South Africa’s Constitution is the first in the world to out-rightly prohibit unfair discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation
South Africa is progressive on the rights and issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, queer/questioning, intersex and other (LGBTQI+). However, LGBTQI+ citizens do face many challenges with regards to their right to experience equality. It is therefore important to celebrate those who inspire and empower the LGBTQI+ community. This is the basis upon which Brand South Africa builds and nurtures relationships with stakeholders who promote the achievement of equality in society.
Brand South Africa enjoys and values regular collaborations with the Thami Dish Foundation. This is a non-profit organisation that seeks to positively support young LGBTQI+ individuals from disadvantaged communities in South Africa by putting the community’s agenda at the forefront of public discourse. With a view to contribute to the attainment of a society that fully understands and embraces gender and sexual diversity, the Foundation holds the equality of all people in the highest regard.
Equality is at the centre of the South African constitution. This is a right that is held in very high regard. As stated in the Preamble of the Constitution which was established in 1996, “We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”
In 1996, South Africa became the first country to constitutionally outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2002, it became legal for same-sex couples to become adoptive guardians/parents. Marriage equality came into force in 2006. Since 2003, transgender South Africans have been able to attain legal gender recognition.
Indeed, South Africa’s constitution is one of the most advanced and inspirational constitutions in the world. However, despite the strong protection provided by the law and support provided by members of the public, a lack of understanding and respect remains a hinderance to social progressiveness, much to the detriment of members of the LGBTQI+ community. Ensuring social reform is an ongoing task that many individuals, advocacy groups, public and private sector organisations have taken upon themselves in order to achieve the goals and objectives articulated in policy statements. This can be achieved by raising awareness.
In efforts to raise awareness, Brand South Africa recently supported the Thami Dish Foundation in the execution of the 14th annual Feather Awards which took place at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg on 10 November 2022. The awards seek to address the matter of education through awareness by celebrating individuals and groups making a positive difference in the LGBTQI+ community. This notable platform, which is also the largest of its kind on the African continent, brings to the forefront, important conversations around the many forms of discrimination experienced in the community including: misgendering, stereotyping, limited or complete denial of opportunities or access, and verbal, mental and physical abuse, while celebrating the strides made.
Winners of the 14th installment of the annual Feather Awards included:
- Best Styled Individual – Nkuley Masemola
- Hunk of the Year – Senzo Radebe
- Diva Extraordinaire of the Year – Yvonne Chaka-Chaka
- Sports Personality of the Year – Banyana Banyana
- Role model of the Year – FEW
- Cutest Couple – Boity Thulo and Anton Jefta
- Hot Chick of the Year – Nambitha Ben-Mazwi
- Media Award of the Year – YFM
- Fag hag of the Year – Candice Modiselle
- Designer of the Year (new category) – Sello Medupi for Scalo
- Musician – Msaki and Zakes Bantwini
- Socialite – Tumi Powerhouse
- Drama Queen – Thato (Real Housewives of Cape Town cast member)
- Social Media Personality of the Year – Birth of Stars
- Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Private Sector – Jägermeister
- Best LGBTIQ Initiative: Public Sector – NYDA
- Best LGBTIQ Youth Movement – Vogue Nights
- Best Rainbow Parenting – Treyvonne Moo (Founder of the House of Diamonds)
Brand South Africa congratulates the winners and extends gratitude to them and the Thami Dish Foundation for the work they do in supporting the LGBTQI+ community and thereby contributing to raising awareness of South Africa’s globally revered constitution.
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
About Play Your Part
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower, and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.
Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches, and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills, or goods to contribute to a better future for all.