Matula (taboo). Matudzi (bad omen). If you are a queer person in Venda, this is what you are called.
“You are seen as the bringer of bad luck,” says Unisa’s Professor Azwihangwisi Mavhandu-Mudzusi. “Whatever bad things are happening in the community — lack of rain, crime, ritual murders — is because of you or your behaviour. You’d get blamed for anything bad. So these are very packed terms.”
In an attempt to debunk this belief — and to try to find terms that are less steeped in prejudice — Mavhandu-Mudzusi is working alongside the University of Venda’s Professor Vhonani Olive Netshandama on the Deconstructing Matula project.
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