Brian Bongani Sibeko-Ngidi is a social justice activist who is passionate about the plight of marginalised communities, especially the LGBTI community, young girls, and sex workers. He takes it as a personal mission to fight against homophobia, transphobia, and gender-based violence while advocating for comprehensive reproductive health and rights and the decriminalization of sex work. He is community oriented and a people’s person who never misses an opportunity to spread the word of self-love and safe sex.
After gaining experience in the LGBTI field, he decided to become a fulltime student and is currently doing his second level at UKZN where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Social Science degree majoring in Psychology and Sociology.
Sharon lives with her partner, Berenice, at Solitude Retreat Centre, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Sharon has a PhD in Physics and is a former lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She now works as a consultant in science education development. Her main area of work is in facilitating science teacher development workshops, primarily in rural schools. She has been involved in various research projects around science education with a range of organisations (including Umalusi and HESA), and has authored various textbooks and research articles.
Sharon also has a keen interest in spirituality, and she jointly runs the Solitude Retreat Centre with her partner Berenice. Sharon’s areas of focus include mysticism and contemplative prayer, gay spirituality and post-modern explorations of religion.
Berenice Meintjies is a clinical psychologist with 15 years community development experience, specialising in trauma and psychosocial support. She is a former director of Sinani / KwaZulu-Natal Programme for Survivors of Violence, and has served as the Chairperson of the CINDI Network and as a Trustee of Themba Lesizwe.
She presently works as a consultant for local, national and international NGOs, involved in training and materials development to promote psychosocial support in under-resourced communities.
Berenice manages Solitude Retreat Centre, situated in the Dargle area of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Shireen Has worked for the past 28 years as a Social Worker for the HIV/AIDS Unit in the Msunduzi Municipality. She has been actively involved with counselling and community work. She has sat on various Boards and participated enthusiastically in a variety of social issues.
She is married, with three sons whom she adores.
Shireen is also very creative and in her very limited spare time, does fabric painting , decoupage, beaded jewellery , baking and added to this is very passionate about spiritual healing.
She is warm, loving, full of laughter and happiness.
Chris McLachlan is a clinical psychologist that works at the Thuthuzela Rape Crises centre at Edendale hospital. Chris also has a small private practice where they sees sexual and gender diverse people.
Chris has been active in the field of activism from the early 90ties and actively worked and campaigned for the Civil Union Act where same-sex couples can marry. As an ordained minister in the Reforming church, they has had amazing opportunities to officiate at diverse weddings. Chris is also currently a PhD candidate at UNISA where they focuses on the experience of trans and gender diverse people as they access gender affirming health.
Chris was also one of the researchers developing the psychology guidelines for people who work in the sexual and gender diverse field, PsySSA 2018. Chris is serving on the Board of Gender DynamiX as chairperson and on the Sexual and Gender Division of PsySSA’s management committee. Chris is passionate about doing hope, fighting for justice and living in the here and now.
Chris is blessed with two wonderful children and a supportive community of care.