Responding to the psycho-social needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community

The Pink Mynah Festival 2016 was a huge success! The festival, which was organised by the Gay & Lesbian Network ran from 22-29 October, was split into various events which included an arts & film festival, a cheese & wine evening, the Pink Mynah Pageant and the Pink Picnic.

The film screening was held at the KZN Museum and had the premiere screening of ‘This is my Rose’- a story of love, betrayal, romance and secrets. The aim of the Rose films is to use visuals or digital stories to share the intriguing indigenous knowledge on Gender Identity and Sexuality in the African context, and to sensitize the community at large with such issues and challenges. The exhibition also had some photos from the #MyRight2B photo competition which focuses on the positive stories of the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. Not forgetting the struggles that this community faces every day, there was also a Hate Crimes exhibition. Another highlight of the exhibition was the work of internationally renowned American photographer, Michael Ashby. Ashby’s ‘Alternative’, is a collection of portraits that have been shot using ambrotype, a 160-year-old form of “alternative photography.”

The Cheese & Wine evening was held at the Aha Imperial Hotel and was really a great event in terms of fundraising for the Gay & Lesbian Network. There were four members of staff who were actioned to the highest bidder for a lunch date. There was live entertainment and great wine from Holden Manz. This wine can still be ordered through the Gay & Lesbian Network.

The Pink Mynah Pageant was also held at the Aha Imperial Hotel and people from all walks of life entered the Pageant. It was a very close call this week, but the judges decided on the winners after considering all the different categories- namely casual wear, formal wear, a talent section and a question and answer session, the winners were announced. The winner of Mr Pink Mynah 2016 is Andre Brahim, and the winner of Ms Pink Mynah 2016 is Sphesihle Memela.

The Pink Mynah Parade, affectionately known as ‘Pietermaritzburg’s Pride’ was filled with colour as the LGBTI and allies marched from Market Square to the YMCA. The afternoon as jam packed with entertainment from the likes of Kwesta, Klutch Kollective, Joocy, DJ Le Soul and many more! The raffle for the limited edition Pride Shoes was done by Qadasi & Maqhinga, and the lucky winner is Mogotsi Lettage.

The Gay & Lesbian Network would like to thank everyone who supported the event and a huge thank you to the Department of Arts and Culture for their generous sponsorship. The Network would also like to thank all the artists, performers, all the people behind the scenes and to everyone who attended. This year’s Pink Mynah Festival has been the best one yet and we are looking forward to next year!



Mr Pink Mynah 2016 Andre Brahim, Director of the Gay & Lesbian Network, Anthony Waldhausen and of Ms Pink Mynah 2016 Sphesihle Memela.


The Pink Mynah Street Parade was a big splash of colour!


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