Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Ghana, Uganda.., (Un)-African Kuchu

  Why do fellow Africans believe that we Kuchus, LGBTQ+ Africans are not Africans?

I think once upon a time, I (knew…), or believed so. That, unfortunately is the truth. I am an African. Bred and born and grew up in Africa. In my developing years, questioning, un-understanding, unable to comprehend what was nose close, I somehow came to believe that I couldn’t be gay.., because it was something that was a mzungu (white people) problem. Of course that denial didn’t solve my problem…, I was still African- and a human being

In my defence, I was 12-14 years of age?! With zero access to real knowledge on sexuality. (eish…, discount curious childhood experimentation!)

Now, at this moment in time, I am ashamed that fellow Africans, adult human beings, are so clueless with regards to sex and sexuality that they are convinced that kuchus cannot be African.

Yet we are. Queer Africans, Kuchus, are part of our communities and societies in Africa. But, the basic denial is still a thing in the thinking of the ‘elite’ of Africa, the educated and leaders and those in power. And it shows in a myriad ways.
The ‘anti-homosexuality’ bills in our parliaments are a desperate attempt to deny homosexuality from invading our communities. A dangerous and silly farce.

Queer Africans exist in every community, in every village, town and city of Africa. We kuchus, queer (LGBTQ+) Africans, are African.

Ursula Owusu Ekuful, minister from Ghana points out the facts, even while defending a bill criminalising homosexuality in Ghana. Its weird to think that the lady felt a need to assert what should be undisputed fact.


““In every community in this country, we know of somebody who is a homosexual and that is why our language has a description for that purpose. If our language has a description for a person, it means it exist unless we are disputing that,””


Oh yeah, many do dispute. As apparently Minister Owusu-Ekuful was debating another MP. That MP must presumably have been denying the existence of kuchus…, and Owusu-Ekuful spoke up? Pure speculation, on my part, with a nudging semblance of knowledge of popular conversations on my sexuality in Africa.

It is very, very lazy thinking.
But, our leaders regularly entertain it. President Museveni is famous for denying the existence of kuchus, explaining why the HIV epidemic in Africa seemed to be heterosexual.
We kuchus came out…, and he changed tack, to asserting kuchus in Africa were ‘few’.. and didn’t need any particular notice (in HIV programming), and that assertion was done on BBC.
Very lazy thinking. Unworth of modern day leaders and leadership.

On 5th Jul 2023, Parliament in Ghana debated an Anti-Homosexuality bill, titled the;


“Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, popularly known as the anti- LGBTQ+ bill.”


The underlying message.., Kuchu Ghanaians are ‘anti-family values’, and denial of their right to sex is ‘Promotion of Proper human sexual rights’. Classy, isn’t it?! That was the second reading of the bill.

The bills purpose…, nicely summarised


“primarily to ensure proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values while banning the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and all their related activities”


Homosexuality is taken to be a ‘foreign import’, a very dangerous trope for us Kuchus. Because there is continual denial of our African-ness, our existence, our needs. Justifies our families throwing us out when we are exposed. And it is the very basis for many of the anti-homosexuality bills. We are coming out…, so that means that we are the tip of the seed of corruption, which has to be stamped on, now…

It is difficult for us Kuchus, to educate fellow Africans. Yeah, it is.
And, putting a dent in prejudice is tough. Very tough.
The influencers; politicians, religious leaders, and others, are convinced of our un-African-ness. The laws now, courtesy of the anti-gay American Right sponsors, typically forbid ‘promotion of homosexuality’. That is, advocacy. Of any kind.

Shit. But silly tough shit.

The denial and erasure, overt and covert, justifies the homophobia and the state support. We cannot but be criminals because the law criminalises us, and we cannot be decriminalised because the law criminalises us. Circular reasoning, but it is in the vogue in much of Africa.

Of course we are, and it is that fact that trumps all. (Touch wood, the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 mandates prison for life, and death, for the homosexual. So, maybe Uganda will manage the Final Solution that Hitler failed at.)



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