Freelance journalist Nickita Maesela has found her niche in telling stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual or allied people (LGBTQIA) to give them a voice.
Maesela’s writing for City Press is supported by The Other Foundation, which works to ensure everyone is free to live a safe and dignified life and contribute to society equally. Her work highlights stories of queer activism and events in Southern Africa, the intersections of faith, gender and sexuality and for people who use art to find healing in a world that restricts their freedom. She’s delighted by the amount she’s been able to achieve in a short time.
“The opportunities I have had have opened up ways for me to find out directly about the work that LGBTIQ advocacy organisers are doing in the continent, which has been a journey that has exceeded my expectations,” she says. “I’ve been inspired by voices and activists from Kenya to Mozambique and it has really widened my passion to tell stories from our communities as queer black people living on the continent.”
Maesela is also surprised by her strength to pursue stories she feared she was ill-equipped to handle. “Pushing the boundaries through fearlessness and determination in the work that I do of story-telling has been really empowering,” she says. “So many of us have different narratives, and I think the media chooses intentionally which of those are most interesting or newsworthy.”
She believes it’s time to disrupt that by pushing for inclusivity and affirmation for voices that are often denied.