Gertrude Fester-Wicomb (BA UCT, HED, UNISA, Master’s (Gender Studies, ISS, Erasmus), PhD (London School of Economics) is an Indigenous/Slave descendant. In the 1980s, she participated in grassroots women’s organisations and was a key member of the Women’s National Coalition, advocating gender rights in the SA constitution. Initiated various structures like WEAVE (a black women’s writing collective). As a political prisoner in solitary confinement, she composed a play in her head, performing it at the 1995 Beijing NGO Conference.
Post-1994 positions include Member of Parliament and Gender Equality Commissioner. Recently honorary professor (Centre for African Studies, UCT). Earlier positions include Wynona Lipman Chair, Center for American Women and Politics (Rutgers), professor extraordinaire (UWC), Transitional Justice professor (Gender Centre, Rwanda University) and Sol Plaatje. Gertrude received the 1997 Hammet-Hellman Human Rights Writers’ Prize. Her play, Lookalike Terrorist, was one of the four best new plays nominated by Artscape (2019). She publishes feminist fiction and non-fiction.