Motswana ARTivist, Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile is named one of the most influential women of African descent working in the arts for 2018. The honour given by New York based publication, OkayAfrica, is part of a campaign recognizing excellence as embodied by 100 Women who are either based in Africa or in the diaspora.

The “OkayAfrica 100 Women” list, published in March, is celebrating its second manifestation after a successful maiden run in 2017. The first list included icons such as Kenyan Academy Award-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, and critically acclaimed Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This year’s list features Katlego alongside South African photographer, Zanele Muholi; Sudanese singer, Alsarah; Kenyan percussionist, Kasiva Mutua and 3 members of the history-making Nigerian Olympic bobsled team and others.

OkayAfrica  sort through nominations, the latest news, and research shining stars in the specific genres of music, TV and film, politics and activism, business, fashion and beauty, art, sports, STEM, media and literature. The process also gauges the candidates’ impact and influence, honing in the component of community building.

Kat Trailer

Kolanyane-Kesupile’s profile
– An artistic practitioner, communications consultant and human rights activist whose focus has been on liberating the voices and stories of LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and more) in Batswana.
– Founder of the Botswana’s only LGBT-themed theatre festival, Queer Shorts Showcase.
– She has performed across the world as a musician, actor and dancer
– Globally published writer, educator and public speaker.
First Motswana to receive a TED Fellowship(2017), and also attained her
– Holds a Masters in Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice from Goldsmiths University of London.
– A Chevening Scholar.

“The number of impossibilities shattered by the simple deed of being recognised for the work I have committed my life to doing is unreal. This is part of Botswana’s history, not just my personal journey. I’d like to believe that I will stand as a possibility model for all people of Botswana, and especially for LGBT+ people of all ages to understand that we are not accessories to national progress but invaluable human resources and we have limitless wonders to offer the world out there. I am humbled and inspired to continue working steadfastly,” said Kolanyane-Kesupile

Pic Credit: Kath Blair