Bananaemoji.com holds first Banana Club

Bananaemoji.com is ablog that illustrates today's evolving culture through art, social commentary, fashion and humor
Bananaemoji.com is ablog that illustrates today's evolving culture through art, social commentary, fashion and humor

ARTvism blog Bananaemoji.com recently hosted the first ever Banana Club, a platform aimed at informing, inspiring and engaging with the community in an effort to lead relevant and dynamic conversations.

The introductory session set out to unpack the topic, ‘Mental Health Awareness in the Queer Community’.

The session took time to explore the impact of mental health on the gay community.

Facilitated by Tanlume Enyatseng, a panel of three experts addressed the implementations that are currently in place and what more can be done to tackle mental health in the community.


The panellists were Ratanang Mosweu from Men for Health and Gender Justice Organisation as well as Botho Maruatona and Sewelo Sosome of Black Queer DocX.

Speaking on the engagement, the event organiser, Enyatseng said the queer community suffers from mental health problems at a high rate, yet there is currently no specialised provision of healthcare for them.

“This seems like a big problem, especially when existing facilities do not always prove to be effective.  If you’ve ever dealt with mental health professionals who were totally bemused by the way you identified or have had a loved one who has experienced a mental health crisis, we urge you to join the conversation,” he advised.

Enyatseng added that they wouldn’t be offering mental health ‘advice’ but rather are looking at how the current system is succeeding or failing. The session was split into two halves; one half being dedicated to sharing personal experiences, with each participant free to contribute as much or as little as they want, and the second half being spent talking about more general questions around mental health.

With the help of the community, Bananaemoji.com wants to pinpoint where healthcare is failing LGBTQ+ people and propose ways that might remedy this.  TronicArts Photography as part of research documented the session.

Banana Club wants to create platforms for dialogue to lead the conversation about key issues amongst the youth, creative and predominantly queer community.  The club will create a network that works together and builds ties with key stakeholders in this space to challenge discourse, educate, empower and engage Batswana at large on matters affecting the youth, creative and LGBTQI+ community. The sessions will happen as and when, where burning social issues need to be addressed.

Enyatseng also said the mental health crisis amongst queer people is an issue of national relevance.  “We need to collaborate with the communities we work and live in to find solutions to issues and problems that affect us. All this can be achieved, but community and concerted effort are key,” he highlighted. Established in 2016, Bananaemoji.com is a blog that illustrates today’s evolving culture through art, social commentary, fashion and humour.

Its readers are anything but normal. They are bold, free- spirited life lovers who recognise that perfection is boring.

Bananaemoji.com reaches a community of over 6,000 views around the world. Works from the website have been published in many platforms such as WeTransfer, Blaque Magazine, AfroPunk, and Mail & Guardian.

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