Monday, February 20, 2017

Being a Leader

For some reason, this morning, when I opened my twitter feed, I shied away from it.

Yeah, there are days like that. I like twitter, because it feeds news of home, friends and far in an instant..., only 140 characters, and I can ignore that which I need ignore, and embrace or read more that which I dont. Of course, I need become an expert on judging fake news..... Sigh. Are there really gangs of immigrants running amok in the streets of Paris? Apparently the mainstream media is ignoring that juicy tidbit.

Today it was a sick feed. I think what bothered me most was reports of MPs of Uganda budgeting for a helicopter for the Speaker of parliament. Of course, when it comes to the famine in the north of the country, and starving citizens, those are conveniently not on the budget. The same MPs have increased their salaries, given themselves huge bonuses, and cars at the tax payers expense, and have a problem with taxes on their earnings.....

Sigh. In a country of the poor, making sure that only the rich get into the parliament or whoever becomes an MP automatically becomes a billionaire......

anyway, that is life. And it aint fun.

Ugandans who were not MPs were having fun on twitter. The kind of sick jokes that attend such public madness. How can leaders justify that kind of thing? Sincerely?!!!

I mean, the dear Minister of Education, the First Lady of the Republic of Uganda was in parliament last week, saying there was no funding for school going girls to get sanitary pads. But, there are billions budgeted for the Speakers Helicopter..., after the amounts so far spent on the speaker.
Government has backtracked on its earlier pledge to provide sanitary pads to school going girls so that they do no run out of school when their menstrual periods start.

Sigh. And the speaker of the republic at this particular moment is a woman.

Anyway, beware of having rich people making all the decisions....., lesson for Ugandans...., and for as far away as the US.....!!!

But, there was this beautiful letter from Wentworth Miller that he presented I believe last year.
He was talking about his life, how he tried to commit suicide when he was 15. The attempt failed. He told no one, was back to school after the weekend.

And what had brought such to this incredible man, the character from Prison Break series?

He was a mixed race child, and gay. Bullied at school. And he was in survival mode.

Here is the video.




And, listening to him, as he comes out hesistantly to speak of the pain that his life has been, and the knowledge that he has been able to beat it and be who he is.....

Thanks, Wentworth Miller, for being a very human, human being.

You give us some faith in the human race.

gug

Friday, February 17, 2017

To A Moral Uganda?

That sounds like the most innocent, most wonderful, 'godly', heavenly idea...., in a country of 'god' fearing people like Ugandans.

Problem is...., when the details are down to whose moral ideals...., it becomes an insurmountable challenge.

In Uganda, almost all meetings, including in Parliament, start with a prayer.
No, the constitution of the Republic of Uganda states, and I quote
Chapter Two : 7
"7. Non-adoption of a State religion. 
Uganda shall not adopt a State religion."
But that is what it says, and what happens....., and of course, since 85% of Ugandans are Christian...., or call themselves so, then  the prayers are always to god as the Christians think the deity to be.... Though is supposed to be same god with our Moslem siblings ....., oooohhhhhh! 

Yeah..., am betraying my faith. Don't you dare. Make conclusions..., that is.

Anyway, besides engaging a Ugandan on abortion ...., shit...!!! I saw this headline.
MPs to form a forum on ethics due to the increased moral decay
The parliamentarians in question are Ugandans. Led by the Right Honourable Nsaba Buturo, former, and first Minister of Ethics and Integrity...., and right now in retirement.

But matters of morality dont rest. And Nsaba-Buturo is a mighty warrior on the morality front.
He was the Minister when the Anti-Homosexuality bill saw light in the Ugandan parliament. He was strongly supportive. Moved all that he could. Sadly...., sadly..., it delayed and was broken...

This dude wanted us dead and in prison for life just because we were homosexuals who loved others who are gay.

So, whose morality do you think Nsaba-Buturo would be enforcing?

Morality is a funny thing. Because I am a Ugandan, Nsaba-Buturo would assume, that as a matter of course, I would have the same 'morality compass' as he does.

But that is sheer impossibility.

We are all different. And, for a nation of near 34 Million people, it is impossible for us to agree on as many things as those which constitute a moral compass. After all, just a few years ago, Nsaba-Buturo thought it within his moral compass to mandate the death penalty to Ugandans such as me who dared to love other Ugandans of the same sex.

At that time, I was in my first long time relationship. I remember once, after a wonderful bout of love making that I thought, incredulously, that that is what my fellow UGandans felt was worth killing over? Simply because I made love to a guy that loved me and I loved them, and we lay together in each others arms in post orgasmic satiation......

I guess I was never so utterly convinced of my...., NEED...., to get up, and get out there, and affirm that I was a normal, adult, responsible human being, and that those who felt that it was within their moral compass to condemn me for who and what I was and what I did....., I would fight them.

And, that has been driving me for a long time.

And, I remember it. Even now.

