About The Speaker
Pepe Julian Onziema
Pepe is a longtime advocate for rights of LGBTIQ. Pepe is a feminist, counselor, paralegal and a community organizer who is personally connected to the population he serves in Uganda, the East African region and beyond. He has been a petitioner in various legal battles for LGBTIQ in Uganda. He is the founder, Co-Director and Co-Producer of a documentary project known as Voices of Abasiyazzi, a project combating homophobia through storytelling. He has short documentaries “See Me As” and “Love Raises a Child” to mention a few.
He works as the Head of Programmes at Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) an organization focused on monitoring, coordinating, and advocating for the rights of the LGBTIQ community in Uganda. The organisation does this through challenging discriminatory and non-inclusive laws, educating and increasing awareness on the status of human rights for individuals identifying as LGBTIQ in Uganda. He is responsible for the coordination and administration of all programs, including the development, organization, and implementation of campaigns, resource mobilization, solidarity initiatives, and advocacy work.
Pepe is also an entrepreneur having founded Sagittari Investments SMC LTD which is a young company that brews, cans and distributes Faya Kombucha (fermented tea). A business created during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown as an opportunity to make a shift in the social economic status of marginalized Ugandans due to their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
Pepe who holds a Certificate in Community Counseling, a Diploma in Shipping and Freight. He is currently attending the Mannanova Solutions- CA; Kombucha Masterclass. He is a Fellow of 2015 NED Reagan-Fascell and 2018 Columbia University Human Rights Advocacy Program. He is also the recipient of the 2012 Global Citizen Award from the Clinton Global Initiative, Hero of Year Award from Stonewall-UK in 2014 and in 2015 he received the GLAAD award for “Outstanding Talk show Episode” for his appearance on the John Oliver Last Week Tonight.