Bloemfontein
Activator: Duncan Moeketse

Duncan “Dee” Moeketse (26) is one of the brave, idealistic and inspiring LGBTIQ ambassadors, whose uncontested and unshaken role has not only continued to shape the LGBTIQ and gender-non-conforming people in South Africa, but it has impacted the global community as well. He described his role by saying: “I serve on the Communities to the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria, which has provided me with the pledged opportunity to serve the global community.”

The Free State-based Activator enrolled on the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers training back in 2015, and he has since then never looked back, but has continued to move forward in leaps and bounds, through his numerous initiatives, that are changing people’s lives daily. Dee is the co-founder of Global Development Corps and OUT4Life, which he claims are game changers in the fight for the LGBTIQ and non-conforming people “The aim is to promote a human rights-based approach to gender and sexuality, that articulates the rights of the LGBTQ persons to justice, non-stigma, non-discrimination, health, education, employment and access to government services,” said Activator Duncan.

Moeketse opened-up about his journey with ACTIVATE! Network, praising it for being nothing less than beyond what he had ever imagined before joining. “When I started with ACTIVATE! Network, a new world opened up to me,” he said. He believes that the opportunity that he landed was a rare one, considering the way in which minimal networks like ACTIVATE! Network are regarded in South Africa, and the way people are so determined to withhold information from others, who could be helped and capacitated by initiatives like the network, nationally.

He says, “Absolutely, I think that the life that has been impacted greatly on is mine.”  He continued to highlight the milestones he has passed in his activism journey, through the help he has since gained from the network and its training. He adds, “There are many people who from time to time, tell me how they appreciate the work that I do, and how I inspire them.”

He stresses the fact that his work has continuously been proven to change lives, starting with himself. “I have grown to be a human being who accepts people for who they are,” said Moeketse, overjoyed. When asked what his inspiration was and who his hero was, he profoundly pronounced the priceless, ordinary South Africans to be such a motivation for his greater generosity and wisdom, by saying, “They are women and men, who mostly are illiterate but who wake up every day to work for minimum wages, to feed families and to send their children to school to achieve better lives –hose are heroes,” said Duncan.

With such a degree of maturity and wisdom, Dee defines a hero as a courageous and principled figurehead who despite all odds, persists in bringing about innovation and change in people’s lives, by saying, “Heroes are those who have the courage to stand up for a just cause; for the men and the women who raise concerns of humanity.”

This pioneer of change for the Free State province  is of the view that his heroes possess underlying traits which are persuasive, and through which he is inspired, consistently. His heroes should have:

  • Ability to provoke the status quo;
  • Great deal of passion;
  • Kindness;
  • Humility; and
  • Willingness to embracing diversity

 

He believes also that heroes should have some degree of integrity and self-sacrifice, among other traits, when pursuing the greater and demanding course of serving their communities and the people selflessly.

The selflessness, courage, a constant feeling of a moral obligation to act despite challenges, are evidence of his inspiration, attained through his heroes, throughout his years as a child, raised by a village. Duncan further , “They are champions and idealists for social change.”

  1. How has your journey been with ACTIVATE! Network?

It has been an exciting journey. When I started with ACTIVATE! Network, a new world was opened up to me. I made lifetime friends, I made professional links and I built strong networks, which continue to be cemented every day.

  1. Do you think that a life has been impacted by what you do? Even if it’s yours?

Absolutely. I think the life that has been impacted greatly is mine. My work gives me a sense of purpose and a need to want to do more every day. Yes, there are many people who from time to time, tell how they appreciate the work that I do, or how I inspire them to want to serve their community. That, in itself, is the greatest reward that one could ever ask for.

  1. How has your life been impacted?

I have grown to be a human being who accepts people for who they are, who always seeks to inspire others to find the best of themselves, and to inspire the next generation of leaders and change makers.

  1. In your own words, define a hero?

Often, we tend to think of heroes as those who possess supernatural powers and who wear masks and capes. But in reality, heroes are those who have the courage to stand up for a just cause, or the men and women who rise-up, out of concerns about humanity. A hero can be someone who, in the midst of many pressing social issues, rises above them all, and has the courage to bring about change for all, by contributing with small acts of kindness.

  1. Who do you consider to be a hero in your community or in South Africa?

We have many heroes in South Africa. There are young orphans who do not enjoy their childhood and because of disease had to ascend to the responsibility of taking care of households – those are heroes.

And there are those who are less fortunate, but who find joy by sharing the little that they have with their neighbours – those are my heroes. Heroes live in our communities. Through their singular acts of kindness, courage and selflessness; they inspire us and continue to show us what humanity is.

  1. What traits do they possess that makes them a hero in your eyes?

For me, heroes are selfless, they possess courage, they constantly feel the moral obligation to act, regardless of what their circumstances might be. They are champions for social justice and are idealists for social change. Heroes are often not happy with the status quo. They possess a great deal of passion, they display kindness, humility, and they embrace diversity and respect for humanity.

  1. What other traits should a hero have?

 Integrity and self-sacrifice. 

  1. How has your hero inspired you to become a hero?

I mentioned earlier that I have many heroes. The reason is that I am one of those who was raised by a village. The responsibility of bringing me up was not left to my biological parents alone. Throughout my life, I had the privilege and the blessing of experiencing the kindness of people that one would normally refer to as strangers. When I had nothing to eat, and someone unknown to me gave me something to eat, who, when I was thirsty, shared a chalice and when I had nowhere to sleep, offered me a place of shelter. Those moments showed me that even though there are many bad things in the world, there is still so much kindness and so many selfless heroes around us; people whose purpose it is to inspire others to be good to their fellow countrymen. And I am a product of such people.