DATE:    06 and 07 November 2017
VENUE: UNIVEN Research Conference Centre
TIME:     09h00 to 16h00

The University of Venda, Directorate of Community Engagement UNIVEN in collaboration with Wits and UNISA invite the University Community to the 2nd Univen Annual LGBTIQ Sym­posium.

The symposium is part of a net­work of ten universities in Southern African region participating in a re­search focusing on the “Normaliza­tion of diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity”. The partner universities include UNIVEN, UNISA, WITS, Fort Hare, Walter Sisulu, Nel­son Mandela, University of Namibia (UNAM), University of Botswana and University of Malawi.

This symposium aims to further the contribution of UNIVEN to SOGI re­search by bringing multiple stake­holders together to participate in the dialogue about ‘matula’, as applied to LGBTIQ community. Researchers, academics, students, pastors, tra­ditional leaders, traditional healers and members of the community will engage in a dialogue focusing on:

  • Deconstructing the notions of Mat­ula and Matudzi as applied to LGB­TIQ community
  • Fostering safe space for expression of diverse sexualities and gender identities in universities (LGBTIQ)
  • Ways in which LGBTIQ identities should be normalized within the Af­rican context

Background notes

The empirical research, advocacy and interventions undertaken in higher education settings across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in rural settings show that LGBTIQ communities are mostly ridiculed based on religion and cultural beliefs. Our article ti­tled, Deconstructing matula (taboo), a multi-stakeholder narrative about LGBTI (VO Netshandama, Mavhan­du-Mudzusi and Matshidze 2017, ( 1328) reports research findings of UNIVEN and its broader community that denies existence of homosexu­ality and problematized diversity in sexual orientation. We noted that the more traditional, intolerant and repressive views reported in the studies conducted in UNIVEN (Ma­vhandu-Mudzusi and Sandy 2017; Netshandama, Mavhandu-Mudzusi and Matshidze 2017) mirror those reported from other rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape (Rule and Mncwango 2006; Abaver et al. 2014).

More knowledge to debunk the myth about homosexuality as unAfrican thus need to be propagated.

Please confirm attendance to Pha­thu Nevhutalu at communityen­

or Ext 8807 and nakisani. or Ext 8802 on or before 06 October 2017.