Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Busi, Queer Politics, South Africa

Busisiwe Sigasa: 23.12.81 – 12.03.07

Today we said goodbye to Busi. What was fitting was that her funeral service was held at Soweto’s largest Catholic Church, Regina Mundi

When protesting students were fired at by police on their way to Orlando Stadium on June 16 1976, and Hector Pieterson and many others were killed, the students fled for sanctuary to Regina Mundi. With buckets of water at the ready, they managed to douse the teargas canisters thrown into the church by police. But then police stormed the church, firing live ammunition. Although no one was killed, many were injured and the church’s sacred symbols were damaged. The broken marble alter, the bullet holes in the ceilings and the damaged figure of Christ all bear testimony to the terrible lack of restraint shown by police that day.

Regina Mundi has always been a home to the community of Soweto and has functioned as a centre for important community events. Anti-apartheid stalwart Dr Nthato Motlana once described Regina Mundi as “not just a church – it is the people’s church, the church of the nation”.

Regina Mundi was Busi’s local church where she went every Sunday. She also was a fighter. She stood up and spoke out about all those things that most people do not want to hear. She was not afraid to stand up as say she was raped, declare her HIV status and that she was a woman who loved other women. I didn’t know her long but I have her face in my mind, her photos and most of all her words. On Friday, Breaking the Silence: positive Survivors – published by POWA as an annual writing competition, was launched and a piece by Busi was not only included but she received one of the prizes. She had everything going for her. I have not made many real friends here in South Africa – actually apart from V and M who are not even South Africans there are only two and Busi was one. I will REMEMBER YOU WHEN YOU ARE GONE.


Wrote stories for the nations to read
Stood without fear and told my story
I smiled and greeted without judging
I influenced positive living to the sick
I planted seeds of hope to the hopeless
I groomed and growed the younger ones whose parents died
I created artistic designes with my hands
I crafted and drew beautiful pictures
I installed educatioanl reasoning to some
I taught represented the minority to the majority
I made nations aware
I wronged some and made some happy
I survived against odds
I swallowed my medication even as hard as it was it was sometimes
I did so to remain strong and to llive my live regardless of my status
I fought for women to be taken into serious conideration by our government
I wrote and said “my” spoke word
I fought and showed many that there’s nothing wrong with being diabetic, epileptic and HIV
I represented many of the HIV infected lesbian sisters
I told the truth nevermind the judgements
I lived and I’m still living
I loved and prayed to my GOD
I prayed without hesitation , for , I believe/d
I was a big sister to my younger sisters
I listened to my mother’s teachings
I became friends with father
I captured moments with my camera
I brought forth what was unseen to the nations through the power of image,pen and paper
I struggled to make it life
I was taken for a ride by some whom i thought were friends
I showed my rapist how strong i was regardless that he poisoned my blood with his HIV
I beieved and prayed
I stood low and respected all regardless of their age,colour and size
I say along with others
I had a unique voice
I had a message to deliver and a vision to see
I tried,i fell and i never succeeded sometimes
I was patient while to some i was strange
I was loved by some and was hated by some,STILL i did my thing
I loved and appreciated beautiful women
I loved her more than life itself
Some would say…
I am full shit! but spiritually i was full
I was fed with GOD’s glory that’s why I praised HIM
I praised HIM more than i praised friends
I am my mother’s daughter
I made history and marked historical books of this world
FOR..without no doubt i’ll and i am in peace with my maker and creator.


Thanks to all of you who acknowledged Busi’s life and sent her your blessings – it has helped a great deal.


  1. Cherynne

    Dear Busi

    I first wrote to you last december when Sokari introduced me to you and the wonderful shocking pink poetry blog you set up with her. You were so strong and passionate and full of the best kind of ambition to be a photo journalist and poet. You had so little support and you needed so much. Surviving rape, being diagnosed with hiv and beginning treatment complicated by your diabetes was an enormous load and stress on you at your young age. You should not have been working, and certainly not nights , which affects the body of even healthy strong people. But due to your circumstances you had to work, and you were exhausted and your body was struggling with all these stresses to say nothing of the emotional toll. You died despite your strentgh and courage, simply because of where you lived and the poverty and injustice you lived with.
    I am so sorry we have lost you, but in your short time on this earth you turned your suffering and struggle into words and pictures that inspired us and will live on forever. We remember you, we honour you and we will continue the struggle in your name. God bless you Busi and thank you for giving us so much.

    your friend, Cherynne

  2. just beautiful sokari–I wish I could have been there.

  3. Thank you for sharing about a wonderful person,

  4. Szavanna

    Sorry to hear about your friend Busi.