Written by Boipelo Bokaba
At EXIT we pride ourselves on ensuring our community is not only represented in media but we also provide a platform for young talented individuals, especially in the arts and entertainment space to have a chance to showcase their craft. We are always on the lookout for authentic and intentional change makers. This woman’s month we caught up with the President of the Pitori Streets, Buxi van Rooien (real name Tsireletso Monama). Buxi van Rooien is a real activist for change within the 012 entertainment space. Born and bred in Soshanguve, Buxi van Rooien currently lives in the beautiful Tshwane inner-city not far from the famous Herbert Baker Street.
Buxi van Rooien is a Queer Safe Space culture curator, artist manager and all-round creative while still pushing her 9 to 5. Her mission is aligned with ours, to give ground-breaking talent a platform to share their gift with the world. We caught up with her for a quick Q&A at her All Black LGBTQIA+ masquerade event that she hosted at Ndaheni Restaurant & Bar, where some home-grown musicians like Gina Mabasa entertained the crowd. This is what she had to say.
Q: What are your pronouns?
A: She / Her
Q: Do you have a fond childhood experience that contributed to your identity that you can share with us?
A: I do. I was actually in love with a best friend but she obviously had no idea ha-ha. I never told her, we became closer and I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. She was my best friend and I eventually got over the crush.
Q: What personality trait do you admire the most about yourself, and how do you use it to your advantage in your chosen career path?
A: Definitely my ability to be open minded. I welcome everyone with open arms and it has really helped me within the events space. Those who attend my events always rave about how included and seen they feel.
Q: If a 6 year old were to ask you what you do, how would you answer?
A: I’m a creative. I love seeing the world around me in colour. I bring people together to have fun, feel safe and feel loved.
Q: What does Tshwane night life have to offer that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world?
A: They don’t call it Pitori Mahlanyeng for no reason. Our home has that free-spirited element you can’t duplicate or find anywhere else. We allow each other to be free; you can even pick it up in our lingo. We stay true to the spirit of Ubuntu. We love style and we love having a good time even if it is 09:00am, we will turn up.
Q: Who are your top 5 Tshwane based artists/personalities right now?
A: This is a tough one but I would say: MAR5, Zulu NUbuntuaja, DJ Lamiez, The Funny Chef and MalumFoodie.
Q: What advice would you give big brands looking to support the community without pink washing?
A: They should be more aware of their market. Invest in researching our culture, invest in up and coming artist/creatives within the LGBTQI community and employees within their organisations. Fairness, authenticity and inclusivity should always be implemented within all their campaigns not just during pride months. There should never be double standards.
Q: What are the top 5 do’s and don’ts in queer safe spaces?
A: I would say the first is to be you. Treat everyone with respect. Be open to having conversations. Treat others with love and gentleness. Lastly, be present and open to learning. Moving on to the don’ts: don’t ever engage in a fight. Don’t ignore your gut feeling. Don’t ignore the red flags. Don’t engage with anyone who insists on being negative. Lastly, don’t use pronouns you have not verified.
Q: With a limitless budget, which venue, artist line-up and theme would you select for your ultimate event?
A: I’m all about pushing new talent and people from PTA, so my main acts would be MaR5, Phindi Maphendola, Hlogi Mash, Sje Konka & Dj Lamiez because I believe in talent before people. These specific individuals for me are talented and epitomise the Pitori lifestyle. Being born and raised in Pretoria, I feel it is my duty as an event organiser and a creative to work with and to push them to greater heights. I would also have on stage the likes of Hlogii Sehowa, Abuti Nhlaks, Lebo Ditsepu, Sirius Starr, CocoRocks,Gina Mabasa, Mic_Lyrical, Zando, Geesoul and Biggy Smals. On the decks I would have DJ Able-k, DJ LesG, Dj Mahlo, DJ Kede, DjBiskit, Dj Kobus Manymore, DJ Indiano DJ Puggy, DJ Roxpaperzscissors and Lula Odiba.
All of them are talented and I have worked with some of them over the years. My theme would be “in living colour”. I would host it at 012 Central or at the African Beer Emporium. I’d love to work with brands like Brutal Fruit because they empower and represent women, Black Label and Jägermeister. My people love these brands, and I believe they would take my events career up a notch considering the fact that I’m a female who not only identifies as lesbian, but who is also passionate about dope events.
Q: Mac, Marry or Flush. The choices are Thandiswa Mazwai, Lamiez Holworthy, Janelle Monae?
A: Haha! I’d marry Lamiez, I have been following her for years and I know her personally. I’d flush Jannelle Monae and mac on Thandiswa.