The Life and Work of Hlengiwe Buthelezi

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queer activism sports

Hlengiwe Buthelezi is a queer activist, athlete, and political figure dedicated to creating a more inclusive and just society. Born and raised in South Africa, Buthelezi has experienced firsthand the challenges that queer people face in the region and worldwide.


Buthelezi’s activism began as a response to her experiences of discrimination and marginalization. However, as she became more involved in the movement, she realized that activism was not only an opportunity to advocate for queer rights but also a way to empower those who are often ignored or dismissed by society. Buthelezi believes that everyone has a role in creating a more equitable world. For her, that means using her platform as an athlete and a political figure to elevate the voices of marginalized people.

Creating Inclusive Spaces

One of the ways that Buthelezi has worked to create more inclusive spaces is through her involvement in sports. She founded Afro Games, an inclusive sports event that welcomes people of all genders and sexual orientations to come together and compete. Through this event, Buthelezi hopes to create a space where queer people can feel empowered and celebrated rather than excluded or discriminated against.


Buthelezi is also involved in politics as the Convener of the LGBTIQA+ Desk within the ANC Women’s League. She is working to amplify the voices of queer people within the ruling party and the country as a whole. Buthelezi hopes to establish a Queer League within the ANC, which would be an equal part of the organization alongside other leagues. This would be a significant step forward for queer representation within South African politics and help ensure that the voices of queer people are heard at all levels of government.

Optimism for the Future

Despite the challenges she faces as an activist, Buthelezi remains optimistic about the future. She believes that change is possible and that we can create a more just and equitable society through collective action. Buthelezi’s story is a powerful reminder of the importance of activism and the impact one can have when they are committed to fighting for what is right.

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