Connect with us
Advertisement

Life Loss Love explores LGBTIQ real life narratives

 A digital photography project dubbed Life Loss Love aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer persons in Botswana; despite the widespread misconception they have basic protections.

First things first, LGBTIQ people worldwide continue to face stigma and discrimination especially in the health care. Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right, a human right recognized in an international human rights law through multiple United Nations treaties and reflected in national level legislation in many countries.

Even with the recognition of the right to health of every human being, LGBTIQ people are still subjected to stigma and discrimination, leading to disparities in access to, quality and availability of health care services. LGBTIQ people are denied services, experience discrimination by healthcare professionals who are unaware of health concerns particular to the LGBTIQ community.

Criminalization of same-sex relationships and punitive laws against LGBTIQ individuals further exacerbate negative health outcomes of the LGBTIQ community. Partners of the LGBTIQ in Nigeria, where homosexuality is criminalized and punishment includes death by stoning, reported that due to the climate of fear and repression they did not access the medical care they needed because they were afraid of being arrested or facing violence.

Homophobia and Tran’s phobia, both internalized and experienced, and social stigma, contribute to isolation and discrimination against LGBTIQ people, having long term impacts on mental health and well-being. Reports highlight that the LGBTIQ community face higher incidence of anxiety, depression, HIV and suicidal thoughts than heterosexual and cisgender counterparts.

Those who are not out, are forced to remain closeted, or do not have social support may experience more severe mental health issues. Mental health is still an emerging issue in many parts of the world leading to inadequately systems and services available to the LGBTIQ community, who often need these services too.HIV continues to be pervasive among key populations including transgender women and men who have sex with men.

Trends point to increased incidences of HIV transmission among young gay men. While these populations may experience higher exposure to HIV risk, countries continually fail to provide sufficient health care resources to both curb transmission rates as well as provide affordable and accessible treatment and services.In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life, Life Loss Love project coordinator Bradley Fortuin said stigma and discrimination towards LGBTIQ individuals is still a major challenge in Botswana and it goes unaddressed. ‘’this affects every aspect of daily life of these people; at family level, school and work environments, personal relationships, faith and even spiritually. LGBTIQ people often have to hide their true identity, thoughts and feelings just to survive and fit in.

when the Botswana High Court decriminalised homosexuality in 2019, this saw a big obstacle being removed. LGBTIQ people expected they would be assimilated into mainstream society. However, the reality is that decriminalisation did not end exclusion, stigma and discrimination as there are still human rights violations. Sexual and gender minorities in Botswana still experience unjust treatment, harassment, rape and other physical assaults’’ he told Weekend Life reporter Tlhabo Kgosiemang.

He further said the digital photography aims to explore the various real life narratives of LGBTIQ people, highlighting the intersections with other movements like the Women’s movement and the Disability movement. It draws attention to various societal issues from body positivity, same-sexual affection, religion, spirituality and faith, promoting topics around sex positivity, rape culture and toxic masculinity. ‘’marginalization often happens through the interplay of culture, beliefs and history. We can be subjected to discrimination in many forms.

As one of the subjects of this first series of images, Life Loss Love shows chapters of my own personal journey; from being sexually assaulted as a child by a family friend for being ‘’too girly’’ and feminine, to being told that my being gay was punished by God through the death of my mother. It is a testament of triumph, courage and forgiveness.it is about finding love, belonging and encouraging everyone to live their truth.’’

Fortuin stressed that he collaborated with Lame Dilotsotlhe, who is behind the lenses for this first edition, adding that to date; he has worked with 5 LGBTIQ identifying persons locally. ‘’This project is for all, and i will have to carry it out every quarter of the year. If people are interested they can contact us via instagram @lifelosslovebw.’’
When answering a question I probed about the inspiration behind the name, Fortuin underlined that ‘’life is a journey and we come across all kinds of situations, experiences that break us down, that mould us and those that make us stronger to be able to rise above all challenges.

All these experiences can be divided into life, loss and love. The name also came from my personal life’s journey and battle with my sexuality, having to deal with it and the impact that exclusion has had my mental and physical health. But also, I have had great life experiences; I have lived and experienced love in many forms, which has made me appreciate the lessons learned and my purpose in life.’’

Meanwhile, from Botswana to Barbados, Botswana’s ruling to decriminalising gay sex case made it key legal fights that will dominate LGBTIQ news in 2020. At number one, The U.S Supreme court is due to rule before June as to whether LGBTIQ people are protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s ban on discrimination at work. Access to bathrooms for transgender students and lawsuits against the Pentagon over HIV-positive military personnel who were dismissed or banned from deployment are also hot-button topics where rulings are expected.

Number two: Botswana. A ruling is expected on a government appeal against a High Court ruling in June last year to decriminalise gay sex, making Botswana one of a handful of African countries to accept same-sex relations.Singapore’s High Court could rule on decriminalisation of gay sex this year. At least three men have filed cases arguing the law is unconstitutional or violates human dignity.

