Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Queer Africans of Faith (2 of 3)


My experiences of believers in Uganda made me into an unbeliever. It was from a sense of betrayal. At one time I had believed in all sincerity, in a loving, wonderful deity. I had believed in a family of believers in Christ, my big extended family, in the African style. Ubuntu; a community where we as individuals are self dependent and at the same time dependent on every other individual to confort and sustain us.

I found myself seriously disabused. I cried out, with Jesus like disdain, ‘Hypocrites’! to all these modern day Pharisees that walked the halls and shut the gates to the temples for gay Ugandans’ of faith.

I rejected it. Furiously, vigorously. I asserted that I wasnot a believer.  Saying something like that in Uganda is like confessing to being a demon, evil. Ugandans see no middle ground. But, since as a gay Ugandan I was already condemned in their eyes, why not go the whole way? Why stick to quarter measures?

As I rejected those who disdained and rejected me, I embraced the kuchu community. This was to be my adoptive family, my extended family, these disparate individuals and strangers who knew the person I was, and accepted me for myself, not the lies I was forced to tell in the larger society.

In the matters of faith and deities, the first check on my rejection was the facts that even in Uganda, with all the hyperbole and mudslinging against us, Kuchus were also believers. We are complete human beings that believe in deities and God, just like other Ugandans. We would attend church even when the sermons were about the evils and depravity of homosexuality. We were seeking counselling and relief and completeness in our spiritual lives. One friend, although not a very committed believer, was actually instrumental in my struggle and search to be complete, not only as queer human being, but also as a flesh, bone and spiritual person. That was Victor Mukasa, who in spite of the raving rows he had with Ssempa, managed to believe enough to shock me. Oh yeah, it is almost impossible to have a sane discussion with Ssempa……, but, hell, Victor and his debates! LOL
 Photo credit Pride Toronto 2009

Though I had determined not to believe, I did not think myself the man with the answers. I had nothing to replace in the aching empty space of others spiritual lives which I could savage with ruthless passion. I couldn’t replace other kuchus spiritual craving with my own anger, confusion and hurt.

But, there were beacons of hope.

Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, former Ugandan Anglican bishop was one.

Photo credit, Wikipedia

The Anglican church has been in schismatic mode with its English parent about homosexuality for a while. Ssenyonjo was the sole dissenting voice I heard on the continent. I came to meet him about the time of the anti-homosexuality bill. He is an elderly gentleman, a parent and grandparent. His testimony of personal understanding of the love that the church should teach, of the embrace and love for we kuchus, the pariahs of Ugandan society, was unique in my world view.

I must admit that at that time I was so incensed with the apparent hypocrisy of the Christian leaders in Uganda that the fact that there was a bishop, who in spite of not being gay, championed gay Ugandans made me react with inner suspicion and skepticism!
A gentle grandfatherly figure, he took a lead in counselling gay kuchus, any willing to come to his place on Ggaba road. He even started holding services for kuchus who wanted to, a revolutionary thing. He was, to put it simply, willing to risk his all, at a very vulnerable time for him, to minister to us, gay Ugandans.

The Pharisees of Uganda reacted to this apparent betrayal by one of the princes of the church with disdain. Being gay or known to be gay friendly in Uganda can be very rough. Dr Ssenyonjo suffered for it. He was branded gay himself…, this father and grandfather of eight. For, who but a homosexual would defend homosexuals, thought the embarrassed church hierarchy. 
'outed' in Red Pepper (thelocal toilet paper tabloid) and accused of being gay, allegedly by the Church of Uganda’s Archbishop Luke Orombi - any straight supporters of LGBT rights in Uganda are infact routinely 'outed' and accused of sodomy.”
Ssenyonjo was true to his ideals. An elderly grandfatherly figure, he risked all in his old age to make us welcome. His brethren, fellow churchleaders defrocked him.  In spite of 50 plus years of his previous service to the church, in a country where the depressed economy regularly pushed senior citizens into paupery, the Anglican church of Uganda denied him Ssenyonjo pension. Remember the ‘Rolling Stone’ exposure of gay Ugandans with the headline ‘Hang Them’?  Ssenyonjo’s was one of the faces on the front page. The other was of David Kato, who was soon murdered.

In spite of all that, Bishop Ssenyonjo welcomed us,ministered and fed those of us who were brave enough to admit to our spiritual wounds.  I wasn’t that brave.

