Donald Molosi takes his bow on Broadway.

16 Sep

Donald Molosi announces retirement from professional theatre after 22 years. 

Molosi ends a 15-year award-winning Broadway career.

“I’ve been doing professional stage performances and touring since childhood. So, yes, I always intended to retire from theatre at 35. I don’t know what’s next. We will see,” says the actor.

Black Is A Beginning.

Botswana-born actor Donald Molosi has partnered with Uruguayan film director Nicolas Lejtreger for a short film that marks Molosi’s retirement from the professional theatre. The latest offering by the Mahalapye-born polymath is called Black Is A Beginning. The film project is the first of a few films that Molosi will release in 2023 to reflect his award-winning Broadway career.

Molosi adds, “A village boy from Mahalapye became a Broadway star for an award-winning span of 15 years. As I retire now, I am sharing how that happened. I partnered with Nicolason Black because he tells human stories excellently.”

Perhaps Molosi’s most popular work is his oeuvre on Sir Seretse and Lady Ruth Khama’s epic romance: Molosi released a book (We Are All Blue), a DStv documentary (also called We Are All Blue), a Broadway play (Blue, Black and White) and a Hollywood film (A United Kingdom).

“This new film is part of my long goodbye from professional theatre. I will launch more projects next year to thank all my fans who have supported me since I was a child. I especially thank my ancestors who taught me that we wear black to mourn and build, to end and to begin,” Molosi explains the title of his new short film. Black Is A Beginning is currently filming in Walthamstow Wetlands in North London, England.

At 15 years old, Donald Molosi was the youngest on-air announcer in Botswana when he co-hosted a show with Dollar Mac on Yarona FM in the early 2000s. Molosi has often credited Oratile Jazzelle Kebakile as his inspiration to get into radio as a child.

“Jazzelle was the standard for us child entertainers when I was growing up. I followed in her footsteps to radio and charted my own path from there. When our national broadcaster opened in 2000, I was one of the first children to present at the new station. This is before Mantlwaneng came along because Oaitse Kgomotso, who was in Mantlwaneng, was part of this other UNICEF-funded first. I remember how scandalous it was that I had worn shorts on a talk show in 2000 when Btv opened. I almost got the producer, Kitso Mosiieman in touble! That shows you how far we have come as Batswana. We are hopefully a little more relaxed about dress codes on TV now,” Molosi shares.

Molosi has shared that he had initially intended to retire from professional theatre in 2020. He explains, “In 2020, I was in a pandemic like the whole world. I was also personally evolving and it was not the right time for me to reflect. I feel ready now. I am going to share my retirement message in three films that will be released in 2023. In all the films I appear as my drag persona called Dumela Fella.”

In Black Is A Beginning, Molosi will appear as Dumela Fella. In a docu-dramatic style, Molosi will deliver his most important thought as he exits a career that saw him making history as the first Motswana to perform on Broadway in the early 2000s. On Broadway, Molosi burst onto the scene with Blue, Black and White. This was the name that Molosi named his country’s flag in 2007. When he later used the title for his off-Broadway play, the phrase became popular to the extent that it is a staple in today’s speeches made by politicians when they refer to Botswana unity.

Black Is A Beginning is a thank-you letter to Botswana whereas Blue, Black and White was a love-letter to Batswana,” Molosi explains. “When I named the flag in 2007, I was simply doing it for convenience as I was studying vexillology. I realized that our flag did not have a name or even a nickname and so I named it. I am a citizen, why not? Now with this film I reflect on where the curiosty came from and why this flag is important to me.”

Nicolas Lejtreger and Molosi met earlier this year in London when Molosi was in the UK to give a reading at Oxford University. “I immediately knew I wanted to work with Nico. I am grateful that he called me up and asked me to be part of the project. There will be many other international and diverse actors in the project and they will be revealed in time.”

Nicolas Lejtreger is a film director and cinematographer born in Uruguay. He works in Spanish and English. Lejtreger is known for films such as Close to The Sun and The Island of Wonder and Despair.

Of his 22 years as a professional theatre, Molosi spent 15 of them in the New York Theatre District. Molosi is currently based in Trinidad and Tobago and is filming  Black Is A Beginning, in London.  

Donald Molosi is an actor, writer and public thinker. Molosi is President of the Upright African Movement. Molosi’s alter ego, Dumela Fella is a drag queen.

For more information or collaborations, contact Waka Talent Agency.

info@wakaagency.biz

http://www.wakaagency.biz

The Business of entertaining abuse.

23 Feb

The adage, ‘The show must go on’, seems to extend when it comes to enabling perpetrators of abuse.