So,

Buturo seeks to do something about Uganda's deterioreting morality. I would support him....., if I thought within that rhetoric hid a love for the country. But, there isnt.

There is a desire for him to enforce his morality onto the country...., and against me..., and against those who like me think differently from him.

Not against those who are raping the country.

Not against those who, in corruption, are crippling the country.

But, against people like me, Ugandans who are gay, queer, and different. Minorities who are naked and defenceless against his ability to marshall the state resources to get us into prison and onto death row for the simple problem of disagreeing or not seeing the same way as his moral compass....., the sin of loving one who is similar to me, a gay human being.

No. 

I would hold onto the spirit and facts of our constitutituion.

And fight to make existing laws against corruption, governance and human rights work as should be.

Because 'morality' in the view of a Nsaba-Buturo is very different from 'human rights' as agreed upon by most of the countries of the world.

And, any day, I would take human rights over 'morality.'


gug

Thursday, February 16, 2017

BBC Witness; A Valentine's Day Special....

Hey,

see, the news comes out and is on the net, and one trawls and nets it.

This is a stand alone...., to all Queer Africans. A Valentines Day Special

Just click on the link and listen to the program...., it is edifying...

Yeah, it is hosted on the BBC website, a radio link, but it should play well anywhere. 9 minutes.

And, you know what, gay love, queer love is special, because of how ordinary people walk thru fire to enjoy it.


gug

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Irresponsible Reporting

We all learn lots from media. And, in most of Africa, it means newspapers.....
And that means depending on reporters.

Not sure how much we depend on these sources? Remember #FakeNews and the effect on the 2016 US elections? We have many analogue equivalents...., except that much of the fake news is main line.......

Imagine this irresponsible headline. 
An old article, Dec 2016. But, it serves well to illustrate the point.

Of course the expert could have been talking about something totally different, like HIV is spread by sex..., and for parents to acknowledge that children can have sex with one another...., consensual sex (hell, 'children' is defined by under 18, which would mean most of us actually first had sex as children! Fact. Not to underplay the very real occurrence of child sexual abuse.)

Yep, I dare to say, that, as teens, when our sexual hormones first flood our bloodstreams, we begin to have very normal sexual thoughts, and act out our dreams....., of sex and sexuality.

That may label me a pervert (especially in Uganda..., with our hypocritical attitude to sex and sexuality). But it is a truth that I had to verify till I understood its normality.

But, back to the story. It was supposedly a press briefing from the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe on the 'hotspots'
NAC provincial Aids coordinator Mrs Sinatra Nyathi said all boys’ schools were a hotspot as the environment made it easy for boys to engage in risky behaviour. She said same sex relationships in boys’ schools could be fuelling HIV.

Not very nice at all. And the big 'h' word has been dropped. That serves to blind to everything else. One of those words which cause our brains to switch off into stereotypes.... Use it responsibly...., or not.
 We have reports of boys who abuse drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviour during Vuzu parties and we cannot rule out the issue of same sex relationships which is slowlycreeping into our schools,” said Mrs Nyathi.

Hmmmm, more and more red meat to those who are triggered bloody by it....
“Unfortunately due to policy, we do not have evidence neither can we conduct studies related to such as we know that our society does not readily accept the existence of same sex relationships. The same situation is likely to be obtaining at girls only schools though these arenot part of our hotspots.”

Uh....., So, all this...., from no evidence? Only rumors????!!!

Of course am the first to concede that in schools, horny teenagers will do all they can to experience the pleasure of sex. Of course it happens. And no amount of denial will take it away. But, taking a nice big brush to casually flick it on this wall is not the way to go around informing a homophobic public of the possibility of gay sex in schools...., and of course in the same breath string along HIV. People, stigma is a surprisingly cruel, living entity..., malignant beyond belief! HIV stigma, homophobia, they are real!

And. Why is their no evidence? 

The problem of conservative Africa. Children are below 18. Sex is for adults. So, children below 18 need not know about sex. Simple logic...., stupid. You dont believe it? Well, in Uganda..., here is a recent article in the government daily reiterating 'Abstinence only' as the policy for education in Ugandan schools. And, remember that just last year, 18,000 kids were thrown out of school, because they were being taught something about human sexuality....! Better for them to stay illiterate..., than to be taught anything about how our wonderful body function with regards to sex.
“You will notice that besides all boys’ schools, we have a growing trend of teenage sex workers in our suburbs. These sex workers, who include boys, then fail to access health care and important HIV preventioninterventions because of their age. For example we are now rolling out Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in some districts but those teenagesex workers cannot access it or get tested because of their age,” she said.
More red meat. Of course, in a conservative society, blame HIV on homosexuals and sex workers.

Of course.

And, worst of all, the paper puts a pic of two guys on the article. At least online. Are they gay? Or just models? Have they given consent to have their images associated with such an article? We are not informed of any of this....., all that we see is the headline, the ill constructed story, the innuendos and a devastating picture painting the two as guilty without any word to that effect.

