On April 17th, 2021, Lonwabo Nolte, an openly gay man from Nyanga, was raped and killed. His body was found in Mau-mau, Nyanga East, prompting marches in Nyanga and downtown Cape Town to both celebrate Lonwabo’s life and call for an end to anti-LGBTQIA+ violence in South Africa. In light of the tragic death, his father David Mzwabantu Ntuli, local activist Nobe Precious Matoti, and ILB’s Chumani Olwethu spoke of Lonwabo’s life, death, and the LGBTQIA+ experience in Crossroads, Nyanga, and surrounding communities.
David Mzwabantu Ntuli, Lonwabo’s father, grew up in Gugulethu, Cape Town. In 1997, he met Lonwabo’s mother, Lona, and in 1999, they had Lonwabo. The name Lonwabo is of Xhosa origin and means happiness, absolute joy, and bliss. David was overjoyed to have him as his firstborn, saying that with Lonwabo, “everything changed.”
Nobesuthu Precious Matoti is a local community activist and founder of Precious Things, an early childhood care center in Crossroads Township. Before founding the center, she worked for the Love Life nonprofit and the Desmond Tutu Clinic, two HIV prevention organizations. As a survivor of assault herself, Nobesuthu has been heavily involved in local action against sexual, domestic, and gender-based violence.
Chumani Olwethu is a facilitator at ILB from Crossroads, working with the organization’s afterschool and Youth Cafe programs. Additionally, Chumani is an LGBTQIA+ rights activist and is currently pursuing a degree in Tourism from Nelson Mandela University.