For decades we have witnessed how perpetrators and their enablers thrive in the entertainment industry. The disgusting behaviour is either overlooked or accepted through undermining commentary such as ” Yeah, that’s what he does, but he is so talented”. An excuse that ultimately protects the alleged perpetrators and their enablers. One of the leading factors is attached to power and control. Abusers thrive in a space that they know they can control. They hold power through their financial wealth, fear, and intimidation they instill in those who dare to speak out. They intentionally set up spaces, people, and businesses whose work is to push the patriarchal narrative, protect them, and silence victims.

In 2018, a prominent journalist supported many survivors in sharing their traumas and speaking out on various forms of abuse that they suffered at the hands of a well-known filmmaker. The journalist even admitted that he had evidence that the alleged perpetrator’s business partner was aware of previous crimes; email threads proved that victims reported to her, and she chose to overlook it and ignore it. Many people in the industry seemed to know of his behaviour. The journalist was well aware of the additional trauma we all suffered, including one of us trying to take their life. He chose not to share the information on the enabler, his excuse, and the shame it affects her business. The choice to remain silent on such crucial information is a perfect example of how many choose to protect their own yes; the enabler is white. And admitting that somebody’s finances are more valuable than the life of a black women’s body. The show had to go on!!!

In the same case, when the story broke, more evidence emerged as people acknowledged that they were aware of his abusive behaviour and tried many tactics to discourage the victims and distract them. At the time, I was on a Whatsapp group with industry stakeholders, and I was a little taken back by one of the members, who labels herself a vocal feminist and activist. Her comment in the group was that we need to let the court decide and give him space. I immediately left the group as I knew it would not be safe. After I spoke out and the article was published in a newspaper in 2018, the same person was speedy to tell me that one of the other survivors is unstable as she suffers from Bipolar, therefore undermining the victim’s credibility. She continued to brag that she would then be setting up a meeting with the alleged perpetrator as she was aware of his previous abuse, and the meeting would be to instruct him to come forward and confess. I shared the news with some of the other survivors that I have been in contact with, and all of us agreed that it would have been great to show that solidarity to the victims/survivors, which would strengthen our cases. 

I then realised that this person was also protecting the perpetrator’s business partner, as they are friends. The mentioned business partner tried to intimidate me with a legal letter, including other industry stakeholders. After months with my legal team responding, confirming I would be willing to meet and discuss the claims against me, she went silent. I soon discovered that she did not have consent to include the other stakeholders in the legal letter. An insider informed me that it was a joint effort with a women’s group to try and silence me as I did not stop questioning their motives. The same group tried to end my show by instructing the industry to stay away from me. It worked for a while, but I rose again after healing from emotional stress. 

Please note the survivor list is very long, and I have only been in contact with approximately 10. When I refer to them, I do have consent to share the information.

I have documented our horrific journey from then; you can check my previous blogs, social media comments, and more.

Do commissions offer adequate and transparent support?

In 2019, several people, including myself, applied to the Commission of Gender Equality; our complaints were against a group that had proven to show solidarity towards the above perpetrator. For some reason, I was only called for a hearing. The other applications did not receive a reply or feedback. In one case, the applicant did the interview, sent through adequate information and evidence then all her files went missing, and the CGE claimed that there was never an open case. I made various complaints against the officer of my file who referred to my matter as bickering between women, and the day of the hearing arrived with a one-page document. However, there were multiple applications, files, documents, sound recordings. He answered that there was too much information to sift through. The work seemed to be too overwhelming when there was a lot of evidence. I did not pursue it as the whole matter sent me into an emotional breakdown.

The campaigns do not follow through and exclude many.

When 16 Days of activism and women’s month role around, the industry stakeholders host events about tackling GBV. These are necessary if they plan to implement support when needed. If an organization cannot offer true solidarity and support to those who speak out, it should focus on other areas. Claiming to provide support, and then when needed, the victims are left to fend for themselves. The false sense of support and solidarity adds to the initial trauma. Tremendous work is done through workshops equipping women in the industry, which is greatly appreciated, but it should include all. If you want to follow feminist principles, we should adopt Intersectional feminism to include all the marginalized, such as the LGBTQI community, people living with disabilities and more. So the campaign cannot just be aimed at wom_n and children only. We are aware that the statistics show a higher percentage of abuse against wom_n. Still, we need to consider that the data has excluded the marginalized community. There is an inadequate statistic on the deaths of black lesbians and the high level of abuse that the trans community faces by being denied health care based on who they are. That is a violation of one human right. The abuse in same-partner relationships is ridiculed and dismissed.

Are trans people invited to these spaces? Are all Queer people protected and appraised on set?

For more information on Intersectional feminism, read up on Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term over 30 years ago.

Government bodies and corporate bodies can make a difference.