When David Kato was murdered, the resident parish priest unleashed an anti-gay diatribe over his body ready for burial. Kuchus revolted, enough was enough. Bishop Ssenyonjo stepped into the gap, and prayed for our departed.

Further away, but on the continent, the irascible Desmond Tutu was also weighing in.

There are people who stand out brilliant fog lights in winter darkness that are charismatic to move nations and peoples. Desmond Tutu, 85 now and seriously ill at the moment, he is light on a hill that has consistently refused to be masked. A man, a human being. An African, a believer and a man of faith. South Africa has indeed been blessed by his life.

Photo credit Wikipedia. Tutu in 2013

Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Now, there is a man of men. An Elder in the revered African sense. Idealistic, and fully able to articulate the ideals of his faith and his God in a world when others are crying out loud for him to desist, to stop talking, because he is an ‘old man’ . No compromises for him, a true leading edge thinker. Not caught up in the ‘mood of the moment’, pursuing a path that is consistent with what he believes in, whatever the masses and everybody else does. Believing in non-violence when South Africa was a powder keg, in reconciliation when the majority of his people were crying out for revenge and vengeance after decades’ long historical injustices. A leader able to pull others to his side, with the charisma of his faith and unflinching ability to say it whether its deemed politically correct or not. His reasoned conscience, his faith in a great Deity, those are his guide. And, his star is seen over the continent. His is reasoned common sense and faith, confident and consistent, even when unpopular. And, he will not back down.

It was this giant of a man in a midget’s body that bent his gaze, reason and wisdom, and yes, his faith, to my own personal nightmare of a Kuchu’s spirituality. I love this quote of his-
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”
Tutu weighed in on the Anti-Homosexuality bill in Uganda. But, more than that, it was not a fly-by-night news of the day issue. He was consistent, persistent, and welcoming. South Africa is very far from Uganda, but I personally heard and responded to his charismatic portrayal of a deity, God, who was welcoming to me even when I am kuchu; a gay African. And at a time when my Ugandan leaders were saying we were un-African, traitors and western white ass lickers because we were gay, Tutu bent his considerable star power to our support. Of course Ugandan church leaders vilified him.
I was ecstatic. Here was an African, an Elder of Elders, in the true image of Mandela, standing up and championing me. Me, a kuchu, a gay Ugandan, and other Gay Ugandans and Gay Africans!!

That, indeed, was an orgasmic moment.
It was like, justification- the haters cannot be true!!! It was hope in a nightmare, flickering candle flame light inthe depth of moonless night.

The influence of these people helped me not go off the deep end, rejecting fellow kuchus who believed as traitors because of their acceptance of their spiritual lives, in spite of being gay Africans. They helped cool my anger, reflect on the greater need, not to reject my queer brothers and sisters because they dared to believe, but to embrace myself and themselves as complete human beings. They made me to understand that it is not us who need to change, but actually, it is the vaunted church and its elders which needs to change and welcome us. Our faiths are not in the wrong.

That in itself was a momentous flash bulb moment. That was when I realized the seething core of my anger needed tempering, or else it would hurt me, and fellow gay Africans I sought to champion. 

Because we are total, complete human beings. We have a spiritual side, which is wounded, and needs succor.

We don’t need to reject our spirituality. We can embrace it. We can live it.

And, we can do that with the help of others, true believers, children of God that understand the God of love that is preached in the scriptures.

Suprising turn around for me? True, and yet, there is more to come


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Queer Africans of Faith (1 of 3)

The church and I…!

It is a matter of fact that I used to have very negative views of religion and all faiths. I remember when I first became aware of it. We were in a kuchu meeting, led by Salongo Niklas Mawanda. At the beginning of the meeting, he asked us to stop and pray. Then he glanced at me… with the sort of look that was waiting for me to voice ardent opposition.
Photo credit Washington Blade; Damien Salas

I was so surprised, my protest was stillborn. But, that moment is still with me.

Ugandan society is deeply religious. Not faithful, or abidingly faithful, but religious. Each and every meeting starts with prayers. And, of course ends with the same, as a matter of course. I never knew that it could be different in other places…., I only knew my country.

