Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie (Photo: Market Photo Workshop)
After winning more than 20 pageants, the stunning Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie was crowned Miss Drag SA 2019 in October.
Not only did Belinda impress the judges and audience with their elegant presentation on stage but also with their insight into the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.
We found out more about the passionate Belinda and their goals in this Q&A.
Who are you when you are not Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie?
When not Belinda, I am Abenathi a gender-queer body and post-graduate student at Stellenbosch University.
You recently received an award as Miss Drag South Africa, from the University of Stellenbosch, tell us about that?
I was awarded a Rector’s Excellence Award for culture; a recognition for my role in transforming campus culture and beyond.
What’s in your handbag?
My wipes, powder, lipstick and perfume.
Who is your favourite RuPaul’s Drag Race winner?
Bebe Zahara Benet and Bob The Drag Queen. Both these queen’s drag is representational and inspiring to me.
What’s your favourite song to lip-sync?
Nzinga by Simphiwe Dana.
Winning Miss Drag SA 2019 (Photo: MambaOnline.com)
Which South African destination is your favourite?
I love the West Coast, but I can’t close my mouth on the beauty of Knysna.
What is your one wish?
I wish that South Africans can appreciate South African drag queens more. We have so much incredible talent in this country. I don’t think we really realise that.
When did you discover your inner drag?
I think my drag is a vocation. Although I started the artform out of mere fun, I realised that there was a deeper calling and purpose that walking around in a sequence gown. I had a story to tell and drag gave me that platform.
What was the first title and how many pageants have you won?
My first pageant title was Miss Gay Stellenbosch 2014 and since then I have won 22 pageants including all of the drag big five pageants: Miss Cape Peninsula 2015, Miss Cape Town Pride 2016, Miss Drag Ambassador 2016, Miss Gay Western Cape 2016 and Miss Drag South Africa 2019.
Who is your inspiration or role model?
I am inspired by various individuals who really are making an impact in their respective careers, activism and advocacies. This includes Simphiwe Dana, Zanele Muholi, Dr Bev Ditsie, Nakhane and Noami Campbell.
Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why?
Steve Biko, I think Biko carried a deep and generational message that we need to constantly teach our children and many generations to come. As a black body, who navigated most of my life in white spaces I have for years battled with accepting my blackness. Reading Biko has been a liberating and eye-opening experience.
What’s the most attractive feature of a drag queen?
I am more enticed by inner beauty, a drag queen with a warm spirit and giving heart attracts me.
What’s your best quality?
I am very goal-driven. I set myself goals and work hard towards achieving them.
What was the last book you read and tell us about it?
I am currently reading a new book called Kenyan, Christian, Queer by Adriaan van Klinken. It’s an ethnographic and observational book which sheds light on the “arts of resistance” the queers of Kenya use for advocacy and visibility purposes.
Is drag a political statement?
Anything that is personal is political. Drag is a personalised artform which automatically makes it a political statement.
Photo: Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie / Instagram
What went through your mind when you realised that you won the Miss Drag SA crown?
It was an inexplainable sense of achievement. So much planning, fieldwork and training went into this. Winning was a sense of acknowledgement for everything I have put in, in realising this dream.
How will you use your title and what do you hope to achieve during your reign?
I hope to leave a legacy of artivism. My drag is my artivism, it speaks about my activism and advocacies. I represent a different type of drag that is inspired by the human condition and I want drag queens that see themselves through me to step to the light and be visible.
You received a pretty tough question during the Top5 Q&A round of Miss Drag South Africa 2019. Tell us about that and what advice you have for anyone that fear to live their truth?
My question was around advising someone who lives in a country where they face the death penalty for being queer. In summary, my answer was that we shouldn’t place ourselves at risk but that we shouldn’t either die in silence. We should challenge those systems that are placed to erase our existence. We should augment the power in our narratives. Because ultimately, it is better to die for a purpose than to live for nothing.
Follow Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie on Instagram and Miss Drag South Africa on Facebook.