifestyle in the world. Truth is it is not. Forget about culture and what the bible says about homosexuality for once let us focus on human sexualities and the way of living in the 21st century. Why is that we are still fighting for homosexual rights in this day and age? Why are we still protesting, feeling the need to educate and campaign to prove ourselves in the world? I mean look at each and everything that is happening around us, it is like we are in some contest to gain approval of our being as homosexuals. Lately we hardly have the time to live and enjoy our lives because we have to live to spare the feelings of others, which by the way I find very monotonous and a complete waste of time.

All over the world people are searching to find peace and a better way of living by being financially stable and build families. We seem to be looking for more than that, not because we are selfish but because we are forced to add a little extra to our baskets of wants. Approval, acceptance, equality and love these are just a few, but it becomes ridiculous when we have to seek these in our own community. The constant fighting, looking each other down, cheating, and competing amongst ourselves has to end. Yes it is human nature to be competitive but why do it to each other, cant we at least get along? The division we have created has grown so deep that we have become the laughing stock in the world, even the government sees no point in granting us the freedom we deserve because of the way we behave. We have become our own enemies in the struggle, and losing the purpose of the fight that Simon Nkoli, Bev Ditsi and others have stood up for.

What happened to the love, passion and oneness that have been shown by our protagonists have shown for us to enjoy the better few fruits of their hard work? Is the way we are doing things now a thank you to them or just a spit in their faces? What happened to unity? The race card has been overplayed and it should not be allowed to qualify anymore in our poker table. Shouldn’t we rather channel our energies into something positive like empowering one another and becoming one since we belong to the same subculture?

Some people have it easy and others don’t, the trick is to never lose you along the way. My articles have been criticized and harshly so, but I have never used that to give up and throw in the towel. One thing I have discovered about homosexuals is that we are weak and we live our lives for other people and not for us. We allow the judgments posed at us to break us and we surrender to defeat way before the battle is over. We are our worst oppressors and unless we admit that and change our mindsets we are FUCKED, and that is the UGLY TRUTH!

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