By: Aluta Humbane

‘Intellect has no sexuality’ was the slogan that echoed throughout the exclusive Urban Lounge in Durban  as KZN Celebrated the first ever graduation ceremony recognising LGBTI students who have gained academical colours.

The event organised by Tamatiso Events, is set to be held annually. It was hosted by the Sultry queen of the radio, Ukhozi FM’s Selby Mkhize, who started a very good initiative towards encouraging youth, especially the marginalised, to get educated, thus be in positions of influence and ultimately change the world.

Of course, I was there as Intombi Yes’godi to support the cause. Honestly when I sat down to listen to the motivational talks, I thought: “here goes my Friday night with speeches”. However, to my surprise, the line-up of motivational speakers related their journey to success and one after another filled the soul with motivation.

Jack Allison Mchunu, a Clinic Manager at Transnet said “We have made extraordinary progress in SA in the past 23 years.  In many years, SA was an abused society and the deepest effect of abuse is on self-confidence and ultimately; self-esteem. Colonization of the mind as Steve Biko called it”.

As congratulations poured in from different speakers, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Director of Durban LGBTI centre, resonated that we should not overlook our primary achievement as we lay foundations for greater accomplishments. Her talk thanked everyone whom has acquired a matric qualification, citing a “cultural stigma and rejection” which resides in many who discriminate against those not having achieved such, often overlooking the challenges they face.

In light of all celebrations Peninna, Capitec Bank Manager, reminded the graduates of the impending reality of our country in relation to employment. In her keynote she remarked on the challenges faced by youth in getting employment, stating that every job can lead to the desired destination, therefore, youth must seize every opportunity that is availed to them.

Advocate Mkhasibe, a Senior Legal Practitioner at UNIZULU, concluded the event by emphasising the need for willpower to achieve greater feats, no matter you’re your background, age and or challenge.  Our very energetic Mother INdlovukazi, Mapule, who is co-founder of Uniq magazine and Marketing Manager at Inanda FM, got onstage dancing and rejoicing. She stressed importance of maximising on human capital, and encouraged everyone in the venue to seize the event as a networking opportunity to seek mentoring, from LGBTI organisations in solidarity with the goals and aims of empowering the youth.

The event is truly the start of an incubation that will house great LGBTI leaders in celebration of success and creating a network where greatness can be realised.

Uniq Magazine would like to applaud Tamatiso for such a GREAT initiative and we look forward to the 2nd LGBTI Gradution Party again next year.

For more pictures of the event