Alice is a leading human rights activist in Africa. She is the founder director of Ditshwanelo, the Botswana Centre for Human Rights. She is also the chairperson of the Southern Africa Trust and a deputy secretary general of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). She has received several international awards that recognize her contribution to African progress, such as the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite from the Republic of France and the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award. Alice is an active member of the Anglican church and has been involved in facilitating dialogue on diversity and human rights in the Anglican Church in Kenya, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Ghana, South Africa and India. She holds an LL.M degree in Law, Economy, and Society from the University of Kent.
Isabella is a development specialist from Zimbabwe, with 15 years professional expertise working in 36 African countries. As a print, radio and television journalist she has reported widely on developmental and breaking news stories in and around Africa. She has a strong commitment to amplifying the concerns of women in and through the mainstream and alternative media. She was a member of the UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. In 2007, Amnesty International named her one of 11 Zimbabwean Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) on the Front Line for her press freedoms activism following her arrest as a trustee of Radio Voice of the People, an NGO providing alternative news views on Zimbabwe. Bella is a co-chairperson of the Other Foundation.
Hugo is a counseling psychologist and a senior lecturer in psychology at Wits university in Johannesburg. He is a member of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa and an executive member of the Anti-Racism Network in Higher Education in South Africa. He was previously the director of the transformation and employment equity office of Wits University and worked as a projects manager at the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. Hugo holds a PhD in employment equity from the University of the Witwatersrand. He was a South Africa fellow at Harvard University while writing his PhD thesis.
Miguel de Brito
Miguel is the Mozambique Country Director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). Previously, he was USAID’s senior advisor on democracy and governance in Mozambique. In 2000, he created the newsletter As Cores do Amor. The interest it sparked led to the coming together of a group of activists in 2006 to establish Associação LAMBDA, the first LGBTI human rights group in Mozambique, in which he remains an active member. Miguel holds a Master of Arts degree in International Politics and Security Studies from Bradford University in Britain.
Patricia has worked for more than 20 years as an educationalist, specialising in the production of innovative learning materials, including the use of new technologies. She also provides leadership coaching. Patricia is widely published as an academic and has received several awards for her work in education. She currently works in the South African government as Director of the Technical Support Unit in the Office of the Director General, Department of Basic Education.
Shaun is an organisational development, monitoring and evaluation, and project design specialist. He began his professional life in the non-governmental sector and has since been a consultant for more than 18 years for the South African government and many regional and international institutions, such as the Southern African Development Community, the United Nations and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. He also works extensively with local and international donors and foundations and with the private sector. He has collaborated with large international consulting agencies. Shaun has been integral to many transformation programmes and processes in government in South Africa during the last 15 years.
Xhanti is an economist who now leads research at Nascence Research Insights, an economic policy research institute focused on labour and international trade, especially in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. He was previously country risk manager at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking, and an economist at Stanlib Asset Managers (focused on research in BRIC countries as well as key African economies such as Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya) and a portfolio analyst at Investec Wealth Management – all based in Johannesburg. Xhanti is a regular columnist for South Africa’s Business Day newspaper and the Daily Maverick, the trendy online news publication. He occasionally hosts radio shows on the Johannesburg-based PowerFM radio station. Xhanti is a co-chairperson of the Other Foundation.
Laurie has 25 years’ experience in international solidarity and development work, which has taken her to many parts of Africa. She has extensive experience in the development of programmes to advance human rights, in fundraising, grants management and monitoring, and in the design of communications strategies. She is also an activist on women’s rights and LGBTI issues. Her most recent posts include working for Oxfam GB as it Southern Africa Regional Director and in the global secretariat ActionAid International based in Johannesburg. Originally from the United States, Laurie has been in the region since 1990, initially joining the anti-apartheid movement and then remaining active in the women’s rights and LGBTI movements.
Phumi was a youth anti-apartheid activist in the 1980s and an early member of the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. She co-founded the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality and she met with former President Nelson Mandela in 1996 to represent the Coalition in its efforts to secure constitutional protection of equality for LGBTI people. Phumi was manager of the AIDS Law Project (now Section27) from 1994 to 2000, and served as Co-Secretary General of the International Lesbian and Gay Association between 1999 and 2001. She spent over eight years living in Ecuador and was active on several South American LGBTI forums. She then returned to South Africa and served as Director of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project until 2011. At the end of 2011, she became the first Activist in Residence scholar of Fahamu, a pan-African movement working on social justice issues. Phumi was the founding chairperson of The Other Foundation.
Carla was, until recently, an Associate Research Scholar at the Center for Law, Gender and Sexuality, Columbia University Law School (New York). Her specific interest is in exploring how ‘tradition’ has been used as a barrier to advance sexual rights within global and regional human rights mechanisms, and developing resources that can be used by LGBTI activists to counter this phenomenon. Carla previously worked at the Arcus Foundation where she led the Foundation’s international Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity programme. Before that, Carla led the Ford Foundation’s Education and Sexuality programme in East Africa. She began her professional career as a policy researcher at the University of Cape Town for the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr Mamphela Ramphele. Carla holds a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, earned while on a Commonwealth Scholarship.
David is an accountant by profession and the Chief Executive Officer and founder of the Rhino Africa Safaris group, based in Cape Town. Rhino Africa Safaris, established in 2004, has rapidly become Africa’s leading online tour operator, bringing over 15 000 guests to the continent each year. As a consequence, David was a finalist in the 2012 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. He is also the South African Ambassador to the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and recipient of its Pioneer Award in 2011. In 2009, David started an annual charity event – Challenge4ACause – which raises money for the conservation of Africa’s endangered animal and plant species. David is also involved in a number of community upliftment projects, including Khumbulani Day Care Centre and the Good Work Foundation. David was a founding board member of The Other Foundation.
