Why is Africa so Homophobic?

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For about a week or two I have been at loggerheads with myself about why I have not been writing and updating my blog and some of the things that came to mind was why on earth I started the blog itself in the first place when I cannot even make a coherent relevant interesting post, not even once! A while back I could write a post a day. Now I find it hard. Not that there isn’t anything to write about but just the mere fact that the time to do so is not enough and maybe even the zeal to do so. And its not like I cannot write, its not like I don’t have the ideas…you know what? You get the drift. Now back to my question.

Why is Africa and africans so homophobic? What is our problem? Is it that we do not understand what homophobia is? Is it that we do not understand what homosexuality is? Are we really that myopic or are we deliberately ignorant? What ails us? Mind you, I will not go about putting links and definitions here about what I have read, what I have seen and all the posts I have been looking at. I will just ramble on at this because It has been poking at me for a while. But then again. I believe it is important I do so where I can.

Recently, Malawi sentenced a “gay” couple to 14 years in jail. Why do I say “gay”? Because if you read carefully the correct stories and the judgement itself, you will realise that Tiwonge is indeed transgender and not gay. Thus, she identifies as a woman! Fine, the point here isn’t her trans identity, rather it is the fact that they were jailed for loving one another. If my memory serves me right, (I am being lazy) they were charged with “acts of gross indecency”. My question is, if that was indeed gross indecency, shouldnt it have been the big crowd invited to the engagement ceremony that would have gone to court and complain about being shown yuky stuff in public? If it was indeed indecent, then who are the ones who felt disgusted? How come they had so many guests? In the end, it was a sad and wrong move that the Malawian courts made and surely that sentence will haunt them for days to come. What is my view on this?

Love is an interesting thing we have. It is an emotion as well as a virtue. These people were not accorded love by anyone. I wonder how Jesus feels like at that moment. These are two people who love each other. They were jailed using an archaic law that goes against the most basic human rights principles that even the Malawian constitution claims to uphold. Therefore, if the constitution says they have been accorded rights and they have now been jailed, aren’t we treating them as less human? It is very sad.

Neighboring Uganda has been considering a piece of legislation that will ensure that I cannot write about homosexuals in Uganda and if I am found I will be jailed for 7 years. My HIV positive gay Ugandan friend cannot be seen in public with me because if for any reason I want to wipe a spec of dust from his cheek then I am jailed for life and he is executed since he is positive and gay! Talk about retroactive steps! My! When I saw the bill, I couldn’t believe my eyes! And then I watched this youtube video and it further opened my eyes. It is a dangerous piece of legislation that will end up hurting the whole of Uganda rather than the targeted group. My view?

With all honesty, how does two people enjoying each others company affect me? Lies have been spread that if we allow homosexual people in the world we will all die. Seriously? As in do you hear that statement? We will all die? Jeez! Its not even possible statistically!

Last but not least, the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya on May 17th celebrated IDAHO as I stated here. This week, I heard rumours that the Inter Religious Forum was suing the National Museums of Kenya for hosting the event in what they called “allowing the commission of acts of gross indecency in a public space”. So I beg to question. Here was a genuine celebration by two genuine and legal NGOs with guests coming from all sectors of the society; rich, gay, poor, lesbian, high society, straight, yuppies, bisexual…i mean, the guests were diverse and vast. The media was even there, the international representatives were there. I mean, can I even start thinking about the sillyness of that statement? Aren’t gays, lesbians, transgender and intersex people PEOPLE? Aren’t they taxpayers? And since when was it a crime to congregate? I am at a loss of words!

I never wanted to do a lengthy post but all these things triggered my somewhat angry mood this week and I just had to vent it all out.

Some day, we will be able to understand the human rights concept. Someday.

Somehow. But, is it this>>

6 Responses to “Why is Africa so Homophobic?”

  1. kw Says:

    First, I sincerely love this article.
    I also followed the Malawi couple and asked myself the same questions as you. First, I wonder why we, as mere human beings judge any person due to their sexual orientation.Jjust as we have christians, hindus, buddhists and the like, so do we have lesbians, gays, transgenders and the like.
    Each person follows his/her own religious book, As a christian, I follow the Bible, thats me and my faith, any other person should follow what they deem fit and I have no right to say what is right or wrong just because ana person doesnt believe in what I do. Why should I think I have an assured heaven gate pass just because am a christian?
    If the bible says all gays will burn in hell, that isnt my case to judge coz thats not what everyone believes in. Why would a man be so homophobic as to rape, or kill a woman because she choose not love him as a man? Its so depressing.
    Africa has a long way to go, but sure it will get there.

  2. Judith Mcgovern Says:

    If only I had a buck for every time I came to joliea.wordpress.com! Incredible article.

  3. wyndago Says:

    I personally don’t approve of gayism, but I do not as well approve of adultery, sex before marriage, use of foul language (ironically, i’m guilty of some of these things) etc. We don’t see these other groups of people being jailed. So in the end we are all guilty of indecency, both in private or in public at one time or another, but we don’t get sent to prison. To me, all people who accuse gay people of indecency are hypocrites! If they spoke from behind the bars, I’d listen to them. Its the same like in the Bible when Jesus saved that whore from being stoned to death because she had committed adultery. So indeed they are they may be right that gayism is indecent, but who are they to say?

    • Joliea Says:

      Thanks Wyndago for this.

      I always tell my friends, family and colleagues that the real issue here is not about what they are doing. They can do whatever the hell they want to do, sin or not. But the issue here is about their FREEDOM to do it. That’s what is being infringed on and hence why the need for decriminalization of homosexuality in African countries.

  4. Gay Nairobi Man Says:

    Had not seen this before. Great article and of such relevance! Thank you

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