I grew up in a ‘faith’ community. Most of my relatives are quite pious. My brother is a Pentecostal minister. Other siblings committed Christians. It is not only my family, it is the whole country. Even in politics. Museveni uses his wife’s deep faith to reach out to the powerful evangelical Christians while campaigning for his nth terms of office. It is no joke. He might not be as strongly a believer as he was before, but he cant dodge the politics of it.
In my teens, I was a deeply committed believer. Unfortunately for me, that is when puberty hit, and thus started my realization that I was different. I was attracted to men.

Thus began my nightmare, the trial to reconcile my faith and my sexuality. It is very fair to say that I was a very confused young person. Coupled with the ubiquitous religious norms of Ugandan society is the deeply anti-sex, ‘sex is evil’ mentality. Young people literally have little formal education about sex…

At around that time was the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The insistence that it was the judgement of God, that it is the evil ones who got HIV, that the solution was Abstinence, Being Faithful with Condoms as a last resort for those who could not be more righteous.

Accepting my sexuality was a very, very long process. It was dodged by self-deception, intense self-examination, social withdrawal, self-flagellation for being so evil.

Ultimately, I came to accept that my attraction to men (and very puzzling un-attraction to women) was something that was normal. I had done all that I could do to try and be a happy heterosexual. Thank the deities I had not taken that step of getting married to a woman. That would have been the ultimate betrayal of myself.
With my acceptance of the validity of my sexuality, I also came to realise the hugely hypocritical aspects of religion and faith in Uganda.

Ugandans are very religious, and at the same time hypocritical in their embrace of faith.

Its like there are two lived realities that are acceptable in the country. President Zuma of South Africa is unapologetically polygamous,with at least 5 wives, concubines and myriad children. President Museveni of Uganda has one wife, the first lady. Yet it is an open secret that he is reportedly quite promiscuous. (LOL, this could possibly have me arrested in Uganda) Museveni does have children out of wedlock, but officially, only the children of the acknowledged First Lady make up the first family.

The hypocrisy extends into quite a lot of life. Sometimes I wonder whether fellow Ugandans don’t even realize how pharisaical they are. Its an open joke that, though many profess to disdain our African gods, spirits and goddesses, they attend church on Sunday, and seek the blessings of the spirits on the other days of the week. I find the South African attitude of open worship of the ancestors deeply refreshing. In Uganda, those are family secrets never openly alluded too, even when a family has a shrine ‘esaabo’ at the back of the house.

But my real fall out with religion in Uganda came with theadvent of the Anti-Homosexuality bill 2009.

This was when I listened to Pastors, priests and Reverands openly and frankly talk about the killing of gay Ugandans, with a depth of hatred that belied the official ‘religions of love’.
I was confortable with Mufti Mubajje, leader of thecountry’s moslems, advocating for gay Ugandans to be exiled to an island on Lake Victoria, so we could die out there. I considered that the moslem religion as I knew it (though I didn’t have a personal knowledge) was quite severely homicidal to me and mine.

What I hadn’t realized was that, other religions, Christian based, with leaders that I paid homage too, even if perfunctorily, had similar, and worse hatred in their hearts.

Sunday after Sunday, we heard the demonization of gay Ugandans.Christmas services were devoted to the enthusiastic promotion of the homicidal bill. The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the myriad Pentecostal pastors were all united in their general condemnation and disgust of us, kuchus. The Cardinal of the Catholic church committed the stellar sin of actually advocating for harsher condemnation of us moral reprobates than his own church theology preached. On radio and television talk shows, malignant harmful frank lies and misleading words were openly, indiscriminately thrown out. If you doubt the real life consequences, ask Stephen Fry, who after a confrontation with Simon Lokodo found himself drivento suicide.

Photo Credit Corbis, Getty

I was in pain.

But, the worst offender, or the one that came to exemplify the depth of hatred and hypocrisy against gay Ugandans was (and still remains) Pastor Martin Ssempa.

An evangelical, of the American Right strain. He is reportedly a US citizen. For years he railed and spat vitriol against gay Ugandans. With the coming of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, he took up the call literally spitting and frothing with excitement. Country wide demonstrations for the bill, against gay Ugandans were led by him. 

He lobbied parliament to his utmost. Campaigned vigorously, uttering falsehoods, like that the original billhad no death penalty in it. (I was furious. Again and again on this blog, I pointed out that he was lying. I quoted chapter and verse of the bill…., because he was extremely believable, by many who didn’t have the bill in hand. )
Martin Ssempa, man of god, went to the extreme of searching on the internet for gay porn. He made a slide show of pertinent screen shots, and then went church to church, showing what he said we terrible homosexuals ‘do in bed, behind our closed doors’. That, incidentally earned him the monic Pastor ‘Eat da poo poo’ after his frothing slide shows and spitting on radiostations, tvs and in churches and rallies when he gained you tube fame/infamy. Just watch this brief video. Yeah, its factual.