Pity the guys...., and anyone that might resemble them, in Zimbabwe.

And in case you think am exaggerating, here is the story of a man who was beaten to death in Nigeria, because he was mistaken for his brother who had been chased from the parents home because he was suspected to be gay. And, the ones who did the chasing and the beating, a group of youths. Vigilantes to keep the village clean of homosexuality.


Words matter. Their effects can be devastating to a vulnerable, stigmatised population like Queer Africans in Africa.

gug

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kenny the Nigerian; Forced Outing

Something we all are at risk of.

Came across this in my browsing. Was actually posted on Kehinde Bademosi's Facebook page., as his own harrowing account of what happened when he was outed. By his ex-wife. A woman scorned? 

Kenny shared on how his ex-wife of six years believed God would heal him and convert him to a heterosexual man even when she knew his orientation before they got married.

Sigh..... We dont scorn you. We are just not made like you want us to be.
my wife had been to Abuja to tell them I was a pervert and had no moral standard to teach the youth how to develop their talents. In theory, when I spoke, my saliva emitted millions of gay matter that could infect unsuspecting young adults.

Dude is brave. Gay, HIV positive, Nigerian, and after the disastrous outing, he dares go back to Nigeria. Well, its not a great place to be, the US these days...., even when you are African. But,...., going back to Nigeria as a Gay Nigerian?! Takes some special courage. Some very, very special courage.


Friends refused to pick my calls. Wifey had told them I was gay. Church stayed away. Jesus had told them 'touch not the unclean thing.' The advertising industry in Nigeria, where I had spent a good part of my life raising talents and developing the industry stayed far away. Cricket. Even those I had assisted finding their first jobs in the marketing communication industry. Those who are now brand managers, creative directors, account planners, strategy directors, managing directors and all those sizzling titles. Wifey had told them "Kanny is a homo."

Thats what happens when one is outed when they are gay, and African.
Its hard at this time to actually know that actually, it is the world that is turning against you that is wrong. That you, in the wisdom of the creator, are who and what you are. And, you have been what you were supposed to be. And, wonderful as the creator thought you to be, you are still wonderful. You are being the best that you should be, acknowledging yourself, being true to you. Queer, and African. Yourself. Being any less is insult, to you.

The rub is, it is like you are smeared in shit, as Kenny so eloquently puts it, smeared in your own shit, with no fancy vacuum to whisk off the whiff of corruption.
You travel such a long distance in this life, achieve so much, fly high. Unlike others around you, once you are out, you have no suction device to hide your shit as a gay person. No support system. Just you. So your shit keeps falling from the sky, tearing through roofs. Then people continue to talk. How come you are like this? How come your wife is leaving you? How come you are still single? Didn't the Bible condemn that shit? How come, how come? 
And, all of this we live and learn to hide. How can we be who we are without this rubbing off on us?

Will come to be that Queer Africans are some of the bravest people on earth. Queer Humans anyway. Because it is so damn hard getting to a place of real maturity, that I cannot blame those who do fall on the way. And those who deny themselves, in frantic quest to be who they cannot be, someone else. Those who seek absolution from deities, and the promises of the falsest of prophets.

It is a struggle, from the point you realise your differences, with the whole world. It is a.....

Yeah. Words fail me.

But one thing I realise.

We shall overcome.

Because it is us...., the struggle is our lives.


gug

Monday, February 13, 2017

Social Media..., your phone contact list....

Not been able to post for quite a while. My bad.

Not good for a blog in our new news trend world. It can become quite a problem, I know. But, I am alive and well, so.....

Guess what am saying is that sometimes nothing matters but whether or not one is. It is something.

Came across an article of a kuchu in Uganda who was so unwary as to pour out information about themselves and lover at Makerere...., one of the halls of residence. Coerced, but, hey.... one of the things about being queer in Uganda and most of Africa, is none can read your thoughts...., and no stronger camouflage than being a very clueless hetero..., and, please, those beautiful pics on your phone!!! Even if you make them when high, delete them when next you are sober.
And if you are to be outed...., sigh...., your contact list is going to be a problem.... You think I am joking?
Well, these Tanzanian guys are being asked to report to police..., because they were 'promoting' homosexuality on social media. But., guys, guys, guys......., gay sex on Instagram???!!! Mind where we are.

Though sometimes I believe we Queer humans were the first secret agents. We are taught survival young...., and only the fittest survive...., rabid Darwanism indeed.

And, of social media use, I will leave off today with that sketch above... In the evolutionary sense, our world has changed with social media...., so, live and learn, Queer Africans..., because our lives are tougher because of social media...., if we dont learn rules of survival....

Of course, life without social media....., when was that exactly? How did people, queer Africans survive in those long gone days.....?




Pic by Vincent Kyabayinze of East African Visual artists by way of 76crimes.com

One thought on “Ugandan art: ‘We must protect ourselves from blackmail and murder’”


gug