Same-sex couples face challenges

2016-08-19 06:00
Lwazi Roxa (left) and Snomta Ngomane. Photo: Siphelele Nketo

Lwazi Roxa (left) and Snomta Ngomane. Photo: Siphelele Nketo

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SAME-SEX couples do not feel safe in many rural towns and areas­ in South Africa, said some of them.
Fever interviewed a young couple from Matatiele who are not afraid to talk about their same-sex relationship.

Snomta Ngomane and Lwazi Roxa have been in their relationship for nearly a year and Roxa said gays and lesbians are not yet safe in rural areas and towns, especially in Matatiele.
The word bhujwa, which refers to a woman who behaves like a man, is often heard.

A few years ago Roxa’s life was very difficult having to deal with men who accused her of taking their girlfriends.

“It is difficult for some people to welcome me as bhujwa. Some call me a satanist who will distort the minds of children, but I won’t change who I am.

“I was once invited in a church to play the piano, but one church member chased me away because I wore trousers, but the pastor accepted me and said I can stay.”

Roxa now helps Matatiele artists to record their music in her brother’s studio­.

Her friend, also a bhujwa, was hit by a car in April allegedly intentionally by someone who is against gay people.
She thanked police for protecting gay people.

“Police are doing well in terms of following cases related to gay and lesbian abuse.”

Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, asked that the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex community be welcomed into communities.
Dlamini was in Matatiele last month to raise awareness about gays and lesbians.

Dlamini is to meet with churches, traditional leaders and stakeholders in Matatiele and educate them about gay rights.

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