10th Annual Feather Awards to honour Simon Nkoli

The Feather Awards will turn 10 this year and as part of the celebrations of this milestone, the LGBTI event will honour gay human rights icon Simon Nkoli through its 2018 theme.

Aiming to honour public figures who have inspired and empowered LGBTI people – the Feather Awards have become part of the fibre of the entertainment calendar.

The event uses entertainment to highlight the challenges and issues faced by the LGBTI community and recognising LGBTI people, entertainers and other public figures for their connection with the community.

The founder of the Feathers, Thami Kotlolo, announced the theme for the year today on social media. The theme, “Simon Nkoli: Honouring the past, claiming the future”, pays homage to Simon Nkoli on the year that marks the 20th anniversary of his death.

Nkoli was one of the first black anti-apartheid activists to come out as gay and HIV positive and fought tirelessly for the inclusion of gay and lesbian rights in the Constitution. Nkoli founded the first black gay organisation in Africa, the Saturday Group, as well as the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Witwatersrand (GLOW). He was also co-founder of the first ever LGBT Pride event on the continent, Johannesburg Pride.

“We are turning 10 and we are proud and excited that we have reached this milestone,” Kotlolo said. “This is a big year. We are honouring Simon Nkoli and we will honour Nelson Mandela’s centenary. These two icons stood for similar causes – the right to equality for the marginalised, advancing the rights of HIV positive people and freedom for all. This is at the heart of #Feathers10.”

The announcement of the theme acts as a call to action as the Feathers begin months of activities leading to the 10th Annual Feather Awards. The Feathers have spearheaded various activities, among them is the LGBTI Dialogues, a series of community dialogues that advance the cause for awareness and equality for LGBTI people across the country.

Kotlolo also mentioned plans to host the Global LGBTIQ+ Network – a global conference that will be hosted in Johannesburg from 10 – 12 October this year.

“We continue to grow and reflect on how we can be better, not just as an event but also as a social movement and LGBTI platform,” he said. “This is why we continue to engage our stakeholders in how we can amplify our voice, unite our efforts and benefit the LGBTI community widely. Celebrating the legacy of Simon Nkoli is our way of saying we get it and we will continue the good fight.”

Details of dates for the LGBTI Dialogues and other Feather Awards linked activities and events will be made available on social media and other digital platforms.

“We are grateful to our partners who will play a critical role in seeing through our vision in the aforementioned activities. The Gauteng Tourism Authority, the Gauteng Departments of Health and Community Safety will be crucial stakeholders for our conference and dialogues as well as other outreach work,” Kotlolo said.

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