Many lies have been told to us Africans; more so, we have not only permitted but, in most instances served to further ingratiate these lies within our psyche.
Some have seemed harmless, but nevertheless with destructive undertones. “African Time” being a myth that serves to account for continued lateness and poor service, setting us back economically. “This Is Africa: TIA” being another that comes up whenever there’s a genocide, war or spread of illness. As if our continent was cursed to be poor, diseased and ravaged by mass murder.
To whom do these myths serve? Certainly not US. But it’s always so funny how easily we accept them, these stories about ourselves. Like robots being fed tape.
For instance, Europeans are said to be highly sophisticated, granting them more intellectual ability than the black man. We have unconsciously accepted this, even branding whatever we view as pinnacles of human thought as “Ntho tsa makhooa” (white man’s gadgets).
But where do we draw the line, how long will we be in the dark about our own history, take it for granted or let a white man tell it for us. When they said “Africa has no history.” We accepted this notion, because they also said, “African’s only have oral tradition, therefore no texts.”
The Ge’ez scripts of Ethiopia are thousands of years old, Timbuktu in Mali has one of the first universities in the old, established in 12BC. Food for thought!
So when they also said, “Homosexuality is UnAfrican!,” Who were “They?” I doubt it was the pre-colonial Africans who lived here. What “They” failed to realise was that Africa has a detailed history/herstory of same sex relations, predating European colonialism.
Out of 54 African countries recognised by the UN, 34 have criminalized homosexuality. This however does not mean that homosexuality is accepted in the other states, as only Cape Verde and South Africa have accepted same sex marriages.
The state of homosexual rights in African States, is in such a state that.., I digress, it’s in such dire straits, that the former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan had put a policy in place that served all those suspected of being queer the life sentence. While further still, the High Court of Kenya ruled that decriminalizing same sex relations would go against the constitution.
If only we knew the history of Africa, how accepting of each other would be. For instance, the missionaries rarely faced acts of aggression throughout the continent, why is that? Would the reverse be true? Not while Sara Bartman was disgraced in death as in life.
Nzinga was an Angolan warrior queen, so fierce was she in guerilla warfare that she held back the capture of Angola by colonizers for over four decades. Yes, she was a Queen, or rather their King.
So serious was she in Kingly position that she would dress in kingly regalia, and she would be seen in public with her harem of “wives,” younger men dressed as woman.
Throughout Africa this has happened, same sex relations, pre-colonization. However, it seems times were different then. The Yoruba word for gay is adofuro, what is intriguing about this however is that, in the Yoruba language of Nigeria, this word carries no stigma with it all.
Yes, please disagree with me; in fact, I give you permission to hate this blog post. But before you do, do me a favour that most don’t do, READ BEFORE YOU PERCEIVE.
The KEMTALK on this will be held in the 28th of July, trust me, you will gain something from this discussion. Come through. Let’s interact. Let’s discuss. Let’s change.