Jamaica is at number four. The Caribbean island’s colonial-era sodomy laws are being challenged by a petition lodged at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Any ruling would not be binding, but decriminalisation could cause waves in the region. Legal challenges to colonial ‘’buggery laws’’ have been launched or planned in Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.

A law punishing sex between men with life imprisonment in Barbados was challenge din 2018 with a petition to the IACHR, which has asked the government to respond. If the commission recommends reform and the government refuses to implement it, the matter could be referred to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.With two cases filed in Hong Kong, same-sex marriage could become a key issue in the city, where homosexuality has been decriminalised since 1991, despite an October ruling that there was no obligations to allow LGBTIQ unions.

The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya has appealed against a High Court ruling in May to maintain the ban on gay sex, punishable by 14 years in jail. A hearing date has yet to be set. In Europe, the European Court of Human Rights is reviewing the case of a gay man who said he was persecuted in Chechnya and holding an inquiry into a wave of arrests in 2017 of LGBTIQ people in Azerbaijan.

 

Continue Reading

WeekendLife

Of Musicians and No Shows

10th May 2022
Musicians and No Shows

There is a growing unpleasant of artists who do not pitch for events they have been booked for; or simultaneously, there could be another development – false advertising – where artists’ names are used to draw large crowds.

Musicians and promoters in their mission to put bread on the table seem to have resorted to obscene means of securing their means. To many, this is tantamount to fraud and deception to gain an unfair advantage over their unsuspecting fans who swoon at the mention of their name, their presence and entire existence.

The month of May has just begun and bottomless grievances are pouring in of no show musicians at gigs they have been booked and paid for. Instead of leaving the crowd stunned by a spectacular show they are leaving revellers disappointed.

Exhibit A; This past weekend Eswatini’s DJ Uncle Waffles was scheduled to perform in Botswana. She never pitched up for the shows and continues to be silent on her lack of presence at the show. Exhibit B; Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were all set to perform on 29 April at the Victoria Falls Carnival 10th Anniversary but did not arrive in Zambia for the gig.

In a statement released on Sunday 1 May, Victoria Falls Carnival organisers confirmed that flights and accommodation were organised for DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha.
The statement continued; “Confirmations were sent to them as agreed and emails were sent to them several times before, for some reason they did not show up at the airport on the day of travel…

Above and beyond we tried to communicate with the artists to change the date of performance but still we could not get hold of them despite all the effort and all means of communication from our side,” Organisers have demanded that the artists refund them the full booking fee and the payments made for flights and accommodation

“All three artists were paid in full and contractually bound to perform at the Carnival, and accommodated at every corner with their numerous flight and accommodation change requests.” Adds the statement. Exhibit C; South African artist Prince Benza’s passport was confiscated by the Deputy Sheriffs pending payment for damages on breach of contract.

He was scheduled to perform at Mogobane on the 31st of December at the Reflector Music Festival but did not appear as well. He nabbed when he came into the country for a separate event.
The President of Botswana Entertainment Promoters Association (BEPA), Gilbert Seagile this week had his company; Gilbert Promotions registered in South Africa.

This puts him in an ideal spot to become an intermediary and help solve the feud between Botswana and South African artists and their no show at events.  Seagile emphasized that it’s not only international artists that miss events but even the local artists have the same tendencies. He elaborated that reasons for artists not pitching up are many amongst them ; breach of contracts , promoters not paying deposits and some can be natural like artist testing positive for Covid-19.

The BEPA president also indicated that fly-by-night promoters are also a concern as they do not follow the BEPA Code of conduct, “BEPA members are well coordinated, they have the code of conduct which guides them to do things accordingly. The government is pushing for promoters to join BEPA they have already started refusing with permits when one is not a member of BEPA.” he emphasized

Seagile said that the association is in talks with the South African Music Promoters Association (SAMPA) to provide protection of Botswana Promoters that when artists miss shows they can be able to rope in their lawyers in South Africa through SAMPA and Botswana through BEPA to compensate for losses incurred as a result of this exploitation.

He said another way of dealing with this matter is for Promoters to issue a contract to the artist as currently the norm is that the artist produces the contract to the promoter so this solution can help the promoters to protect themselves.

In an interview with Weekendlife, Superintendent Tumediso of Urban Police Station enunciated that matters of no show artists are normally reported by the promoter who normally comes as the complainant. The matter is then taken forward taking into consideration the evidence, this will in turn assist in determining on whether the case is theft, obtaining by false pretence or fraud.
When it is all said and done, revellers love musicians to hate them and hate them to love them. It is an unending toxic relationship which no one wants to pull away from.

Continue Reading

WeekendLife

COSBOTS mulls funding for struggling members

10th May 2022
COSBOTS

As the creative industry is trying to resurface from the COVID-19 dust, the board chairperson of Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS), Bakalanga Mahoko, says the society is considering giving out relief funds to their members who have been hit hard by the COVID -19 induced restrictions. She noted that this will however depend on government’s response to their request for funds.

