Phuti Minaj is South Africa’s first openly gay professional soccer player. Minaj, who plays for the Makapanstad Romans in the ABC Motsepe League, is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the LGBTQIA+ athlete community.
After talking on national radio about his sexuality, he took ownership of his voice and identity as a gay man. Minaj has since used his platform as a soccer player to raise awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community and the fight for equality.
In 2021, Minaj was named the Sports Personality of the Year at the 13th annual Feather Awards. With the Phuti Lekoloane Foundation, he aims to create a safe space for LGBTQIA+ athletes through campaigns and clinics, sports tournaments and mentorships.
Minaj dreams of a diverse South Africa where LGBTQIA+ people are free to occupy space in their lives and careers without fear of prejudice. At just 32, he is levelling the playing field, one goal at a time.
“I only do good when I feel good, and to feel good I need to be myself all the time.”