With Warwickshire Pride’s sixth annual event just around the corner, we speak with Warwickshire’s most vibrant Drag Queen, Sassi Afrika on why pride is still important in 2018…
…and who her favourite act on the Warwickshire Pride stage is.
THEGAYUK: Sassi Afrika is back at Warwickshire Pride‘s main stage this year, what can we expect?
Sassi Afrika: You’re right, Sassi is back. There’s no stopping me honey. Everyone knows that. This year I’m presenting the main stage at Warwickshire Pride again. They have agreed to let me out of the cage they impounded me in after last year’s festival. You can expect lots of fabulous talent. The talent is outstanding this year. We have a very diverse lineup, which is how it should be. There is also the Big Rainbow Bake Off. I’m judging and presenting the contest. My next 3D lipo session is booked for a few days after I’ve tasted all those cakes. We also have speeches on stage and lots of fun for all the community.
TGUK: Why is Warwickshire Pride so important?
SA: I believe Warwickshire Pride is very important because it is a grassroots, community movement. It’s not commercial. It’s not all about making money. It’s about putting on something great for the community. We are fully inclusive and welcoming to all people. We try to create something in the spirit of what Pride was all about, while also celebrating how far we have come. I think Warwickshire Pride pulls it off quite nicely. Y’all be blessed now.
“Some people are quick to criticise and point out what is wrong with Pride. But none of those people ever step up and help to make things better the next time.”
TGUK: Why is Pride important to Sassi?
SA: Pride is very important to me honey. The LGBT+ community took me in when I landed on Earth and now I’m part of the family. But seriously, Pride is important to me because it’s nice to be part of something where I can be myself and be accepted for who I am. I have been discriminated against and assaulted for being LGBT+ and for having disabilities. Pride as a movement is still so important and I am proud to be part of it.
TGUK: It takes a lot to put on a pride event – do you think people take pride for granted?
SA: I don’t think many people realise how much hard work goes into putting on a Pride event. I do believe that a lot of people take it for granted, whether they realise it or not. Some people are quick to criticise and point out what is wrong with Pride. But none of those people ever step up and help to make things better the next time. On the flip side, there are people who really appreciate Pride and understand how much time, effort and money it takes to put it on. I just wish more people would understand and help. But hey, we do what we can as Pride organisers and I do it all with a dash of sass.
“Sassi is single and ready to mingle”.
TGUK: What’s your favourite thing about Pride?
SA: My favourite thing about Pride is seeing so many people coming together for a celebration of diversity. That and the fit guys I can eye up from the stage. Yes, honey, Sassi is single and ready to mingle. I do like seeing everyone at Pride and being who they are. It’s important that everyone has that opportunity to be who they are, without prejudice and judgement.
TGUK: Could RuPaul’s Drag Race Handle Sassi?
SA: Let’s be honest, can anyone handle the sass I bring? I’d like to see Mama Ru and Drag Race try.
“We have at least 75% local acts and 75% LGBT+ acts. That kind of representation is needed at Pride”.
TGUK: Who’s your favourite act to have performed on the Warwickshire Pride stage?
SA: My favourite act to have performed at Warwickshire Pride is me. What else can I say… No, I’m joking. I tell you who was really good. Angie Brown. She can sing and puts on a great show. She is also a really nice person and I adore her. I also think Jordan Gray is fantastic, and Feryl is very good too. But one thing I like about Warwickshire Pride is all the local acts we have. We have at least 75% local acts and 75% LGBT+ acts. That kind of representation is needed at Pride. We have to represent the people that the event is for. Otherwise, we are failing. And Sassi don’t fail honey.
Warwickshire Pride takes place on the 18th of August, Pump Room Gardens – Leamington Spa from 11 AM.
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.