Kolanyane-Kesupile Honoured on Global Influencer List

The star of Motswana ARTivist, Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile’s continues to rise as she was named one of the most influential women of African descent working in the arts for 2018. The honour given by New York based publication, OkayAfrica, is part of a campaign recognizing excellence as embodied by 100 Women who are either based in Africa or in the diaspora. The “OkayAfrica 100 Women” list, published in March, is celebrating its second manifestation after a successful maiden run in 2017. The list features 10 categories each with 10 women honoured for their influence in their respective communities, countries and the world. Kolanyane-Kesupile is a seasoned artistic practitioner, communications consultant and human rights activist whose focus has been on liberating the voices and stories of LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and more) Batswana. In 2014 she founded the country’s only LGBT-themed theatre festival, Queer Shorts Showcase, which she manages under her communications and artistic consultation company, Kat Kai Kol-Kes International. She has performed as a musician, actor and dancer across the world and has been highly decorated for her contributions. She is also a globally published writer, educator and public speaker. In 2017 she became the first Motswana to receive a TED Fellowship and also attained her Masters degree in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice from Goldsmiths University of London – as a Chevening Scholar. On what it means to be considered one of the most influential women of African descent, Kolanyane-Kesupile said: “The number of impossibilities shattered by the simple deed of being recognized for the work I have committed my life to doing is unreal. This is part of Botswana’s history, not just my personal journey. I’d like to believe that I will stand as a possibility model for all people of Botswana, and especially for LGBT+ people of all ages to understand that we are not accessories to national progress but invaluable human resources and we have limitless wonders to offer the world out there. I am humbled and inspired to continue working steadfastly.”