The 1st Kanana Pride march
While thousands celebrated Pride in Pretoria last weekend, a much smaller but no less important LGBTI Pride was taking place in the North West province township of Kanana.
On Saturday 1 October, the first annual Kanana Gay Pride was held in the township, located near Orkney.
Around 30 members of the LGBTI community took part in a march through the streets, proudly proclaiming their right to self expression and to live life without fear, drawing the attention of curious passersby.
This was followed by an after-march celebration at the Swingles Club, where around 100 LGBTI people and their friends and families were enlightened, entertained and presented with safer-sex packs.
Organiser Mpho Buntse told Mambaonline that he considered the inaugural Kanana Pride a success, despite challenges with funding and convincing locals to take part in the march.
“We anticipated a low turnout. However we are generally happy at the response we received during the march, which gathered momentum as we continued,” he said.
“We even had locals waiting on the walkways ululating and some even joining the march temporarily and going back to their household chores. We are happy at how we were received, given the fact that this was the inaugural event.”
Buntse explained that it was important to increase the visibility of LGBTI people in the province, which has seen a spate of violent attacks against the community, including the murders of teen Lesley Makousa and music student Bobby Motlatla and the rape of a 22-year-old woman.
“Pride encourages sexual minorities to feel safe in local spaces and it creates a platform for engaging stakeholders such as traditional leaders, the faith sector, government, its entities and businesses on issues of LGBTI safety,” Buntse said.
He believes that the spark lit by the first Kanana Pride is a solid enough basis on which to grow the event and continue to host it annually.
“It is critical to constantly demonstrate a united front and celebrate same love as a human right,” Buntse added.