QUEER COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS IN SOSHANGUVE: MEKA & MBUBE

By Katlego Kganyago

Best friends of note, and popular Soshanguve community activists Meka (also known as Kay Ngonyama) and Mbube (also known as Abram Malema), have been a force to be reckoned with through their work in Nation’s Access – A non-profit profit organisation on the pipeline in the field of health advocacy for queer youth in Soshanguve. It is through Meka and Mbube that I learnt a lot about activism on the ground-level, and how local research centres are essential in educating LGBTQIA+ individuals in disadvantaged areas, about HIV prevention methods, and promote standard sexual/mental health practices.

“We established Nation’s Access to show the next queer generation that we are not just about partying and looking good. There is fulfilment in community work and our small office is a stepping stone for where we aspire to be in the future.” Meka states boldy. “Nation’s Access intends to work with world institutions like UNAIDS and so forth.” I am not surprised by Meka and Mbube’s goal as they have organised a string of successful LGBTQIA+ think tanks, film screenings and community awareness programmes about queer rights and healthcare. 

One successful event that Meka and Mbube organised was the film screening held at Winterveldt Youth Centre, with the support of Kasi Queer Cinema. “I had sleepless nights ensuring that queer youth from all areas of Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane and Mamelodi had transport to and from the screening. But it turned out so beautifully.” Another campaign they organised was PrEP awareness for queer adults, as well as HIV-testing and counselling.

I sat down with Meka to understand the work Nation Access does on a daily basis. Meka exclaims: “Sometimes we do not get paid for the work we do, but someone has to do it! We do it anyway because God is watching. There were projects we executed in the community for two years without a cent, but we have played our part. Not everyone is meant to show the good deeds on TV but hey, like I said: Someone had to do it.” I take deep moments and realise that Meka and Abram are called to serve the community so selflessly. “We enage with community organisations about providing support for the visibility of LGBTQIA+ individuals, and ensure that Nation’s Access is the link between two parties (the empowered/employer and the disenfranchised queer youth.” Abram states boldly over the phone as I admire their braveness. Nation’s Access runs campaigns on a freelance basis either independently, or through a partner/ collaborator. 

Meka and Mbube are carving a niche for themselves as health practitioners in the queer space similar to what We The Brave and OUT are doing. These inspiring best friends are accredited in facilitating MSM healthcare talks, and conducting thorough qualitative research on any subject matter affecting the LGBTQIA+ individuals. Meka and Mbube are still organising the tedious but precious paperwork that formalises their organisation to be credible by legislature. They would appreciate any support and donations to make their dream a reality.

Mbube and Meka can be reached via WhatsApp:

Meka: 081 341 8207

Mbube: 072 802 5285

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