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Tshotlego Morama, now legally Paul Morama

BABOKI KAYAWE
Double gold medallist at the 2004 Special Olympics and 2007 All Africa Games, Tshotlego Morama, who disappeared from the scene in a flurry of accusations about her gender, has resurfaced as Paul Morama.

Paul says last February the High Court ruled that he could officially transition into a man, putting to rest a lifelong struggle with his gender expression.“I am currently in the process of changing all my identity documents.

People used to look at my identity card which states I am female, and look at my beard and physique and wonder if it was really me,” he says in an exclusive tell-all interview conducted in Gaborone this week. From a high flier as an Olympic paralympian of note, Morama’s career went down in a national furore of controversy, after allegations in 2007 that ‘she’ fathered a child.

The Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) pulled her out of active competitions. Nine years after the ‘scandal’ Paul has emerged. He believes the system is not supportive of intersex people. His own road to his true gender was

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helped by Dr Nomsa Mbere, who arranged counselling sessions for him, which he says helped a great deal to emotionally and psychologically cope. The school and health systems, he says are not equipped to better the experiences of intersex and transgender people.

“Education authorities have to realise that the world is changing. Through guidance and counselling departments, they need to introduce a programme under which awareness and acceptance is taught for learners who find themselves in my shoes,” he suggests.

Today, Paul is well settled into his identity as a man and while he has ruled out a return to active competition, he plans to contribute to sports development by establishing a sports academy.

“My plan is to develop sports at grassroots and come up with ways to help athletes who find themselves in the situation I was in,” he said.

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