MTN Bush­fire 2018 pro­motes in­clu­sion of LGBTI com­mu­nity

Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Ayanda Dlamini

THIS year’s MTN Bush­fire will host ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at pro­mot­ing equal­ity and in­clu­sion of the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der, and in­ter­sex (LGBTI) com­mu­nity.

The fes­ti­val has been slated for May 25- 27.

MTN Bush­fire Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer Non­cedo Dlamini yes­ter­day, said, MTN Bush­fire, in part­ner­ship with The Rock of Hope would present a host of ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at pro­mot­ing equal­ity and in­clu­sion.

“Les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der, and in­ter­sex (LGBTI) peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence sig­nif­i­cant so­cial dis­crim­i­na­tion in many places.

“The con­se­quence of these so­cial and struc­tural fac­tors is that many mem­bers of the LGBTI com­mu­nity are un­able to lead a dig­ni­fied life, have a fam­ily and con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety.

“The long-term vi­sion is for all peo­ple to en­joy equal recog­ni­tion be­fore the law and so­cial in­clu­sion within so­ci­ety,” said Dlamini.

Ac­cord­ing to Dlamini, the MTN Bush­fire Rain­bow Fire Stall ac­ti­va­tion seeks to raise vis­i­bil­ity of the LGBTI com­mu­nity with the hope of spread­ing the fire of ac­cep­tance within the com­mu­ni­ties in which they re­side.

“The Rock of Hope is an ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion that part­ners with other foun­da­tions, lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally and work­ing on a num­ber of ini­tia­tives in the King­dom of Eswa­tini to pro­mote equal­ity and ac­cep­tance,” Dlamini added.

Dlamini said the MTN Buhs­fire Rain­bow Fire stall would see a per­for­mance from Staceyann Chin, mul­ti­ple award-win­ning poet and per­former.

Chin is the win­ner of the 2013 Amer­i­can Her­itage Award from Amer­i­can Im­mi­gra­tion Coun­cil, and the 2016 Planned Par­ent­hood Ex­cel­lence in Me­dia award, Chin is also a 2017 LGBTQ Hu­man­ist Award re­cip­i­ent.

She un­apolo­get­i­cally iden­ti­fied as Caribbean and Black, Asian and les­bian, woman and res­i­dent of New York City.

“This year, a range of themes will be fea­tured at the fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­tural de­vel­op­ment, hu­man rights, equal­ity for LGBTI peo­ple, gen­der is­sues, as well as sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health and free­dom,” she said.

MTN Bush­fire has also been hailed by CNN as one of the ‘seven African mu­sic fes­ti­vals you re­ally have to see’ and listed by BBC as a ‘Top African Fes­ti­val’.

MTN Bush­fire is a uniquely African, and yet glob­ally in­fused, fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence that wel­comes thou­sands of peo­ple in an at­mos­phere of tol­er­ance and has pas­sion­ate com­mit­ment to mu­sic, the arts, and the en­vi­ron­ment.

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