In 2021, GIZ (The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), https://www.giz.de

hosted a panel discussion of GBV in the entertainment industry. They were aware of the Herstory of all stakeholders who participated, including the CGE application and the placement of a convicted perpetrator on one of the governing councils. When activists questioned and requested the entity remove a convicted abuser, there was no show of solidarity, although the previous campaigns promised to show support to those who spoke out. The CEO told us to take up the matter with the Ministry involved. We did; they heard us and removed the abuser.

Regarding the 2021 online event, the hosts removed another participant and me. I did not speak on the panel, but they pulled the other participant after asking pertinent questions, an accurate indication of silencing a victim. We approached the organizer afterward, and they denied blocking us. Then the other participant received a threatening call from one of the hosts. When I sent an email requesting why this was tolerated and allowed, another example of verbal abuse, I did not receive a reply.

Broadcasters choose ratings over solidarity.

In the case with Idols SA, there were allegations of abuse against one of their judges, and they chose to dismiss him then rehire him for the next season. It seems apparent that the broadcaster has chosen to ignore the previous conviction and proof of verbal abuse and cyber-bullying.

Once again, instead of solidarity and support from key stakeholders who have the financial support and gains to make a difference, the activists and survivors are holding the fight. When will this change?

The previous conviction:

https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2008-05-26-somizi-turns-reticent-as-he-is-found-guilty/

A case of cyber-bullying.

In 2021, the Idols judge posted the reporters’ text and telephone numbers on his Instagram page. This action led to the newspaper acting editor Kabelo Khumalo’s wife has been threatened with rape, as has Julia Madibogo of City Press. In contrast, their families have received threats of violence.

The full article.

https://themediaonline.co.za/2021/01/somizi-leaps-out-of-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire-by-abusing-and-doxing-journalists/.

So it appears that the stakeholders who could add value and provide the necessary change have chosen to window dress the pandemic of GBV. I addressed this with a PR agency in 2021, which wanted me to run a social media campaign for the broadcaster. I refused as I chose not to be used as a puppet to talk about issues when the company protects and celebrates convicted abusers. The stakeholders of the GIZ event vowed to remove abusers from sets, yet there has been silence on the Idols Judge. Once again, I refer to the necessity of approaching feminism and activism through an intersectional lens.

Please see the references below if you or somebody you know needs help.

For the LGBTQI community

The Other Foundation is an African trust that advances equality and freedom in Southern Africa, focusing on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Other Foundation gathers support to defend and promote the human rights and social inclusion of homosexual and bisexual women and men and transgender and intersex people in southern Africa. The foundation supports groups in an intelligent way that enables them to work effectively for lasting change, recognizing the particular dynamics of race, poverty and inequality, sex, national origin, heritage, and politics in our part of the world. It does this by working both as a fundraiser and a grantmaker.

www.out.org.za 

Counselling and healing

https://www.letsatsihealingspace.biz/

www.rapecrisis.co.za 

Legal Aid:

Legal aid in South Africa.

1. Kamfer lawyers

Attorneys@kamferlegal.co.za

TEL: 012 304 0870

CELL: 0817193935 / 0761517948

kamferlegal.co.za

2. Joselynn Fember

info@fember.co.za

joselynn@fember.co.za

+27 66 203 6047

fember.co.za

3. Women’s Legal centre

WLCcommunications@wlce.co.za

Cape Town Office

Telephone: 021 424 5660

Johannesburg Office

Telephone: 0 11 339 1099

wlce.co.za

4. Pro bono

Johannesburg

t: 011 339 6080

f: 086 512 2222

e: info@probono.org.za

5. Pro Bono

Durban

t: (031) 301 6178

f: (031) 301 6941

projects: shamika@probono.org.za

clinics: gugulethu@probono.org.za

6. Pro Bono

Cape Town

t: 087 806 6070/1/2

f: 086 665 6740

e: infocpt@probono.org.za

#StandWithYolanda

20 Feb

In 2020, I wrote An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

In 2017 Yolanda Dyantyi faced a lifetime academic exclusion that impacted her career and work opportunities. The exclusion happened after she spoke out about being raped and stood in solidarity with those who dared to speak their truths. Dyantyi’s disciplinary hearing followed months of protest at the university when The #RhodesReferenceList was complied and included the names of Rhodes students who had allegedly sexually assaulted women.

In its response to the protests, Rhodes University chose not to address the problems of rape culture on their campus but instead focused on persecuting Dyantyi. After the demonstrations, the accused attackers continued to attend lectures with the victims and survivors. These accused attackers were allowed to graduate, thus silencing the young victims/survivors. 

In 2018, a young student, Khensani Maseko, took her life after being raped, reviving the conversation about the rape culture at Rhodes.

