Faculty mourns death of alumnus Kirvan Fortuin

18 Jun 2020
18 Jun 2020

We were horrified to learn of the murder of one of our own, Kirvan Fortuin, who was killed, allegedly during an argument, on Friday, 12 June 2012.

Kirvan Fortuin was a celebrated dancer and choreographer, and was an alumnus of the Centre for Dance, Theatre and Performance Studies (CTDPS). He had earned a Dance Teacher’s Diploma in 2012 and a BMus (Hons) from UCT, and a Bachelor of Dance from the Codarts University for the Arts in Amsterdam.

The 28-year-old was a prominent LGBTiQ+ activist, and tributes poured in from many quarters, testifying to the great impact Kirvan had on many lives.

Kirvan was an outstanding student and practitioner. He founded the Kirvan Fortuin Foundation and the Fortuin Dance Theatre, providing employment opportunities for choreographers and dancers, and received many awards both nationally and internationally.

The CTDPS expressed its outrage and grief at Kirvan’s death in a statement: “We join many others in the arts and especially the LGBTiQ+ community of Cape Town who are outraged by this tragedy. We do not tolerate gender-based violence and hate crimes, which seem to be spreading like another plague in our country. We call on all to take courage as Kirvan did to say #NotoAllformsofPrejudice,  #EndtoGBV and #FreedomtoLove.”

Artscape CEO Marlene le Roux wrote on her Facebook page: “Kirvan, beautiful son of Macassar, you left us too soon. We lost a talented artist, a voice of vigour. Against all odds you challenged stereotypes in South Africa, also as an advocate of gay rights. You defied all odds, son of Macassar and became a world-renowned dancer and choreographer. My beautiful son you left to soon.

“Kirvan was from Macassar and against all odds he has chosen to follow his dreams, working actively to enhance the lives of young people in Macassar,” Le Roux added.

“He was also an activist against homophobia. He will be deeply missed by me and the staff at Artscape. His passing is a true loss for the creative industry in South Africa.

“Kirvan was a true testament to how hard work and talent could open many paths to success. He was a rising star in South Africa, who had a promising road ahead of him. Sadly, we have been robbed of the opportunity to celebrate his future successes but we honour the amazing life of this young man.”

Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais said the province had “lost a true inspiration in Kirvan but we will continue to celebrate his legacy for many years to come”.

Last year, Kirvan had received a ministerial award from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

The Faculty of Humanities is deeply saddened by Kirvan’s shocking and untimely passing. We extend our sincerest condolences to Kirvan’s family, loved ones and colleagues.