She told WeekendLife that the society has already written to government requesting funds. Once the request is approved, she says some of the funds will enable the society to embark on road shows across the country to sensitise the general public about COSBOTS. The road shows are designed to run for several weeks before the annual general meeting which is scheduled for May, 28th this year. Among other things, she says part of the money will be used as a relief fund for their members.

“As we are all aware, the industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 restrictions and some of our members were unable to raise money for their survival and that alone affected the industry. We anticipate that government will consider and approve our request and once it’s approved our members will smile all the way to the bank as their bank accounts will be credited by the COSBOTS,” she says.

She added that if things go according to plan, this will be the second time that their members would have been assisted through such an initiative. She said at the moment they have registered about 2800 members across the country and the board anticipates that the membership number will increase sharply.

“I am not yet in a better position to divulge the amount which each artist will be given because government has not yet responded to our request, but once that has been approved the society will announce,“ she says.

Mahoko was elected as the board chairperson sometime last year and has also been the first woman to lead such society which she described as “privileged”. “As many will recall, the society was in a mess and there were squabbles among members. There was also mismanagement of funds that resulted in the members, government as well as the public losing trust on the society and that dented badly the image of the society,” she says.

Mahoko further stated since she has been in office for more than a year, things now look much better and promising. The government gave the society a grant and that alone was a sign of trust from government. Recently COSBOTS distributed over P7 million as royalties.

Continue Reading

WeekendLife

Collegium launches E-books

10th May 2022

With over 20 years in the business of publishing school books for both primary and high school schools as well as fuelling the imagination and guiding the soul of the youth. Collegium Education Publishers are continuing with their trailblazing mission by launching EBooks.

During the launch of the Ebooks platform recently, Naledi Ratsoma, Author and Founding Director of Collegium Botswana took the audience on a trip down memory lane. She disclosed that after falling out with a local publishing company, she established new ties with a publishing company in South Africa. “The adage don’t get mad, get even worked for us.

We decided we are going to get them, we are curriculum specialists we know what the curriculum is all about and what books should be to support the type of curriculum.” She said deep in thought. “The start-up was not easy, I was the general, manager, tea lady working from 6 am to 10pm. It was sheer determination and hard work that got the company going.

Today I feel honoured and excited, Collegium grew by leaps and bounds. Here we are today. Dare I call Collegium a success story? Yes I do, it is a resounding success story.” She uttered excitedly
Looking into the future, Terrence Showa, Collegium CEO was tasked with only one job to do.

That job? Moving Collegium to digitization and joining the rest of the publishing world in transition towards the Fourth industrial revolution and a knowledge based economy. “Today I stay to you quite proud to be the first publisher in the country to launch the prescribed eBooks.” He said.

Showa mentioned; “I was told to come with a cheaper solution for government, after three years with meeting several Information Technology think tanks we came to the conclusion that Snapplify, gurus in providing eBooks and eLearning were in alignment with what we are looking for. Ebooks provide a simple solution for teachers, parents, students to use at their homes.

It will also be 30% cheaper for government to procure the books. An added benefit was the ability to give free content by Snapplify on the side of library service. ” He says the Ebook Platform has been fast tacked by the rural electrification program by government prioritizing the need to digitise books.

When speaking to the WeekendPost on the side after the event, Showa when questioned on matters of piracy which comes with the digital age, he enunciated that “as Collegium the failure of us to regulate the printing and photocopying of our books frustrates us daily. There are institutions who have committed to procuring photocopying machines to make copies of our books.

We are excited about eBooks because the licence procured when buying the book will run for only a year and will limit users to being able to photocopy and take screenshots of the books. One of the reasons Snapplify made sense to us is they know exactly what the challenges that come with digital platforms are. The content will only be downloadable into devices through a profile set up and limit the number of users on the site.”

For their presentation, Stephen Bestbier and Mark Seabrook from the Snapplify Team; the application is accessible everywhere with an offline feature to encourage data saving and reading offline, it is compatible with existing devices be it mobile, tablet and desktop. The simple library management functionality makes it easy to check out books and return them automatically to curb the ancient penalty of paying late return fees as well as avoiding d issues of lost book since it will be on an online platform.

The academic features include; a designated dyslexic friendly font, text to speech functionality, journal, bookmarks. The Elibrary provides for convenience as 24/7 access to learning, materials since the online library does not close like the traditional library. The support platform ‘teacha!’ also reliefs’ teachers in their work by building skills with accredited professional development courses and platform training.

Snapplify are leaders in Pan African educational technology with thousands of institutions across Africa with students and academic staff within the Snapplify ecosystem from primary schools to tertiary institutions.

Snapplify is the best eLearning solution with a comprehensive content catalogue with constant delivery and a proven track record of rolling out large government eLearning projects.  Collegium’s vision has indeed come to pass to become market leaders in the provision of high quality teaching and learning materials for institutions in Botswana.

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!