In 2020, Yolanda Dyantyi was granted leave to appeal at a high court judgment, refusing to set aside the disciplinary conviction that led to her expulsion. 

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) has supported her in the legal matter. 

Who are Seri?

SERI works with communities, social movements, individuals, and other non-profit organisations in South Africa and beyond to develop and implement strategies to challenge inequality and realise socio-economic rights. They provide legal advice and representation, research services, and advocacy support to our clients and partners. They act to protect and expand the political spaces in which individuals and communities organise and press for social change.

On 21 February 2022, The Supreme Court Of Appeal will hear the matter Dyantyi vs Rhosded University, including Dr. Sizwe Mabizela and Wayne Hutchinson. Yolanda will appeal the decision of the Grahamstown High court to dismiss her review application and set aside the outcome of the disciplinary hearing process instituted by Rhodes University in 2017. 

The hearing will be live-streamed at 09h45 via the SERI Youtube page.

Life as a black feminist or activist in South Africa is not easy nor pleasant. Yolanda did not give up and continued to fight to have her expulsion from Rhodes University overturned. If you can show support, Yolanda has started an NGO called Archive Amamabali Wethu, https://www.facebook.com/YoliDee/posts/10215383305000786.

To assist with her daily expenses, her account is

Name: SY Dyantyi

Bank: Capitec

1406694159

Yolanda, I still believe you and I still stand with you.

Stop Silencing Us.

8 Feb

Sabrina Walter, I stand in solidarity with you. It is disgusting that you are being punished for supporting those who speak out. 

According to IOL ad Cape Times, Katlego Maboe has lodged a crimen injuria complaint with the police against Women for Change founder Sabrina Walter for alleged defamation.

This is the reality of how patriarchy does not protect those who speak out. 

Women 4 Change is a movement that aims to create safe spaces and support for victims and survivors of gender-based violence. 

 Read the article here:https://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/news/katlego-maboe-sues-ex-women-for-change-founder-for-defamation-0d89ade1-253f-4b47-9b4d-52a17caeeb84

Women For Change

Women For Change movement was founded by ‘Catch Me If You Can’ to create awareness and raise funds to end Gender-Based Violence in South Africa.

‘As women, we want to stand united to put an end to violence against women and children. Daily we hear news about attacks, women, and children being violated in many ways: in their homes, on the streets, and places of education. Even being outdoors in nature harbors a potential threat’.

Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can (CMIYC) is South Africa’s largest all-women running community that connects ladies of all ages, shapes, and sizes. They have helped thousands of women connect and build lasting friendships whilst improving their health, fitness, and lifestyles.

They run all over South Africa, allowing one to discover their area’s most beautiful routes and races. They offer safety in numbers and a chance to get out and have some fun with their leaders.

Sign the petition: https://womenforchange.co.za/petition/

#DrBev@50.

24 Nov

Dr Bev Ditsie is a global icon, brilliant filmmaker, speaker and activist, who should be celebrated and honoured.

https://rosiemoteneblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/dr-bev-palesa-ditsie/

On 19 November, they turned 50. We have started celebrating their life, agency and work.

The celebrations began with a gala dinner. The event honoured many who have been silenced, erased and not seen. The show was the backdrop for the soft launch of the Dr Bev Ditsie Foundation.

A message from Dr Bev on the Foundation-

I was 19years old when I had my first mental breakdown, around the same time I had my 2nd suicide attempt. Life was not making sense, and my life, in particular, was a mess. I had moved out of home, thinking I would find freedom. Instead, I got more lost. Away from my family’s protection, I discovered the cruelty of the world, the sexism, the homophobia, the threats to my physical being as a very out lesbian, and I could not handle it. 

A friend, a white woman, grabbed me by the hand, bundled me into her yellow beetle and parked outside a house in Berea. We rang the bell before I realized that this was the 702 Crisis Centre. 

Cathy Michaelson, a therapist, opened the door, and Kim said: “Help her.” Cathy said: “come in.”

This one small act saved my life. 

I spent over ten years in therapy with different therapists. The therapy included the intervention of the free helpline LIFELINE, which I would sometimes call in the middle of the night when I thought I was losing my mind. 

Currently, services like these do not exist anymore, and those that do, struggle. Services for Queer people are even more scarce. There are no free helplines for us, and a walk-in crisis centre doesn’t exist. 

How do we begin to heal if we don’t have any services solely focused on our healing?

How do we heal when homophobia, hate speech and hate crimes are so rampant?

How do we heal when there continues to be misinformation and misrepresentation of us in the media? 

WE NEED HEALING, and HEALING BEGINS HERE

This Foundation is my gift to all my queer siblings.

