Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Busi, Queer Politics, South Africa

My sista friend Busi!

Yesterday my dear sweet friend Busi died. She was 25, a survivor or rape, HIV+ with diabetes and other complications. This photo was taken by me on the 18th February 2007 – one of those happy days of just hanging out with friends – I love this photo cause she looks so happy and so strong!

Photo of Busi © Sokari Ekine

I first met Busi last October when I came to South Africa and helped her start her blog “My Realities”. She was so happy – she tried so hard. I talked to her most days and on the 4th I took her a desk top computer that another friend of mine had given to her. Again she was happy. We were supposed to meet on Saturday at the LGBTI fest but she phoned to say she couldnt make and I said no worries I will see you when I get back from Durban. Busi had a job – working nights from 10pm to 7am. She was exhausted. Her CD count had dropped again to just over 200. It was hard for her but she tried. She was so tired from the night work. The last text I got from Busi was on Sunday at 16.56

“8 things God does in Ps107. He Redeems. He Gathers. He Delivers. He Leads. He Satisfies. He Saves. He Heals. He Blesses. May he continue 2 shower u wit his glorious love ! Hope u having a gudday & have a safe one 2 Durban. Love”

We do not know what happened – . maybe she got her diabetes medication mixed up or because she was so tired she forgot to take it. Right now we dont know. . She died due to her diabetes – I dont really understand but she passed out because her sugar levels were too high or something. I only wish I was in Joburg – being here in Durban and all the things I had planned no longer mean very much. Dear Busi – she was also happy because she was having a story published, she had so much to live for despite her illness and pain. Her funeral is on Saturday.


Busi’s Story



  1. cherynne

    I am so very sorry . Please can you put the link to her story that she shared with us on december 1st world aids day, and the link to her blog . i just cant believe it, but whatever happened if her cd4 count was 200 or below she should not have been working and certainly not nights. whatever way you look at it its poverty that kills. theres no way an hiv positive 24 year old would be dying in the west.
    Busi i am so sorry , we never met, we thought we might, and you would take my photo and write me a poem . I´m so sorry and especially to your mother. you had so much to give, the world is a poorer place without you . at least you had faith in god which i dont, so that means you will be in heaven now watching over us. God bless you . I will not forget you , dear Busi , at least you can rest now and not suffer anymore.

  2. oh, man, sokari, I’m so sorry. I remember first reading her–this is really just so devastating.

  3. i am so so sorry also. it is my hope that her words and work will live on as testimony. this situations are surely difficult when you feel too far away. if you need someone to talk to, you know where i am 🙂

  4. Very very sorry sokari. This is just so sad. There really are no words…

  5. Comment by post author


    Thank you all – no there are no words but i am glad i took these last pictures just a few weeks ago.

  6. I’m so sorry! It hurts. Thank you for the short time we knew Busi. May she rest in peace.

  7. May her soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.

  8. Sending my condolences.

  9. Del

    Oh Sokari, my deepest condolences. I hope your fond memories of her and your time together are a comfort during this difficult time.

    I’m so sorry and holding you close…..

    XO XO

  10. Ore

    So sorry to hear about this. I was just reading her blog now when I read about this.

  11. Greetings Sokari,
    Peace to you during this challenging time. I read Busi died because of complications due to her diabetes and I’m sure HIV/AIDS related. Right now mix emotions are going through my body. I am angry because of how she got HIV. A women once again was rob from her life due to rape. I am sad because although I didn’t know her this women sound like she was full of hope, drive and was an inspiration to people. I’m happy because she wasn’t silent. She spoke out. She didn’t let what happen to her stop her from leaving her mark on life. She will not be forgotten. As corny as it sound, She is my hero because so many of us cannot move on after being rape or even having HIV/AIDS(even thought I’m sure it’s hard) but Busi did and that’s why her memory will live on forever. Peace to Busi. QBC in NY, USA is having a screening for Women’s Month. It is call FADES OF BLACK WOMEN. One of the films we are screening is Rape For Who I Am. I dedicate this film to Busi in honor of her memory.

    Peace to the women at FEW. I’m sure they are going through a hard time with this lost. I met them some time ago when I was in South Africa


  12. Herbert

    May her gentle soul rest in the bossom of the LORD.
    Adieu sister.

  13. Zawadi

    Thanks, Sokari, for helping her put her voice and experiences out. I hope that her article will be published.
    I just heard the interview with her that you put up a couple of months ago. Hearing her voice and her story, and that of her girlfriend and child shook me. Her strength and refusal to be beaten down was so admirable — a sort of triumph in the face of being the victim of hate crimes.
    Much love and peace to her and other women going through the same.

  14. Nhlanhla

    I still can’t believe latifah is gone ..I will never forget u sisi I have known for a short period of time and for what i have gathered u were trully a good person May u rest in peace with the good Lord were u belong…
    Love alwyz
    Nhla& Teb ,

  15. Tim

    I am just now hearing of Busi’s music.
    And now, I am crying to find out that another beautiful soul has passed.
    While I do not pretend to understand her words, I do understand the emotion and power in her music.

    God help us all.