In July 2016,  five years after fleeing her native Malawi once she was released from prison, Tiwonge Chimbalanga headlined an event called Colours of Cape Town. It was held at the Nest, a trendy venue for “young African creatives” in downtown Cape Town.

“Join us for a night of solidarity with the LGBTI refugee community,” the Facebook invitation read. It was put out by PASSOP, People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty, the refugee support organisation where Aunty — as Tiwonge was universally called — volunteered twice a week. More than a hundred people responded, piling into the Nest’s upstairs rooms and spilling out onto the wrought-iron Victorian balcony that hung over the action on Darling Street, just off the Grand Parade...

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