I dare to say that, as a gay Ugandan and gay African, I had more than enough provocation to take a hard look at my professed faith and reject it irrevocably…, indeed pendulum like to the opposite corner and ardently condemn faith and faiths and their proponents.

Yet, as was my flash bulb moment when I noticed Niklas Mawanda’s unspoken appeal to me, I realized that gay Ugandans, and gay Africans are also a product of our culture. We are also deeply spiritual beings who needed affirmation of our spirituality in spite of the nightmare of hate coming from the churches speaking about us and those like us.

My journey to a neutral position to balance these perceptions follows next.


Mistral Bar in the Essos neighborhood, Yaonde, Cameroon

These are our stories, stories of official oppression and persecution, with the happy blessing of the ‘authorities’. Stories which usually didn’t get out…,

Or, they would be published in the likes of the ‘red pepper’ in Uganda, tabloid journalism geared towards hyena like savagery of the victims of assault.

The 09th Oct 2016. Sunday evening, very early Monday morning. You are a gay Cameroonian. And you want to go meet the lads. Just sneak off to a place where you can take a beer, look at lovers, former, current and future, flirt, laugh, in relative safety, in a country in which it is criminal to have gay sex.

You are gay. And, you think, today, at least I might meet someone. Maybe the love of my life- so we go have our closeted heaven on earth. Or it is just that, for a few hours in the long week, you want to be somewhere where it will not matter that you are gay, no one will condemn you, and you will complement and be complemented. Laugh and be laughed at, by people who are like you, and not condemning you. Somewhere you think will be safe.

So, you head across town to Mistral bar in Yaonde, capital of the central African country of Cameroon.

Photo credit

But the police have long laid a trap. And, today, they are waiting for you to stumble into it.

3 am. Time you went back home, right across the city? The new boy you just met has at last agreed to follow you home, reluctantly. He is beautiful, and you have promised each other more than just the few stolen kisses, maybe.

Or, it just might be time to slip back into your closeted 'normal' world...., sigh.., until the next week.

Police at the front entrance. (Quick!! Back exit? Sorry. Sealed.) So, you are all under arrest. The Commando operation is done, netted. Homosexuals.

What is our crime? Assumed to be gay in a country where that is stigmatized. Is unnecessary to be caught in the act, even kissing. Just assumed to be gay. However agonisedly you protest your innocence 

In your future, imprisonment, ghastly exposure. Lost job, pariah in the community, landlord chasing you away...., you are evil. Presumed homosexual, and guilty from now henceforth. Oh, pray deities the family doesnt get to hear of it.....
Police patrols were stationed at every corner of the cabaret— in front, beside, inside, behind.
As if it were a commando operation, armed police searched inside the bar for people hiding there. Some bar-goers tried to escape out the back, but another police truck was parked there.
At the time of this writing, it’s unclear how many people were arrested and where they were taken — reportedly some to the 4th district station, some to the 14th, some to the 16th. Also unclear is whether charges will be filed against those who were arrested, such as for violations of loitering laws, and whether the raid was an anti-gay operation or merely an attempt to impose order on a rowdy part of the city’s nightlife
And, you end up not going to work on Monday morning, but heart stopping nightmare, arrested at a reputed gay bar!!!! And, that nightmare is just beginning.

Photo AfricaPresse

These are the lived realities of many gay Africans. Gay Cameroonians have tended to take these risks of life for granted. But, at least there is an article in Pinknews UK.

And, there are gay Cameroonians able to document and get the word out… Thanks to some brave, anonymous activists

And their wonderful partners from


Monday, October 10, 2016

Five year hiatus!

Indeed it has been quite a while. Much has happened in between, making me break off, and also enabling me to come back to blog.

One of the most important reasons I found myself blogging was sheer angst and anger those days five years ago. The anti-homosexuality bill was in parliament. Various people, leaders in the country, were going around lauding the prescience of Ugandans in having this first of all legislations, advocating for the death, for life imprisonment for other Ugandans, gay Ugandans such as me, for the simple crime of loving differently.

