Dr. Bev Palesa Ditsie.

1 Aug
Dr Bev Palesa Ditsie

We walk amongst heroes and game-changers; some of us have the privilege of knowing these phenomenal people. Unfortunately, as history has dictated, we only honour and acknowledge their agency, once they have gone. As activists, we not only want to bring about change but also salute these soldiers, who took a stand, especially during a time when society sated that we do not have rights and we certainly do not have the right to be heard. 

Dr Bev Pales Ditsie, is one hero, who for decades has shifted many perspectives on our agency, voices but more importantly, spoke up for black African lesbians and continues to do phenomenal work for the LGBTQI community as a whole. 

Who is Dr Bev Ditsie?

Born during the apartheid regime, is an advocate for LGBTQI community, activist, artist, and filmmaker. Dr Ditsie, who is one of the founders of the gay rights organisation, Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW). South Africa’s first multiracial and political lesbian and gay rights group.

In 2019 Bev was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University in California. The honorary doctorate was to acknowledge this dedication and hard work in the fight for LGBTI equality.

The 4th UN World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

Dr Bev spoke at the United Nations Conference on Women in 1995 and was the first person to address gay and lesbian rights before at The United Nations. The aim was to convince UN delegates to “adopt resolutions recognising sexual diversity” A revolutionary moment for the African LGBTQI community as a whole. Dr Ditsie made a statement about the importance of including lesbian rights in discussions about the empowerment and upliftment of women. The speech is noted as being incredibly revolutionary as it was the first time an openly Black lesbian person did so. It was also the first time that the United Nations faced a discussion on considering the realities of LGBT people in the protection of human rights. In her address, Dr Ditsie argued that a focus on women’s rights should include the struggles of all women, saying that “if the world conference on women is to address the concerns of all women, it must similarly recognise that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a violation of basic human rights”.

The transcript of Ditsie’s address:

http://www.un.org/esa/gopher-data/conf/fwcw/conf/ngo/13123944.txtDr

The first and original pride.  

Dr Bev is one of the organisers of the first Pride March in South Africa, which took place in Johannesburg in 1990. Dr Bev and her friend and activist, Simon Nkoli, worked together on creating the first South African pride event. It was a pride of importance and a platform to target societal hatred and bigotry. The event received a lot of media attention, and soon Dr Bev became a known figure for speaking out on issues that the then society deemed taboo, this included her having to get added security.  

Career:

A young Dr Bev chose a career in media as a form of expression, which later allowed for the opportunity to merge activism with art. Since 1980, Ditsie has worked as an actress and director in television making her the first black female child star in television. In the late 1990s, with the emergence of reality TV, Dr Bev starred in the reality show, Livewire – Communities. The significant doctor’s credits include productions, having written, directed and consulted in over 20 Documentaries, screened nationally and internationally. The first documentary film, ‘Simon and I’ (2001),won several Audience Awards, including the 2004 Oxfam/Vues d’ Afrique best documentary, Montreal, Canada. 

The story of ‘Simon and I’  is autobiographical, following her “personal and political journey” with Nkoli. The film uses both interviews and archival material. Their story charts the history of the gay and lesbian liberation movement in South Africa and presents a personal account of the devastating AIDS epidemic in Africa. The story unfolds using a mixed format of interviews, archival images and newspaper clips. Dr Ditsie speaks about the problematic issue of sexism within the gay rights movement. 

‘Simon and I’ is a tribute to an enduring friendship and bond between two remarkable leaders and pays homage to Nkoli, whose hard work and unyielding determination moved South Africa to become the only country in the world to include sexual orientation in its constitutional Bill of Rights.

 

#BevbyColourCentral .

The Urban clothing brand that offers unisex ready-to-wear colourful streetwear has partnered with the icon, Dr Bev. 

Order the #BevbyColourCentral sweaters and hoodies to support the medical fund. To place an order, send a direct message on their Facebook page or through a WhatsApp message, to +27 83 611 3818.

The collaboration is to assist in fundraising for her medical fees (surgery). #SupportBev #Supportlocal #SupportColourCentral

Dr Bev, I honour you, I salute you and I thank you.

2 Responses to “Dr. Bev Palesa Ditsie.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Womxn get Sh*t done. | rosiemoteneblog - August 5, 2020

    […] Dr Bev Ditsie.Our global icon Dr Bev Ditsie has partnered with Colour Central and have created a limited edition of t-shirts, sweaters.The proceeds of the sales will go towards Dr Bev doctor’s bills.https://rosiemoteneblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/dr-bev-palesa-ditsie/ […]

  2. #DrBev@50. | rosiemoteneblog - November 24, 2021

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

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