A TRIBUTE TO GERALD KRAAK, THE FOUNDING FIGURE OF THE OTHER FOUNDATION
Gerald Kraak passed away on 19 October 2014. Carla Sutherland, a founding board member of The Other Foundation and friend of Gerald’s, wrote this tribute to him on behalf of The Other Foundation.
Gerald first talked about establishing a community foundation to ensure the sustainability of LGBTI work in South Africa more than ten years ago. We’ve got to think ahead, he used to urge. What’s going to happen when Atlantic and other international donors leave? It was hard to get activists to focus on an imagined crisis a decade away when they already had their heads fully engaged in contemporary ones. But Gerald doggedly pursued it, with increasing urgency as he led the process of Atlantic’s spend down and exit in South Africa. He hired great consultants and strategists, who criss crossed the country and the globe to transform his vision into a pragmatic project. He carefully managed the complicated politics of a small sector with too few resources to get people behind a unified idea. He used all his years of experience as a grant maker to mould a proposal that matched a distant Board’s legitimate concerns about fiscal responsibility with the demands of a principled political movement. And he also fiercely rose to the challenge to demonstrate that the proposed foundation could demonstrate a capacity to raise funds beyond international institutional donors.
We were friends first, but also colleagues on the Global Philanthropy Project (GPP) which brought together institutional donors who were funding LGBTI human rights work in the global South. In partnership with GPP, Gerald pressed ahead with an ambitious agenda to bring a range of high net-worth individuals to South Africa to experience for themselves the creativity, energy and commitment of activists in the Southern African region who were working to advance the rights and well-being of LGBTI people, in the most hostile of contexts. I don’t think any of us truly understood the amount of work that Gerald, supported by his dedicated and wonderful colleague Jann Otto in South Africa and Katherine Pease in the United States, did to pull off the tour. The 17 participants from the US and Europe were able to meet with more than 70 activists from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia. They met with refugee organizations in the informal settlements of Cape Town; heard about the wider challenges of gender based violence and how it linked to LGBTI rights; saw the range of cultural work and religious outreach that was happening in even the most remote of rural areas; learnt about the impact of strategic litigation and the challenges of advocacy and educational outreach; and spoke intimately with South African icons like Edwin Cameron and Cheryl Carolus. And at the end of the tour, we had pledges of more than 3 million rands that provided the necessary demonstration for the vision of the foundation to move forward.
But the demands of the tour, that Gerald so wanted to be the success that it was, took a huge toll on him. In retrospect, it’s clear that he was already very ill by that stage. One of the final grants that he presented to the Board of Atlantic Philanthropies was for $5 million for the establishment and start up of The Other Foundation. It was grant that he took enormous pleasure and quiet pride in. Not for himself – but for the recognition of the importance of the work of the sector. He sometimes worried that people would think that his dedication came from the fact that he was gay. I would have done this even if I had been straight, he would lament. When Atlantic was setting up, he said, our brief was to find the most pressing human rights issues in the country that were being overlooked. It was clear from all the consultations and research that we did that LGBTI people were amongst the most marginalized and stigmatized. I believe him. He paid easily as much attention to his other priority areas – particularly refugees and migrants. And even in those areas he worked beyond purely professional boundaries, as shown by his collection of Zimbabwean art works, that he purchased primarily to support individual refugees struggling to survive in South Africa.
Darlings! We did it! He announced to Phumi Mtetwa and I, after the founding Board of The Other Foundation had constituted itself, close to ten years after he had first conceived of the idea. Bloody nearly killed us – but we did it, he said as we sat in his flat in Killarney over a celebratory glass (or three) of whiskey. His ‘we’ was generous. I can’t speak for Phumi, but I know I would never have had the tenacity to see it through all the hurdles he encountered, or the self-conviction to push through the criticisms. Every set back was met with a commitment to find a creative way around it; every barb with a gentle shrug of the shoulders and an empathy about where it might have came from. His greatest delight, however, was reserved for our first round of grant-making. He loved the range of proposals that came in; he was so excited about the possibilities of new work and approaches; he was energized particularly by the cultural and research work proposed. Of course, he wanted to fund them all.
It seems so incredibly unfair that he won’t be here to see his vision flower into all that it will be. It will be different from what he imagined: but he knew that and celebrated it, as he believed that all the best projects flourish when they are supported by grant makers who can risk managing with a very light touch.
He had so many plans that he was looking forward to post Atlantic: finishing his second novel; writing up a history of the LGBTI movement in South Africa; looking at how social movements are developing amongst young people in the Western Cape; becoming an expert bird watcher; finding the love of his life to grow old with. Sweetie, he would say, if you were a gay man I would marry you! Nonsense, I would snort. If I were a gay man you would want me to look like an olympic swimmer, speak five languages, understand Mahler while knowing all the words of every Abba hit; be willing to dance with you to ‘It’s Raining Men’; and be able to be as comfortable in a refugee camp as in a 3 star Michelin restaurant in Provence. He’s out there, I would say. But he’s not going to appear until you’re willing to make time to let him in.
In the end, Gerald made a different set of choices. He dedicated himself to making his South Africa a better place for all of us. He did it with all the love and passion and commitment that he might have given to a lover and a partner. I’m saddened by that personal cost but know that he led the life that he wanted, had enormous pleasure in doing it, and I’m proud of the legacy he’s left. I feel privileged to have worked with him and contributed to some of the projects he cared deeply about. I loved him dearly. And I will miss him always.