Bev 

MISSION STATEMENT 

The Foundation seeks to support all endeavours that promote the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of the femme, queer, and gender diverse South Africans by ensuring these communities’ mental and emotional wellness. 

All discrimination against Queer people harms our mental health.

THE VISION  

A. TO CHALLENGE  

To confront and challenge all media reports that show Queer people in ways that perpetuate stereotypes and misinformation that lead to homophobia/transphobia. 

B. TO ESTABLISH

Support and create affirming images of Queer/gender diverse Africans. 

C. TO HEAL

  • Support and strengthen existing free and accessible telephone helplines Train therapists and counsellors to do crisis and intervention for femmes, Queers and gender diverse people of Johannesburg and South Africa. To, in the future, establish a walk-in crisis centre for queer South Africans in a place that will be accessible to even the most marginalized. This centre, titled the Unicorn, will serve as an info hub and hopefully a referral centre to suit the needs of the LGBTQIA community. The centre will be a place of refuge, giving only one night of shelter before referrals and ten therapy sessions. The Unicorn is the place that intervenes and saves lives. 

    D. TO PROTECT

    The Foundation will Trade Mark the name Bev Ditsie, its permutations and images, and ensure that the values of Bev Ditsie themselves align with the name. The Foundation will monitor and administer all finances associated with the brand. A percentage of all funds raised should take care of Bev Ditsie’s immediate family – that is, Mom, sister, spouse and any offspring in the future.  

The Gala dinner took place on Saturday 20th November, at the Emoyeni conference centre in Johannesburg.

The Other Foundation and Access Chapter 2 supported the event.

The Other Foundation: https://theotherfoundation.org/

Access Chapter 2: https://www.facebook.com/AccessChapter2/

The dress code ‘Just Be YOU, Be SEEN and Be HEARD. Those who understood showed up with pride and love.

The hosts for the evening were Natalia Molebatsi ad Muzi Zuma. 

Processed with MOLDIV

Natalia Molebatsi is an internationally known South African writer, poet, and singer, who experiments with jazz and hip hop. Her CDs, Come as you are: Poems for Four Strings and Natalia Molebatsi & The Soul-Making, are a fusion of poetry and various music styles.​She has published Sardo Dance through Ge’ko and edited We Are: A Poetry Anthologythrough Penguin books.  Her academic writing appears in Scrutiny2, Rhodes Journalism Review and Muziki.

Muzi Zuma was a finalist for the Miss Gay South Africa pageant 2019. The platform allowed her to partner with the Pietermaritzburg gay and lesbian network and Access Chapter 2 to tackle issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual (LGBTIQA+) community.

The entertainment:

Born in Johannesburg and raised in PE, Phila is a phenomenal singer, actor, filmmaker, and rapper. His grandmother raised him and his siblings. He studied film and television production at Varsity College, where he cemented his love for acting.

Sicka Star-Ban is a hip hop artist/composer/traditional healer/LGBTI activist/photographer/event organizer, and entertainer. Her activism is visible through her music. It speaks of the stigma of the victimization of homosexual beings. On stage, she is the connector of the little particles in the atmosphere, becoming one giant bubble, bringing smiles to many. 

Gyre is a cutting-edge Queer rapper who’s challenging the status quo while adding new depth and diversity to the local hip hop sceneThe superstar started rapping in 2015 in an attempt to improve his singing, particularly his breathing. Over time it became clear that that was where my true talents lay, and Gyre was born. His music sets him apart as he can make didactic music that, although focused on a queer narrative, speaks to all people from all walks of life. 

Delta The Leo is a three-time World Dance Champion, fitness coach, digital content creator and MC. Delta The Leo Hails from rural Limpopo. Delta The Leo, s breaking boundaries with her talent and passion, understanding that her content spreads her message to millions. 

The Sound Proprietors took care of technical support, stage set up and lighting. I strongly recommend you use them for your next event. http://www.soundproprietors.co.za/.

For more information on how to collaborate with Dr Bev Ditsie or to give support to The Bev Ditsie Foundations contact rosie@wakaagency.biz

http://www.wakaagency.biz

Respect safe spaces.

5 Aug

Respect the safe spaces and maintain consent.

The term safe space generally means “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm.” (Oxford Dictionary).

When somebody shares a traumatic experience with you, appreciate that space. Many victims take time to speak out for several reasons. Society is quick to mock and criticise those that speak out. Our community often question their credibility. It is common for perpetrators and their supporters to gaslight the person and make them believe that the trauma is their fault. All of these actions and more fall under the terminology known as Rape Culture. 

According to https://www.marshall.edu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/

“Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.”

When somebody finds the courage to speak, listen and give respect to that space. 

