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Image courtesy of Iranti-Org

This Organization Fighting for LGBT Rights is Being Backed by the Commonwealth Foundation

Iranti-Org is helping lesbian, trans, intersex and gender non-conforming movements in South Africa and Africa.

Iranti-Org is one of the few organizations in South Africa that is helping members of the LGBT community, especially trans, lesbian, intersex and gender non-confirming individuals, use the media as a means to mobilize behind various movements. Although South Africa has progressive laws when it comes to the rights of the LGBT community, the rates of femicide, gender-based violence, rape and violence towards queer people remain alarmingly high. Recently, the Commonwealth Foundation has partnered up with Iranti-Org and granted funding to them as part of an effort to support at least 400 transgender and intersex people to fight against stigma, discrimination and advocate for the increased protection of their rights.


Speaking about the partnership in a press statement, Jabulani Pereira, the Director of Iranti said that, "The support from the Commonwealth Foundation will enable us to collectively address trans and intersexphobia." Pereira added that, "Trans and Intersex persons need legal protection and increased access to health care."

Commenting on their move to financially back Iranti-Org, Dr Anne Therese Gallagher, the Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation said that, "International and national laws affirm that all persons are entitled to their basic human rights, regardless of difference. This grant is a recognition by Commonwealth Foundation member states of the need to fight violence—and challenge discrimination—wherever it occurs."

The Commonwealth Foundation will reportedly support the organization for a period of four years.

Interview
Photo: Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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