I was angry, I was afraid, I was in despair.

It was that anger that I translated into midnight rants, chasing down the latest story, trying to refute the latest lie from Pastor Martin Ssempa ‘eat da poo poo’. And off course on the ground the climate of fear was a reality that we had to live in day to day reality. My closet walls eroded…, and I found myself increasingly recognized as gay by people generally around me.

All this took a toll on myself.

The wounds were deep.

I got the chance to relocate to another country on the continent, which, though not a nivarna, seemed like Gay Heaven in Africa. It still is. And the struggle morphed into something different, something that I had not expected.

I must comment that I was unhinged for a while. A kind of dislocation. Finding it hard to adjust to the new reality. Like I had been pushing hard and long for such a while that I failed to understand when there seemingly was no wall to bash my head against.

It has been a very long journey, and I found myself at one time thinking I would not have the fire again, the commitment and passion to get out there and affirm that we are gay, and African. And that there is lots to do.

But first has been the healing that I never knew I needed, from wounds of warping that I never thought I had. That self-immolating fire, all consuming, had literally burnt me out. The length of the hiatus is statement to the depth of distortion I had suffered, that had to start to be repaired, reborn.

Secondly, more exposed to the wider world, and the various ways that the struggle to gay self-actualization has taken place, I have had to grow a stronger base. To understand gay pride, queer pride, beyond the restricting environment of suffocating Uganda. To remember that the struggle is neither new, nor over.

That has led me into a broader, and I believe more self-sustaining understanding of advocacy for minorities. We will always be minorities on the continent. Gay Africans. There is no way that this struggle for emancipation is going to be over soon. That point of view is ignorant of the history of stigmatized minorities.

With better access to knowledge and information, I have also been deeply appreciative of the other minority struggles that have been and are still continuing in other places. The knowledge and understanding that struggle is never over, that even when we are living in our bubbles of serenity, there are always majorities which though politely politically correct, in their hearts and minds would roll back the advances we think so crucial to our happiness.

The struggle continues. The poignancy of the continuance of minority rights activism as shown by the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the US is instructive. Indeed, emancipation of slavery was a couple of centuries ago. Jim Crow laws, segregation, and the Civil rights movement are acknowledged parts of the American story. Indeed, for the last 8 years, a black man has been president of America.

Yet, as Colin Kaepernich states, “Black men are killed and killers get paid leave off”. The supposedly post racial America is a politically correct farce with the schisms of yester years boiling underneath that artificial skin.

True, the US is not Africa and human rights campaigns don’t translate readily to obvious comparison. Ours is the continent still arresting, stigmatizing, killing and disrespecting her queer children. Incidents like this arrest of GayCameroonians, simply because they were in a bar that is thought to be gay are our day to day lived reality on most of the continent.


The struggle continues, and, in the little way that I am able to, older, wiser, still as flawed and crippled and never perfect…, I will try to do my best to work towards our emancipation as gay, queer in Africa, our mother continent.


Belated Happy Independence, Uganda

Independence day in Uganda.

I had almost forgotten. Remembered quite late in the day

No. I shouldn’t forget. I am Ugandan. And, in spite of the efforts by majority Ugandans to alienate such as I, kuchus, gay Ugandans, I am still a Ugandan.  I am proud of being a Ugandan. An African. And, for those who throw it back at me that I cannot be African because I am gay, well, I thumb my big black nose and smack my thick black African lips…. I am gay. African. Ugandan.

Maybe I should borrow from the Kaerpenick protests in the US. Take a knee, or raise a black fist during the anthem. Precedence has been established. We, minorities, demonstrating effectively, and in your face, our perception that though we are part of the whole, we have grievances that are not acknowledged by the majority, our brothers and sisters.

So, in preparation for these, our 50 plus anniversary of independence from the colonial powers, first there was a ‘prayer breakfast’. Attended by most of the politicians, members of parliament, and the President of course.

Religion plays a huge part in the lives of my country mates. The fashion these days is Christianity, of the fundamentalist (American) Christian brand…, thus ‘prayer breakfasts’, modeled on those held in the US Congress. The Prez, canny politician that he is, bends to that prevailing wind. The First Lady is known to be a strong mover in that direction.