Consent: 

GBV happens against consent. If you want to tape the conversation, make sure the victim/survivor is aware of the recording and has permitted you to share the details and recording.  

Confidentiality is one of the essential elements that lead to an increased sense of security for survivors. Sharing their trauma without consent is a further violation.  

Speaking out takes a tremendous amount of strength but do not confuse that strength. Sharing one journey does not equip anyone for the public scrutiny that follows. Public opinion can be brutal, and if the perpetrator is powerful or connected politically, it can have even more dangerous effects on the psyche and well being of the victim/survivor. It does not matter if the person is an activist, man or child. 

In 2018, I was invited into a safe space to share my trauma. I believed that stakeholders would respect that. I soon discovered the planner shared some of the information on a public platform. The posting is a violation of the safe space. This action created additional trauma for myself and other survivors in the room, which led to mental breakdowns for some of us. 

GBV has been a pandemic for centuries, and we all need to do our bit in combating it. We need to listen and be gentle with others and ourselves. Read and listen to those that have done the research and groundwork. Have the respect and understanding that it involves feelings, psyche and emotions. Humans are hurt and need healing. Healing is different for everyone, and there is no time limit. Respect each other 

For counselling and/or Life coaching contact https://www.letsatsihealingspace.biz/

Sheilah Gashumba The Little Stunner is back.

1 Aug

Whilst I was living and working in Uganda in 2016, I met Sheilah as I headed the productions and programming and acquisitions department for NTV Uganda and helped launch specific programs for Spark TV effectively. Sheilah was one of my on-air talents for two of the highest ranked TV shows, The Beat and The Style project.

Sheilaheart Carol Nyinabashumba, born and raised in Uganda, is of Rwandan descent. I first introduced my readers to Sheilah back in 2018, read here> https://rosiemoteneblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/the-little-stunner-takes-on-the-world/

Fast forward to 2021 after a much-needed sabbatical, Sheilah has returned to our screens.

In February 2021, Multichoice launched Honey TV. The content includes a new cooking show, “House Of Chefs”. The channel had its eye on collaborating with Sheilah. We made the necessary introductions, and the negotiations began. We were ecstatic when the channel had decided to choose her as the official host of the show. Before we knew it, Sheilah arrived in Cape Town to start the next phase of her journey. During the pre-production phase, the channel announced the celebrity chef. The multi-award-winning international culinary expert and author, Siba Mtongana. Siba is the judge and will choose the winner. https://sibamtongana.com

House Of Chefs.
Eight young trainee cooks from Ghana, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia compete for a coveted internship. The winner will work closely with the legendary chef and author at her restaurant, located in a prime spot in Cape Town. The journey is to explore and uplift African food to new heights in the fine-dining space. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for any budding chef.

The show contestants are Ingrid Musabe (26, Rwanda), Ruth Buliamu (26, Congo), Tobe Onyenyeonwu (21, Nigeria), Joseph Odoom (26, Ghana), Les Sempele (27, Kenya), Thabo Phake (24, South Africa), Merry Ziringa (23, DRC), Kalaba Chikamba (21, Zambia).

House of Chefs premieres on 13 August 2021 (DStv 173).
The Head of Marketing at MultiChoice Uganda, Colin Asiimwe, said, “MultiChoice Uganda is excited to announce this show launch as it reaffirms our commitment to bring great entertainment and top-class talent from across the continent to our customers. DStv Uganda customers will now enjoy riveting show content hosted by one of our own to enjoy and relish.”

Sheilah working her magic on set.

The Martinelli synergy.

“The Little Stunner” is way more than a TV personality but a media mogul in Africa, with her tiny toes in many big lucrative business deals.
In 2020, Joris Family Distribution SMC LTD – Importers of Martinellis Wine launched their 3 Sparkling wine premium bottles. They proudly announced Sheilah Gashumba to serve as its first-ever brand ambassador in their on-net and off-net promotional campaigns in East Africa.

Sheilah stated that “I’ve always set the bar high for myself with everything I do, but to now be a brand ambassador for Martinellis , it feels like a new level. To me, the Martinellis brand stands for both truthfulness and expressiveness. I’m excited to help define what that means to all generations.”

Yokuku
In 2020, Sheilah signed an ambassadorial deal with Yo Kuku, one of the largest producers and marketers of chicken in East Africa.

With the new show and ambassadorship deals, spending most of her time between Kampala and Johannesburg, we will be embarking on several other collaborations within the entertainment space, fine dining and women empowerment.

To collaborate with us or to book Sheilah, contact us rosie@wakaagency.biz

Follow us on all social media platforms and learn about our other Pan African talent. Waka Talent Agency at present as a footprint in 14 African countries. http://www.wakaagency.biz

Artists and activists deserve payment for their work.

