Mpho Hendrick Buntse

2018 Fellow from South Africa

Mpho Buntse is an LGBTI activist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. His passion for gay rights spans across fourteen years, during which he has been selflessly dedicated to the social, economic, and political emancipation of the LGBTI community in South Africa and on the continent. He began his advocacy work in high school, advocating for gender-sensitive changing rooms and became a founder of the first LGBTI student society at his university. As a university student, he honed his leadership skills as a member of the Student Representative Council. He also served as a member of key university decision-making structures, including the Student Judiciary, Student Services Council, Student Parliament, and Academic Exclusion Appeals Committee. Through these platforms, he was a vocal advocate for queer issues. He is the founder of the Simon Nkoli Memorial Lecture, which is in its fourth year. He is also one of the young pro-African National Congress (ANC) LGBTI individuals who formed the newly established Embrace Diversity Political Movement, an LGBTI movement seeking to align with the ANC and its Mass Democratic Movement alliance partners. Between his political duties, managing his own public relations firm, and working as a production researcher for a television production company, he is pursuing a master's degree in Fundamental Communication, focusing on the media representation of gay images. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, he hopes to use his newly gained practical and theoretical experience to enable him to empower youth in South Africa.

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