Tshepo Ricki Kgositau
Tshepo Ricki Kgositau was born in Gaborone- Botswana and was raised between Botswana and the North West Province in South Africa where her family originates from. Ms.Kgositau graduated with a BA in International Relations and Criminal Justice from Monash University. She is a passionate human rights advocate for transgender and transsexual persons and communities. Human rights, diplomacy and social justice was the focus of her studies while being a passion at social level. Protection for the rights of transgender and gender variant persons began in her undergraduate years while in the student representative for more protective measures for persons presenting gender variant behaviour on campus who were often targets of bullying and harassment on campus.
She has years of experience working in the NGO sector particularly with gender minorities, with her professional history including the work she has done with Rainbow Identity Association as an Advocacy Officer, an organisation which she is one of the founding members of in Botswana. Tshepo has worked as a Resource Mobilisation officer for Botswana Society of the Arts as well. She is as well a writer who is passionate about capturing the stories of transgender persons to educate and sensitise the community, with a chapter she co-authored with Liesl Theron in Transgender Studies Quarterly [2015 Vol.2] and another chapter with Rev.Chris McLachlan on Queer Theology [2015, yet to publish]. Tshepo has been the lead coordinator through Gender DynamiX for a monumental regional situation analysis on trans persons and how their access to health care is affected and impacted by legislature and policies in six countries being Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Zambia (the research report will be in circulation late 2016).
Ms.Kgositau previously held the position of Regional Programs Coordinator focusing specifically on Southern Africa with a trans focused NGO called Gender DynamiX based in Cape Town. Some of her work involved regional research on trans populations in Africa and transgender human rights monitoring and reporting to regional and international human rights mechanisms such as the United Nations and the African Commission; for which she has contributed to various reports going to these mechanisms. In this same capacity, Ms.Kgositau facilitated the founding of a new regional alliance called the Southern Africa Trans Forum (known as SATF shortly); which is a collective of over 12 transgender focused and led organisations based in Southern Africa from over 8 countries aiming to advance regional advocacy efforts on trans persons in the sub-region through a collaborative advocacy strategy. Tshepo recently began her new role as the Executive Director of Gender DynamiX on March 16th 2016, and it is in this role that she sits on the Steering Committee of the SATF as Secretary responsible for all communication for the SATF and various stakeholders. Tshepo Kgositau is passionate about developing young and upcoming trans rights activists through various capacity and leadership enhancement initiatives that will be commissioned through the SATF and the regional program of Gender DynamiX. Tshepo is also a 2016 Mandela~Washington Fellow, a platform she intends using to profile her work, that of Gender DynamiX as well as that of the SATF internationally while at University of California for her residency.