What traditional African homosexuality learned from West


Patrick Awondo Patrick Awondo (Photo by Eric Lembembe)

Homosexuality has a long history in Africa, says anthropologist Patrick Awondo, contrary to the claims of politicians who consider it a recent Western import.

But Awondo acknowledged in an interview last month that two key elements in the debate over homosexuality in Africa did come from the West — first, colonial-era laws against homosexual activities and, more recently, the establishment of groups opposing discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

“Homosexuality has always existed, but some of the current forms of gay self-identification and gay activism originated elsewhere,” he said.

Awondo was in Cameroon last month to help lead a training session on HIV/AIDS.

Citing historical records of homosexual practices in Africa, Awondo mentioned evidence of same-sex sexual relationships in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Benin.

It is helpful for Africans to know about ancient practices such as Mossi kings’ sexual relations with their…

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When I wake up in the morning, I always make it my business to look back and recount on how my life has been. I do this not because life has been so good, or bad, or that something special has happened but rather to see what it is that I lived through that has never met my expectations and what I can do to make a difference if not for me, then for the now child.

As a girl child, growing up I really looked up to my father as my mentor, role model, and the best human in my life. Well nothing lasts forever they say. Circumstances and life experiences are meant to make you better and more responsible but in my case, I hate it now that I had to grow and mature so fast that I skipped part of my childhood. I have had to appreciate the art of “think like a man, act like a woman”.

Through the above situation I came to realise that a child’s life should not change just because the lives of her parents changed. A child should not stop living just because the parents chose to stop to live. A child should not be unhappy just because the parents chose to be unhappy. I hence decided to try to see to it that something is done to guarantee happy children regardless of who they are, where they come from or who their parents are. For me happiness is a child’s right.

However, our media, especially in Africa, has not done so much to this effect. Being a student of journalism, I look to take it upon myself to confront this situation by advocating for more children news on our media, and not just any stories but specifically happy, good and educational stories that will allow children to appreciate life more from a tender age hence guarantee a more happier future free from the little fears of life.

There is not much I can do really to change life from happening, but I know if we work together and focus on bringing up happier people then we can achieve it. Like a ripple action, happy people equals to happy lives, equals to peace and the ability to embrace diversity and difference. With that we can easily achieve conflict free societies, countries, continents and eventually a conflict free world.

A child is the best starting point and as I jot down, is a cracker. IS THE CHILD AROUND YOU HAPPY? If not look to see how you and I can, through this blog, help turn around the situation. The time for the child is here, lets make it priority to be the source of a guaranteed freer future.























                                                                                           BY MARYLIZE BIUBWA MSAWUGHI