It is unfair for the west to dictate morals for Africa!!!
- 17 Articles
Yes in Nigeria you can be persecuted for homosexual acts in public, in Uganda parliament passed a law where a person can face a a life sentence for being gay. Yes it is constitutionally illegal in more than 38 countries in Africa to be gay, and homosexuality is considered an indecent act that is punishable by law. However unfair this may be, morals and traditions cannot be forced onto a society under whatever circumstances. It takes a lifetime to model and embrace culture and traditions; you cannot just change or adopt a new way of life by the snap of a finger.
I think it is completely unfair when western countries use the foreign aid card (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16068010) to arm twist our leaders so that they can adopt their approved conducts. Especially when it is something that touches upon moral fibers of a society. There are issues that cannot simply be legislated. You need years and years of education for a sufficient social transformation. I am not against the west funding debate and discussion forums on this issue in Africa; I have very strong objections over their apparent dictation of the same upon us.
This article has been inspired by the recent coming out of a very prominent personality in Kenya, Binyavanga Wainaina (you can find his coming out story on the New York Times, The Guardian, the BBC and even Aljazeera- http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/01/african-author-comes-out-gay-law-protest-2014121172413628545.html ). The country’s reaction to this issue is a clear indicator that this is not a legislature issue but a social issue that needs a lot of interrogation and conversation over. Social media, the newspapers, the radio and other discussion platforms have been abuzz with this issue. I have to admit the homophobia with which society has responded to this public disclosure was more than I had expected. I knew people were not ready yet, but I did not expect the negativity to be at this scale. It was a clear indication of how our society is not yet ready to accept and move on. Not yet. The comments that are being directed at him are not only mean but painfully abusive and not accommodative.
Personally, I do not care about an individual’s sexual orientation. I have a personal friend who is a homosexual and the last thing I would want for him is to see him being persecuted for something he has no control over. However, I will not rally behind the methods being used by the US or the UK of threatening to hold back AID and forcing nations to adopt practices that should obviously be given time.