I am gay. A gay African man. Living and working in
Yet however much I rant and rave at the lot of me and mine, there are somethings that still bother my mind worse. That are worse abuses of justice, though some would have me dead because I am gay.
I am proud. Proud to be a man, an African man.
That pride was instilled in me as I grew, when I learnt that a ‘girl’ should not do a thing better than me. When my failure at a ‘manly’ task was compared to a woman's effort. I was always told that I am not a woman. That being a woman, or being likened to a girl was the worst thing that could happen to me.
I was lucky. My father believed that the girls should also study. So they studied, and are doing well. Yet I still see the servitude and slavery that the African woman suffers.
Statistics are horrible. 70% of Ugandan women have suffered domestic violence in the previous 12 months! Some to death are battered. Something too horrible to think about. Yet society, custom, church and mosque, and many other things, bind the woman to a hell on earth.
My mother, brave woman, she broke out of it. My mother-in-law still struggles.
My heart bleeds for the women of
I can never be an African woman:
the job’s too hard,
requirements too stringent.
Wake ’n early morning,
maybe marital duties or not-
escape the bed;
children prepare for school to go,
before breakfast and cleaning
for master o' house.
Baby cries, breast in need;
then onto the back while,
I scrubs and cleans and polish and dusts.
Maybe breakfast for me, family long flown,
before the hoe I take for hours’ long stint
baby on back, riding this horse.
Back for lunch; the prep that is-
afore younger children from school return.
Lunch done, tea to come,
and washing and brushing and sitting babies.
Dinner’s major meal, early prep to do
afore master returns, tired long day.
His shoes removes I, on my knees I greet-
a beer he sips, with none for me.
Dinner’s done, children to bed-
marital duties undone, but not before I sleep.
Sometimes, at times, often, works too heavy;
Master, my man the fists he uses-
pummel bag I play, with kicks extra.
Mothers! Women of
How you toil and break!
Beasts of burden taught,
Camels, donkeys; slavers too.
Your work’s too hard!
Never would I an African woman be;
The works too hard- I am too weak,
I's an African man proud, your biggest burden;
too weak ‘n fragile to carry your toil.
©GayUganda 28 Oct. 07
True, the poem is not too good. But it says something there. A good day.