We caught up with Bonga Kwana who is the brains behind Ramblings of A Black Queer Woman. Bonga is a singer, songwriter, part time poet and full time black queer womxn from kuCentane, in the Eastern Cape.
1. What exactly is Ramblings of a Black Queer Womxn all about and who is behind it?
“Ramblings of A Black Queer Womxn: In session with Bonga Kwana” is a series of intimate shows which consist of music, poetry and art. It came to me after I released my single, Nzwakazi, in September 2018 – quite frankly, I describe Nzwakazi as the backbone of RBQW. The purpose of these shows is to create a friendly and safer space for ‘queer’ bodies – ‘queer’ being inclusive of all bodies who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, through music, poetry and art. Essentially this is a platform for me to share my craft with any and everyone who wants to listen. Love is the only language we speak here, I do not tolerate homophobia, sexism, racism, transphobia, ableism, any and all forms of bigotry and violence in this space. The person behind RBQW is myself, Bonga Kwana.
Bonga Kwana is a singer, songwriter, part time poet and full time black queer womxn from kuCentane, in the Eastern Cape.
RBQW began in Cape Town (where I am based) at the University of the Western Cape, The Barn, on 25 October 2018. After the success of the first show, I had another show at The Drawing Room Cafè in Observatory on 25 November 2018 which was also a great success. I will be having a third show at The Drawing Room Cafè on 9 February.
2. Why did you see it important to highlight the fact of black queer womxnhood?
I find it important to highlight that I am a black queer womxn because the entertainment industry is dominated by cisgender heterosexual men. The kind of music we consume on a daily basis comes from “straight” men and women, it’s very seldom, in fact it’s rare, that we hear music coming from queer womxn. My highlighting of my black queer womxnhood is my form of activism – saying that we exist as queer creatives and we are here to occupy this space. I believe that there are many other black queer womxn finding themselves in this industry, hence the importance of #RBQW. It’s not just about me sharing my craft, I invite other black queer womxn to share their craft on the same platform.
3. What project are you currently working on?
At the moment I am working on my EP as well as working towards having a fourth #RBQW show which will be in Johannesburg in March.
4. Any collaborations lined up?
Lately I’ve been working very closely with Tom Sibanda and Yonelisa Wambi, we’re definitely cooking something.
5. Tell us about your next event.
My next event is #RBQW9FEB. It’s going to be on Saturday 9 February 2019 at 15h00, at the Drawing Room Cafè in Observatory. Tickets are R50 at the door and online. This show is going to be a very special one for me as it’s a celebration of Bonga Kwana turning 21 – there is no theme for this event, the only rule I have is NO VIOLENCE!
6. How can others get in touch with you?
Get in touch with me on my social media accounts:
Facebook: Ramblings of a Black Queer Womxn / Bonga Kwana
IG: ramblingsofablackqueerwomxn / Bonga_Kwana