30 Jul

It is time for us to speak up about unpaid labour in the arts and activism.

My career in media started over 25 years ago and 20 years working in the activism space. I started as a TV presenter and actor, and we believed that we needed to work on many projects for free as it was vital for our brand. PR and marketing people would always push the notion that they had invited VIP’s and high profile people, and our presence could lead to other work and projects. I believed this for many years until I started to see that I undervalued myself and my time. What I found interesting is how angry people suddenly got when I began to set boundaries, adding terms and conditions to my contacts, asking about the usage, coverage and stopping further exploitation.

Working in the activism space is a different journey. I embarked on activism as it has always been a calling. It was a calling that I knew would help with my healing and possibly help others. I needed to understand my confusion after abuse and see how we could change that narrative. In 2003, I completed my primary training through an intensive training course with a local NGO.
I was trained and, work in counselling, court preparations with victims/survivors, accompanying people to court and police stations and creating awareness. These jobs and activities I do on my account. I am now a registered counsellor and life coach and have opened a practice to combine this work, offering pro bono counselling sessions to those that cannot afford it.

Like my media work, I am invited into spaces to share my intellectual property, experiences, challenges and fears. This work extends into speaking engagements and facilitating work, and clients expect us to work for free under the banner of women empowerment or giving back. Some clients believe that as we are activists, we must do additional work for free. These attitudes and narratives need to change. I often laugh at how this term, ‘women empowerment or ‘giving back, is thrown around, yet many want to put restrictions and demands on us. How is that empowering? We have the right to give back in our way, and nobody has the right to make demands on how we do so.
I have written on the topic many times and spoken on my podcast platforms. My famous line to clients who say that I should do it as a way of giving back and a form of women empowerment- you cannot empower women by disempowering another woman.

My sister/comrade/client Dr Bev Ditsie said in a recent interview that during Women’s months, many women in the entertainment industry don’t work as events are handed to men under the facade that they are giving women a rest. The irony is that many of us in entertainment have suffered financially. Many of us deal with sexism, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia daily. There are still unequal pay structures in the workplace which is disempowering. So the question is, how can we rest with so much emotional and additional trauma?

Over the years, I have worked with international human rights bodies, and several of these bodies understand the need for remunerations. Several institutions do not have huge budgets but will offer an honorarium as a thank you and validation that they see us and respect our agency and time.
It is disappointing when other agencies state that they do not have a budget for speakers, facilitators or thought leaders. The same spaces have a budget for international consultants and firms but cannot respect an activist or artist.
An activist is a person who is an expert in their field and provides another form of consultancy, whilst an artist contributes a service.
I have argued this with many of these agencies. If their policies stated that they do not pay artists, it is hypocritical since they run campaigns, programs that speak to women in the unpaid labour in other sectors.
We cannot apply a rule to one sector of the population and ignore others. The reality is that the organisers and some representatives have primary jobs where they receive salaries. Speaking, facilitating and activism is the only job for many. Activists do a lot of groundwork for free, often ostracised, their safety at stake, should not be expected to do additional work in corporate and global spaces. When launching these campaigns and platforms, it is at events, panels that require speakers and entertainers. I get it, as including a global brand onto your resume adds value but is that fake accolade enough when you are hungry.

In 2019, I engaged with one of these agencies, who tried to make me work for free on a project. The work required many hours of my time, research, intellectual property and then facilitating a discussion. The representative said I should do the gig to prove myself? I reminded him of my many years of experience and asked why I should prove myself. I used their previous event as a reference where they hired a man with less experience than myself and paid him his rate. Was he asked to prove himself?

Covid-19 has disrupted the whole world and further inconvenienced womxn and the LGBTQI+ community. We have all had to change our way of working, thinking and operating. It is time for human rights bodies, productions and broadcasters to discard their old way of thinking. We are in a crisis. Creating gender equality includes acknowledging and seeing everyone. Forcing unpaid labour is another form of slavery.

‘In the name of THAT father.’

13 Jul

We are fatigued a year later, and anxiety lives carefree, yet our voice is still not on lockdown. We have learnt to operate, work and live differently. We continue to fight the same battles.

In 2020, I contributed to Destiny magazine May/June issue. I wrote on the realities of GBV in our country, highlight lighting the horrific facts that many people forced to be indoors with their tormentors due to the lockdown. A year later, we are still here, but the violence indoors has not stopped. There are more job losses, the cost of living has increased tremendously, and we are still not safe.

