Kim Windvogel: I love posting pictures of my body that is not the standardized idea of beauty

Kim Windvogel is an online writer who writes under the name Blazing Non-Binary. Being Non-Binary means that you are fluid in your gender.

Kim believes that they can be masculine, feminine and all the other energies present on the gender spectrum.

Their writing focuses on breaking the taboos of sex, of being fat, of loving yourself, of questioning identity and the experience called life.

As a Non-Binary, they do a lot of panel discussion on representation and access. Kim who graduated with a degree in classical singing from the University of Cape Town is also the co-founder of a non- profit company called FemmeProjects NPC.

In this article, the controversially inspirational, versatile creative, Kim Windvogel shares their story to becoming a gender activist and advocate for body positivism, among other things.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in a home that supported me in my journey to form my own opinions about life and I think that is why I am as opinionated as I am.

I went to predominantly white schools and this shaped a lot of my understanding when it comes to my experience of race relations in a post-apartheid country such as South Africa.


What you do

I co-founded a Non-Profit Company called FemmeProjects NPC. We go into schools and facilitate feminist sexual and menstrual health workshops to teenagers going through puberty.

We help them understand what is going on with their bodies and allow them to ask the burning questions they are afraid to ask their parents for fear of judgment.

Currently, I am working in collaboration with Women’s Net South Africa, Coloured Mentality and Soul City to create an online campaign around the 16 Days of activism.

We are creating a #16waysfor16days campaign, calling on online users to showcase what they are doing to change the way they and the world treat gender marginalized people, calling on people to discuss this in their online and offline circles.

As there is a big digital divide we have provided workshops to explain how social media works with various organizations in the weeks leading up to 16 days of activism. 

I have a lot of feelings about the world and I knew that I needed to share that with people Click To Tweet

What inspired you to become a polygonal creative and what challenges have you faced in the creative industry? 

I had a lot to say and a lot of feelings about the world which needs to be shared with people. Specifically people in my country and my continent.

I love posting pictures of my body that is not the standardized idea of beauty. Another passion of mine is writing about masturbation, self-love and being colored.

Creating workshops for young women is my passion, the type of workshops I hoped to have had access to as a kid.

If you are creative,  you should have a responsibility to create and then to share that with the world so that others can go through the same stream of consciousness you went through.

I have been fat-shamed, body-shamed, and shamed for having bodily hair - @Blazingnonbinry Click To Tweet

I have faced challenges like being fat-shamed, body-shamed, shamed for having bodily hair. Other and more dominant challenges include being silenced in spaces I thought were safe enough to talk about the issues that gender non-binary people experience daily.

Representation for genderfluid people is lacking and therefore, I decided to take my power and to write my own story. That is the power of social media. We should all seize that power.

Tell us more about FEMME and all about the work the organization is involved in

Femme is a rough acronym that stands for Freedom of Education Motivates Empowerment. We create workshops for young people about puberty, mentorship, and their potential career paths.

We hand out menstrual cup which is a sustainable sanitary product that is made out of medical grade silicone and lasts for 5 years. This means that learners do not have to miss school due to lack of resources.

We train other facilitators to go out into their own communities and to do the same empowerment we do with them. Femme is my baby and I co-direct it with two wonderful partners, Loren Loubster and Kelly Koopman of coloured mentality

What do you enjoy most about the path that you have chosen?

I get to live the type of life I always wanted to lead, speak my mind and manage my own time (which is a very difficult thing if you are not disciplined!).

I get to meet the most amazing people who are on the same journey to try and change the world in their own way. 


What are you most proud of in all that you’ve achieved so far?

I am proud of my self-published anthology: Resist: The Paradox of Love and Other Societal Disorders. I wrote and curated it, but had someone who assisted with the layout and an amazing illustrator who did the cover illustration.

The work that is included in this collection was written over a period of three years. Some of the pieces are old and some I wrote two days before going to print.

I organized my own launch and was surrounded by people who enjoy poetry and who listened intently as I shared my story. I am proud that an introvert like me (someone who writes predominantly online) brought people together and shared their work in person.

It took so much out of me and I didn’t know that I had the courage, but just when you think you cannot do something out of fear, it is that same fear that drives you towards success.

I am also proud that in 3 years of running Femme we have facilitated 4000 learners, registered our own Non-Profit, opened a business bank account, and that we are all people of color blazing the trail for those who come after us.


What future plans do you have for your career as a creative and for the work you do at FEMME?

I want to write a novel. I have many ideas as to what my topic will be, and this might happen sooner than later.

As for Femme, we want to create sustainable sanitary products through innovative technology. Watch this space.

How do you unwind?

I write about my day and find the poem between the lines and spend time alone to think how I can better on what I did yesterday. 

Also, I speak to friends and ask for advice. Advice does not mean you are going to take it, advice means you want to know all possible avenues before you make your decision. 

