Come May 16, Thapong Visual Arts Centre in Gaborone will be a beehive of activity as it will be hosting the Queer Shorts Showcase Festival. On its second year running, the festival will promote and interrogate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) themes with an aim to generate conversations, promote socially relevant discourse and educate residents of Botswana on sexual minority issues. The festival will be open themed so to cover a wider spectrum of LGBTI issues.
The organizer, Katlego K Kol-Kes, a trans-gender, says; “The festival’s main purpose is to get the heterosexual community to understand minority sexual issues. The festival will run for only one night but will showcase five different shows.” It will be headlined by South African actor, Mogoshi Mogwera, with his heart wrenching solo theatre piece, Bring Back Our Gays, together with four other productions from Botswana. Bring Back Our Gays interrogates gay identity and follows the story of a young black boy growing up in the townships of South Africa. It is a roller coaster ride of the boy that navigates gender complexities from childhood games, to religion, to self-acceptance and the coming out process. The play also pushes boundaries on racial portrayals of African homosexuality.
The line up will also include Katlego K Kol-Kes’s works; Mmele, Top Centre, and Somebody Give Me The Strength Not To Kiss A Straight Man And Ruin His Life. Additionally, Kol-Kes will be directing Kgotla Molefe in a performance to poke fun at the proverbial beehive of male privilege. Of the four shows that will show on the night, three will be theatrical performances while one will be a comedy show. Local comedians Aone Dirwa and Letlhogonolo Moremi will present the comedy show.