Destiny Magazine May-June 2020 issue. Article:Featured in Cover collaborations: Safety & Security

https://reader.magzter.com/reader/6jixbd5v6jtvvbk8vofz44803214949848/448032#page/14

Taken from http://www.reuters.com A member of the South African National Defense Force looks on during a patrol to enforce a nationwide lockdown, aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Alexandra township, South Africa, March 28, 2020.

In South Africa, we are in our third wave, and we are back to Level 4 lockdown. President Ramaphosa has deployed the South African National Defence Force to two provinces. As history has dictated, when territories go into war, the women, children, and LGBTQI community suffer the most. Misogyny and patriarchy continue to disrupt our lives. The actions lead to wars and violence. 

The reality is that we have been in a crisis for years, heightened by the pandemic. The corruption and lack of accountability have made it worse. 

Did one person cause the latest uprisings? Yes. 

Is everyone looting doing it under his name? No—many are tired, hungry and fed up. Some are criminals. Which is connected to the socioeconomic problems that we have faced for centuries.

Our country is in turmoil from the vaccine and PPE scandals, and our government has failed to provide adequate support to the people. Handing out R350 stipends is not providing support. It is ludicrous that government officials and ministers squander millions of rands and then carry on with their everyday lives with no accountability. 

Suppose we had access to vaccines, adequate health care and a government that stands for the people. In that case, we could have avoided a lot of the covid related deaths. The looting on the ground is inexcusable but is it any different from those ministers and government officials who have looted state funds?

Our focus is on the SANDF on the ground; we have not forgotten the related deaths in 2020.  

Collins Khosa, we still remember. 

Over the past few days, we have seen communities putting their energy behind one man; as my comrade, Steve Letsike stated- ‘Your anger is misplaced. Zuma hands himself to the police; there is an uprising. Women, LGBTIQ People, children are murdered and raped. You are quiet in your homes and not bothered—Nisile’. 

Imagine what could happen if we placed that energy into fighting GBV?

As we try and navigate through this next wave and phase of uncertainty coupled with the expected violence on defenceless people, we need to take care. Take care of ourselves, our mental well being and be gentle with ourselves. 

Find coping mechanisms that help with anxiety or negative triggers. Find one’s positive triggers. Once you have taken care of yourself, remember to check in on those alone, in abusive homes or fragile. Check up on your ‘strong’ friends and family too. With the high level of PTSD, our bodies have no control over when it affects us mentally, physically or spiritually.

The reality remains. We had a pandemic way before GBV; the brute and force that our country has shown for one man prove that womxn, children and LGBTQI in South Africa are alone. The reality is that patriarchy and misogyny will always take centre stage, and that unity is conditional. Government support is conditional. 

Support structures

LGBTQI

https://www.genderdynamix.org.za

Anxiety, depression and suicide.

http://lifelinesa.co.za

0861 322 322

SADAG

https://www.sadag.org

Dr Reddy’s Help Line

0800 21 22 23

Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline

0800 456 789

Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line

0800 20 50 26

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline

0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline

0800 55 44 33

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline

0800 12 13 14

SMS 32312

Suicide Crisis Line

0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line

011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour

0861 435 787

Cipla Whatsapp Chat Line

(9 am-4 pm, seven days a week)

076 882 2775

GBV

Rape Crisis centre

https://www.tears.co.za

https://www.letsatsihealingspace.biz

An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

21 Apr

TW: An ode to the #RUReferenceList movement.

Five years ago, the colony’s management at Rhodes University called the South African Police Service (SAPS) on protesting unarmed women students. On the morning of 17 April 2016, the SAPS was given the full go-ahead to use force on the unarmed students. Their instruction was to use whatever costs necessary to stop the protesting.

On that day, women students + allies at the colony Rhodes University made history. These brave students did what no one expected to happen and demanded that the perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence be held accountable. They refused to coddle the perpetrators any longer and play along with the status quo.

Several students arrested, the university’s management targeted others, which was the beginning of the legal action taken against victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. 

That day, the warriors inspired victims and survivors globally. Victims whose communities had silenced them, silenced into shame and guilt for crimes committed against them because of rape and sexual violence.

That day the student embarked on a journey for justice not only for themselves but for those they cared for and for future generations of students and women in general who may be at risk and exposed to gender-based violence. 

A list of 11 names is what shut down that institution. 

We must never forget those 11 names, and we must never forget that there will always be others for as long as we don’t stand up and break the silence – Disrupt the patriarchy and hold the system accountable!

Where were the alleged perpetrators? 

What happened to the men who raped the women?  

The male-led institution ensured they were kept safe and isolated, and protected. Many of them went on to graduate from university and work and pursue their dreams. 

We will never forget it.

 #RUReferenceList

#RememberRUReferenceList

Please watch and share a five-year commemoration video written by Gorata Chengeta, narrated by Yolanda Dyantyi.