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Students rising

Semakaleng ‘Sma’ Motapho is project coordinator in the higher education men who have sex with men (MSM) combination prevention programme at the University of Venda. The campus, known as Uni-Ven, is in Thohoyandou in Limpopo, the centre of the Vhembe district and an area known for its conservativism and patriarchal attitudes. Being out and running a LGBTI-friendly programme in this environment is extremely challenging. But 27-year-old Sma has made the programme an expression of himself. Sma is openly gay and cross-dresses but doesn’t identify as a woman. “I’m just more comfortable in ‘female’ clothes,” he explains. “I’m just Sma”. He…

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