|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
Obakeng Tshukudu, a transman volunteer who handles the Sports Recreational Department in Rainbow Identity Association (RIA), has organised the social group’s first sponsored walk.
RIA is an association of transgender people which represents Trans-women, Trans-men, queer gender, gender questioning, transsexuals and non conforming gender people. The sponsored walk is set for the long weekend of July 16 to 18 and will be from Gaborone to the village of Kumakwane about 25km northwest of the capital.
Tshukudu explained that the purpose of the sponsored walk would be to raise funds for the organisation. He said this as RIA members were handed sponsored walk sheets to solicit for donations.
The sponsored walk is exclusively for RIA members and their supporters.
Tshukudu said, “RIA members are content being themselves as transgendered and non-conforming community.” He added that RIA members are always ready for an outing where they can express themselves freely alone in the bush. Other organisations have not been invited.
The hike will be part of other outdoor activities including camping. During the group’s camping trip, there will be an awards ceremony to give prizes to the trans people who excelled at the soccer and gender fun day that was held in Tlokweng, a small town in the southeast of Botswana close to the South African border, about 12 kilometres from Gaborone on April 30.
Tshukudu said they were only handing out the prizes for the fun day now as they had been unable to award the prizes in April due to rain interrupting the prize-giving event.
RIA are still in negotiations with police to escort them during the sponsored walk. They are expecting 45 people or more to participate. The walkers will be holding placards carrying messages to create awareness about transgendered people.