And, of course, the Prez saw fit to appoint a Minister of ‘Ethics and Integrity’. Basically toothless, in the political sense, but catering to a very powerful lobby, however ineffectually. He is the man mandated with keeping us Ugandan homosexuals under control, to prevent the spread of homosexuality in the country….., and of course make sure that our morals are not corrupted by sinful pornography, and of course mandates minimal length to the skirts womenin Uganda can wear!!!

First holder of the ministry was Nsaba-Buturo…, I blogged about that gentleman for quite a while. I didn’t like him at all. Well, I am gay, and am Ugandan, and since he felt it his crusade to persecute such as me in the country, I really was not okay with him.

Next in line, when Buturo somehow fell out with the president, is the current minister, Lokodo. Former catholic priest, defrocked for joining politics, but apparently still celibate (why do celibate people feel the need to decide how we have sex???!!!)

Lokodo, given his ministry, is the Minister for Laughs. The cabinet is 75 persons strong, burden on the tax payer of course…, but necessary, in the view of the appointing authority. Minister of ironies…, aformer priest, defrocked because he joined politics,  but doing his level best to push moral values and writing them into legislation. There was the so called ‘mini-skirt law’.., enacted. Ladies in Uganda can offend if there skirts are not long enough. Paradoxically, Honorable Lokodo is of the Karimojong ethnic group- bless them, a people that are known to have little use for clothes as would be defined by the blessed Minister. I am gay, and shamelessly love the transcendent beauty of the naked African male. Indeed I am attracted, body and soul, to the beautiful African male especially when on open, uninhibited display as occurs in Karamoja.

The nga’Karamojong  live in the north eastern part of the country. Traditionally cattle keepers, nomadic, in a dry, semi arid region that borders that of the Turkana in North western Kenya. Men openly and very proudly strut around in their birthday suits; tall and lean cattle keepers, an AK-47 on one shoulder, maybe a dried mud coated jacket or a threadbare blanket or shuka when they are out in the field.

  Gay African heaven! They are really beautiful. Really beautiful. Lithe muscles gliding under ebony dark skin, bold eyes, that see naught of my instinctive worship and weighing of the naked family jewels that don’t even have a loin cloth to hide behind.

The dangling bits are respectable and always work me up into a lather of lust…, especially when I notice the complete, utter lack of awareness of the effect that they have on me. 

When they squat……, sigh….! I can almost faint..!

Digression. Digression.

I am gay. I don’t notice the women so much, but, they also move around naked. It is normal. It is charming. It is who they are. And it is us ‘southerners’  with our damned shame of our bodies that want them to cover themselves.

Anyway, Minister Lokodo, well read as he is, deems that kind of unashamed glory and show of people’s brilliant, beautiful assets, male and female, to be ‘pornographic’.


What am I trying to say? That morality is pretty fluid. We cant use imported 'christian' values..., okay, we can import them, and then persecute our own people because they dont conform to our distorted senses of morality. Of course, it is Lokodo, well read and 'westernised' as he is, who would find the beautiful pics of African men in all their glory to be offensive. I find them authentic. I would change naught of these people's culture...., indeed, I would love to have all this eye candy on display every day of my life....!!! (Sigh, hopefully, they would not be too offended if my loins decided to express my appreciation!!)

And of course, there is the issue of his consistent pursuit of Kuchus, gay Ugandans.

In the Independence prayer breakfast, Museveni had somepointed advice to Lukodo, here seen with hand raised in prayer.

…. Stop trying to coerce morals. Try to entice and convince, rather than use the stick and prison to force us to conform to ‘your’ morals…!

“I have heard that Fr. Simon Lokodo has declared war on immoral elements but for me I have advised him not to use harsh means on these people. I have advised him to just persuade them because then you stand a chance to actually change them”
Think he will listen to the boss?

No, I bet he wont…!

Happy Birthday, Dear Uganda.

Hope the 52nd Independence day celebrations have been great.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Right To HATE Speech

The Right to HATE Speech.

The right to speech is important. We are human and varied. 

And, I am a gay African. On the continent, there are quite a number of countries and places where being gay is not something you can talk about openly. In my lovely Uganda, speaking positively about sexuality other than heterosexuality is thought to be ‘promotion of homosexuality’, and the deities help you if you dare do that in the country.

