Elma Robyn Montsumi
It was with heavy hearts that the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and Sisonke, the National Movement of Sex Workers learned of the death of Robyn Montsumi a month ago. Robyn reportedly died while being detained at Mowbray police station on 12 April 2020. She was 39 years old at the time of her death.
We extend our sincerest condolences to her family and her friends.
Robyn’s death and the circumstances under which she died at a time when we were all trying to come to grips with the impact of the pandemic and the lockdown, shattered every single one of us. We will be following this tribute up with an official statement soon on the actions we are taking in trying to do right by Robyn, but for now we want to just say that we will miss our sister, colleague, fellow activist and comrade dearly.
Robyn came to SWEAT in 2014 and from the start proved herself to be a formidable activist for sex workers, for mothers in the sex work industry and for the LGBTQI+ community.
She became a member of the inaugural LBQ group and actively recruited members understanding the importance of a safe and welcoming space.
Robyn was also a member of Mothers for the Future (M4F), a group that supports mothers who do sex work by providing a safe place to meet, organise, and access support.
She attended and participated in Creative Spaces every month/week and was actively involved in lobbying for the rights of sex workers.
We remember Robyn as a kind and loving person; outspoken and passionate about her own rights and those of others.
She lived her life in service to others and we will honour her memory by trying to do the same.
RIP Robyn Montsumi