News / South Africa

Kgosi Modisane
2 minute read
28 Oct 2017
6:00 am

Shekeshe Mokgosi: helping to break down barriers

Kgosi Modisane

He is changing the narrative of what it is to be a gay man living in Africa in 2017.

Shekeshe Mokgosi poses for a picture at his home in Bryanston, 27 October 2017. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Multi-faceted socialite, businessman and philanthropist Shekeshe Mokgosi is unapologetically part of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Born and raised in Soweto and from a family of strong women, of whom he speaks fondly, the 43-year-old Mokgosi attributes his larger-than-life personality to being raised by his mother and grandmother.

“I grew up as a child who was always in the forefront of things. I have two mothers – my grandmother and my mother – both of whom I have taken most of my characteristics from.

“I get my assertiveness and discipline from my mother and from my gran my generosity and philanthropic nature.”

Named after a great Sotho leader, Mokgosi has stood firm in numerous managerial positions.

Backed by his qualifications in Business Management from the Wits Business School, he is currently public engagement manager for the Other Foundation, an NGO which seeks to shift the narrative of LGBTIQ+ issues in and around sub-Saharan African countries, excluding Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The role I am in now requires all the skills I have learnt from my past jobs as it involves fundraising in a public space.

“Previously, African leaders believed that being gay was non-African because there wasn’t any research which sought to find answers of what the LGBTI+ community faced from an African perspective.

“As The Other Foundation, we seek to find and financially assist by pairing up with other organisations and private sector individuals.”

Discussing his early childhood years, Mokgosi cannot contain his excitement as he describes how his sexuality was never an issue in his home and neighbourhood.

“I have always known I was different.

“From an early age I knew that I was attracted to men but it was only when I turned 24 that I fully understood that I was not bisexual but gay .

“I loved and still do love everything to do with being a man.”

His personal belief is that no one born gay or lesbian should ever feel pressured by society to “come out” as the same society does not encourage heterosexuals to reveal their sexuality.

The Feather Award 2011 socialite of the year recipient has managed to live a successful life as a contemporary gay man.

However, he is a firm advocate on the education of gender rights and equality across this continent’s borders.

A hopeless romantic at heart, Mokgosi believes he is destined to have a family of his own with a white picket fence – despite his current bachelor status.

“I have settled down a couple of times with the hopes of living that typical family life.

“However, things happened and I have had to keep my faith alive and believe that my guy is out there.

“I am pro-marriage and kids raised by same-sex couples and believe love is an investment that needs both people to be fully involved to make it profitable.”

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