But, there is speech, and there is Hate speech. I don’t even want to term it ‘free’ speech. Because it is speech that is supposedly ‘innocent’ but is used to harm and bind and leads to acts of hatred.
Remember the Interahamwe in Rwanda in the early 1990s? The majority Hutu population incited and encouraged to go out and ‘kill the cockroaches’. And, they did. More than a million people perishing, killed by their own neighbours in a sanctioned mass madness.

Steven Anderson.

Of Arizona in the US…, land of ‘unfettered speech.

His speech qualifies as hate speech. And, in his country, with its checks and balances, he can and does air it. When one, in the name of religion, lauds the massacre of more than 50 of his country-mates (Orlando nightclub) …., well, what defines the difference between love and hate?
But, like quiet a lot of others like him, in the name of religion, and of freedom of speech, he seeks to spread his ideas to other countries.

Britain said no. Not even to transit there.

Africa has been a very healthy ground for American evangelists. And Mr Anderson was due a tour, to South Africa. They also said no, thanks.  Why? Because, in spite of the right to freedom of speech and of religion, there are problems when you incite to kill in the name of those freedoms.
I should know. The Ugandan ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ bill/Act was crafted after such an evangelical outreach by one Scott Lively.

Mr Anderson entered Botswana, and, he did get onto a radio station…., and taught how his scriptures preached death to homosexuals.

A few years ago, these events would have been impossible to imagine. I mean, when Scott Lively came to Uganda for his ‘Anti-Homosexuality Crusade’, he had conferences in Kampala, addressed members of parliament. And, he was heard and honoured.

I salute the South African Government Minister Malusi Gigaba and the South African Human Rights activists. Because they flagged the visit, and the Minister acted.

I salute President Ian Khama of Botswana, who, on hearing Anderson calling for the killing of Gay Batswana quickly bundled him out.

Gay rights in Africa have indeed come a long way. We still have a very long way to go.

But when our brothers and sisters in authority dare to hold our best at heart instead of those who preach hate’s right to preach….,
then, and only then, is there true movement towards Gay Liberty in Africa.

Am pretty sure Anderson would be welcomed in Uganda with a red carpet and would be invited to parliament and to see the Ugandan president.

And, because of that striking contrast, I salute South Africa and Botswana.


Friday, July 15, 2011

In the Name of God, or Gods, whatever

Have you been following the case of Pastor Dr Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa?


Well, he is court. Over the allegations that he and others paid and promised some money to people to make allegations that another Pastor (Kayanja, Brother to the Archbishop of York).

It is a messy case. Apparently, the First Lady is involved...., and many monies were promised to the boys. Of course, you do remember dear Georgina, Ex-ex-gay asserting that she went to Parliament to ask that the bill is passed because of the inducement of money, and fear that a fate like the Late David Kato would befall her...

OK, of the newer allegations....Here, from the state owned 'New Vision'

A prosecution witness on Wednesday told court that he betrayed Pastor Robert Kayanja by alleging that he had sodomised him, after one of Kayanja's accusers promised him a lucrative music deal. 
Ivan Akansiima, 24, told Buganda Road Court Grade One Magistrate Patrick Wekesa that local musician David Mukalazi made him the offer. 
Akansiima narrated that he made the accusations in a recorded statement at the criminal investigations department on April 6, 2009. 
He said he retracted it the following day at the Kampala Central Police Station after a talk with one of his mentors, Pastor Martin Wampamba. 
"He (Mukalazi) said the deal would yield a lot of money for us. He said I would reap a lot and that some people were ready to finance the music project if I made the accusations," Akansiima said. 
Mukalazi and his five other co-accused, including four pastors, were appearing to answer charges of tarnishing Kayanja's reputation by alleging that he sodomised boys at his Rubaga Miracle Centre. Others accused are pastors Solomon Male of Arising for Christ Ministries, Martin Sempa of Makerere Community Church, plus Michael Kyazze and Robert Kayiira of Omega Healing Centre. Also accused is State House employee Dorothy Kyomuhendo. 
Prosecution, led by Stephen Asaba, alleges that in 2008 at various places within Kampala district, the accused "conspired to cause injury to the personality and reputation" of Pastor Kayanja alleging that he was engaged in homosexuality. Akansiima, who is prosecution witness number 16, narrated that Mukalazi coached him on what to state in his first statement recorded on April 6, 2009. 
He said Mukalazi visited him at his home in Rubaga, and convinced him to state that he was one of Kayanja's victims. 

Its amazing, how far the 'Men of God' went to tarnish the name of another man of god.