I surround myself with people who inspire me and spend a lot of time online, reading Everyday Feminism or any online platform that speaks on gender politics, whether that is internationally or locally. Recently, I stopped drinking and I must say it feels amazing.

Give us your top five tips for aspiring creatives.

  • You do not have to be perfect to be a creative.
  • In the same breath, engage with your own content and those of others critically.
  • Practice your craft and do not be ashamed of it.
  • Spend time alone.
  • Have just enough fun to still always be prepared when an opportunity comes along.

Mallah Tabot: Openness around sexuality is still lacking

mallah tabot

Imagine your parents talking to you about sex. Awkward right? Mallah Tabot believes the world will be a better place if parents start having open and honest conversations about sexuality with their children. We’re inclined to agree with her.

Since 2012, Mallah has been working very hard to improve the lives of many young Cameroonian women, including those at risk of early and forced marriages. As a reproductive health activist and CEO of an NGO in Cameroon- United Vision, she fights against trends and tendencies that relegate women and girls to the background.

SLA contributor Marriane spoke to Mallah on her recently launched sexual education app called Ndolo360, her challenges, and dream for an Africa where women, especially young girls can talk about sex without stigma.

Sex is not something we talk about in Africa. Why the passion for a topic like that?

I agree, sex is a sensitive topic in the African socio-cultural environment. This is as a result of a void in comprehensive sexual education in the educational curriculum. Also, most parents do not discuss sexuality with their children. Many of the kids resort to the Internet for pornography as opposed to educative sexual information.

When these young ones don’t get the right information from the right sources, they tend to make wrong decisions. This has often resulted in unplanned pregnancies, STIs/HIV, unsafe abortion, and more.

That is why I am interested in creating a platform where we can address this. I believe parents need to start having open and honest sexual talks with their kids.

What challenges did you face while starting out? How did you overcome them?

Initially, very few people believed in my idea and its potential to work. People questioned my judgement for choosing to tow this path as opposed to finding something more “stable” like a full-time job where my financial security would be guaranteed. With a clear sense of purpose, I’ve been able to deal with that.

As a young woman, it was hard. You have to make the strategic calls and connections in a sub-environment dominated by men. We had to deal with not being taken seriously or being courted 9 out of 10 times. I think it was even more difficult, given that our area of expertise is sexual health.

mallah in close HIV peer talk with a young girl

Men didn’t take us seriously but assumed we would be comfortable listening to their sexual fantasies of us and other women. Unfortunately, that’s the unfair world we live in. We’ve strategically dealt with it and we are succeeding.

The pressure also continues to diminish as I gain more confidence and skills in my area of work. I now face such situations with strength as I grow older.

Also, I had challenges with building personal capacity to raise funds, running our programs and convincing outsiders to have a vested interest in what we do. Every day remains a challenge, but I’m happy that with time, they feel less like challenges and more like opportunities for personal and organizational growth.

You recently launched an app, Ndolo360. Tell us about it.

In Cameroon, like in most of Africa, sex is a very difficult and sacred topic. Young people grow up knowing nothing about their own bodies and end up getting the wrong information from the wrong sources.  This has resulted in them making uninformed decisions.

Teenage pregnancy rates are up and 141 out of 1000 girls aged 15-19 in this country have been pregnant, at least once. I found this despicable and started thinking of ways to address this problem, using technology.

Ndolo360 is the first ever mobile application in Cameroon to provide judgement-free education, information and services on sexual and reproductive health for teenagers, adolescents and young people.

The app is available on Google Play and is free of charge. It comes with several amazing features which will transform young people’s knowledge about sexuality and sexual health.

What do you plan on achieving by launching this app?

A few days ago,  a father emailed us to say he had asked his 16-year-old to download Ndolo360 to serve as a starting point to openly discussing sexual health.

This is exactly one of the many results we aim to achieve. Teenagers are expected to guess issues concerning their sexuality and act accordingly.

In fact, parents don’t even have the confidence to mention the word ‘sex’ to their kids. If this app can at least be a starting point for sex education between parents and their kids, the impact will be tremendous.

Also, this would help curb the high rate of unsafe abortions and other dangerous practices. It would lower the risks of teenage pregnancy, create more awareness on safe sex and lower HIV infection rates among young people.

More importantly, it would encourage a culture of openness when it comes to discussions around sexuality and sex. Young people should use the app for self-education and group discussions about the issues that affect them.

What advice would you give young African women looking to make a change in their communities like you?

I have learned to believe in myself and my capacity. Most importantly, to surround myself with people who love and believe in me.

That’s how I’ve been able to carry on with all I’ve had to do. And trust me,  it’s a lot and can be burdensome.

I’m happy to have made the decision to cut off toxic people. This has helped me focus on my goals and remain positive.

Want to see women you know featured on SLA? Tell us what amazing things women are doing in your communities here.