As you all may know, October is also Pride Month and to kick it off, we hung out with Kamohelo Rethabile Mosikili, a 24 year old from Bethlehem.
Kamohelo is a bit intimidating at first but very outgoing once you get to know him better and describes himself as a very discreet person. Explaining further he said, “I don’t hide the fact that I am gay, there are just some things that I prefer not share with certain people”.
Kamohelo started his schooling career at Thabang Primary from Grade R to Grade 4 and later went to Matswathaka Intermediate school where he did Grades 5 and 6. He then attended Motse High School from grade 7 to 12. After his matric, Kamohelo went to study at the University of the Free State where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Communication Science, majoring in Media Studies and Journalism.
Kamohelo comes from a nuclear family and explains that at first his family could not understand his behaviour and they often thought he was weird. “I had been behaving differently from a very young age” he added. Eventually his family realised that he may not be heterosexual as they expected however, they have been very supportive and have accepted him as he is.
Asked to explain LGBTQI in his own words he replied “It is a combination of men who get intimate with other men and women who get intimate with other women. It also consists of people who express themselves through fashion lines and transgendering, from one gender to the other”. He also said people should acknowledge the LGBTQI community just as straight individuals are respected.
He grew up in a township where being gay was regarded as taboo at first, but as time went on people within his community learned to accept him as he is. He was misunderstood based on his sexuality, which resulted in people constantly making fun of him and saying things such as “wena o gay”. “Since people are dissing me for who I am, I will stand firm through it all and live my truth” he added. A lot of people assumed that him being gay was just a phase but the criticism actually inspired him to stay true to himself.
Another thing he wanted people in his community to understand was that being gay was and is not something that he copied from another person and ran with, it is something that is within. Kamohelo is very comfortable and says the people in his community now have a better understanding of LGBTQI. He no longer experiences critism like before. Given that he is one of the few people to go to university and obtain his degree, parents within his community tell their children to look up to him as he is very intelligent, regardless of whatever defect they thought he had.
Asked about his aspirations he replied, “It is to educate people about LGBTQI and also encourage those who are afraid to come out, to live their truth”. He feels that people do not really understand what being queer is, “it is not a psychological thing, it was created by God as all things are” he adds.
Kamohelo is motivated by the passion to achieve his goals, and that is what keeps him going. He would like to be a very prominent person, motivating people to live their lives as they please and to be comfortable as they are.