Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Experiences of young dancer in Nigeria

I Killed My Boss Because He Tried To Rape Me

// Headline | I Killed My Boss Because He Tried To Rape Me
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Eji Emmanuel
A 22-year-old man, Eji Emmanuel, has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for the alleged murder of a 39-year-old trader, Sylvanus Okoye.
According to the police, the suspect stabbed the deceased to death at his home on Ezemegbu Drive, Okota in August.
The suspect, however, explained that he killed the deceased in self-defence. He alleged that on the day of the incident, Okoye had attempted to rape him.
Explaining the events that culminated in Okoye's death, the suspect said he was a dancer and was lured to Lagos by a friend, Chukwudi, under the guise of doing music business only for the friend to introduce him to homosexuality.
He said he had gone to report the matter to his friend's boss but his friend's boss molested him twice and he reported the matter at the FESTAC Police Division. He said the matter was transferred to the Zone 2 Police Command and the case was turned against him after which he spent two weeks in detention.
He said he had approached Okoye, who he considered an Igbo leader in the state, to help him with money to return to Anambra State when Okoye also attempted to rape him.
He said, "I went along with a relative to report the matter to Okoye and he gave my friend and I N5,000 and shirts. He told us not to worry, so we slept over at his house. At midnight, however, Okoye came to my room and attempted to made love with me but I refused him.
"My relative later told me that Okoye had sex with him in the parlour that same night. We left in the morning and returned to Anambra State. From there, I went to Abuja where I remained for four months. However, one day, Okoye called me that he had a business deal and invited me to come to Lagos.
"I told Okoye that I would not engage in any act of homosexuality and he agreed."
The suspect said when he returned to Lagos, the deceased said he wanted to open a bar in the area and wanted him to manage the business. He said he passed the night at the deceased's home, but at midnight, the deceased crept into his room and attempted to make love to him.
He said, "In the evening, Okoye served me with bread, butter and tea in my room. Around 3.30am, he crept into my room and wanted to sleep with me, but I refused him.
"Okoye was a big man so he attempted to overpower me, but I picked up the bread knife that was still left in the room and stabbed him in the neck, but he did not die.
"I picked up a flexible iron and bound it round his neck and locked him inside the room.
"When it was 6am, I stepped out of the house and gave the key to one woman beside the gate and fled."
The security guard and the woman whom the suspect handed the key to were arrested by detectives at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba and after three months, detectives were able to locate the suspect in Anambra State.
A police detective said, "The security guard told us that he could identify the suspect if he saw him.
"In the course of investigation, we obtained call logs from Okoye's phone and we learnt that the suspect had used Okoye's phone to call his girlfriend in Anambra State shortly after killing Okoye. We travelled to Anambra State and we were able to locate the suspect who was even wearing the deceased's clothes."
The suspect, however, insisted that he was not a killer but a victim of circumstance.
He said, "My father and my brother are dead. I am the only child of my mother. Who will take care of her if I am sent to prison? I am not a homosexual but I was used. I tried for several months to impregnate my girlfriend but was not successful. I feel they have stolen my virtues."
Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, confirmed Emmanuel's arrest, adding that the police were still working to establish it the the victim was a homosexual or not as alleged by the suspect.

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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Situation Analysis into Same Sex relations, experimentation and normativity in Uganda

Government investigates four top schools over homosexuality


Posted  Thursday, November 21   2013 at  12:41
Government is investigating four prominent secondary schools in Kampala and Wakiso districts over allegations that their students are involved in homosexual activities.
Rev. Father Simon Peter Lokodo, the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity says the schools being investigated are Gayaza High School, Makerere Secondary School, Kibuli High and Nalya Secondary School.
The Minister told Uganda Radio Network that a recent impromptu visit discovered that more than 30 percent of students in these schools are involved in lesbianism and homosexuality. The visit was by a team from the Ministry’s directorate in the Department of Ethics and Education.
Although URN could not independently verify the allegation, Fr Lokodo says some of the victims confessed to the team that they were practicing the vice.
He adds that government has accordingly instituted an investigation into the matter, with the intention of finding out how the outlawed practices became rooted in the schools.
The Minister adds that he has summoned officials from Uganda Christian University, Kampala International University, Kyambogo and Makerere Universities over a sex tape that circulated on social networking websites recently, saying his ministry will investigate the matter to a logical conclusion.
Mr Lokodo says his office is preparing a policy paper to be presented before Cabinet on how to manage morals in universities.
Under the Penal Code, "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.
Activists estimated in 2007 that the Ugandan gay community consisted of 500,000 people.

A selfless medic with a great heart for helping the sick

Dr Robert Kalyesubula tests the blood pressure level of a patient.
Dr Robert Kalyesubula tests the blood pressure level of a patient. He set up health projects to help the people in Nakaseke. Photos by Rachael Mabala 
By Gloria haguma

Posted  Monday, November 25   2013 at  02:00
Robert Kalyesubula, the founder of the African Community Centre for Social Sustainability, has set up health-related self-help projects that have had great impact in the lives of the people of Nakaseke, especially those infected and affected by HIV/Aids.
Wars have for long been known to be one of Africa’s biggest challenges, with many of them causing misplacement of people and separation of families. In Uganda, the most memorable one, aside from the 20-year Kony insurgency would be the Luweero bush war.
During this war, one little eight-year-old boy, Robert Kalyesubula, found himself torn away from his family, running for dear life, with no clue of where he was going, or what was to become of him. It is hard to believe that this little man has grown up, to become not just the priced jewels of his home town of Nakaseke, but also one of the four nephrologists (kidney doctors) that this country has.
After getting separated from his family, at the height of the war, Kalyesubula found himself in the hands of a good Samaritan, who helped him locate some of his relatives in Kampala.
“We walked from Luweero to Kampala, all the way trying to dodge bullets, and soldiers on the way,” he adds. On reaching Kampala, he went to live with an aunt who was already looking after eight other children.
The breakthrough
As time went on, it became hard for his aunt to look after all these children, and that is how Kalyesubula, and a few others ended up at the Ambassador of hope orphanage in Makerere. His stay at the orphanage, opened doors for many opportunities, for the lad.
“As a child, I was very good at singing, and when I got to the orphanage, I joined the choir. Our choir went on a world tour, in the US for two years. Not only did I get to sit on a plane for the first time, but I also wore my first pair of shoes!” he says.
On his return to Uganda, he attended Busoga College Mwiri before moving to Makerere university medical school. It is a common phenomenon here in Uganda, that many of the medical staff, prefer to work in the urban centres, after medical school and this leaves many of the health centres in the rural areas understaffed.
“Many of the people in this profession do not find the need to be working in rural areas. It’s going to be very hard for someone that has lived and studied in the city for most of their life, to suddenly be moved to some remote village,” Dr Kalyesubula says. It is for this reason and more that Dr Kalyesubula chose to go back and work in his home town, Nakaseke. He was posted to Nakaseke hospital, the place he credits for being the basis for his growing interest in HIV/Aids, which in the longrun, got him, and a colleague to start up the first Aids help centre in the area.
“While working at the Nakaseke hospital, I met a lady that occasionally came to the hospital. She was HIV positive, but from her condition, it was clear that she was unable to take good care of herself, or her children,” he says.
He adds that there was also a shortage of Aids drugs, and yet the rates for the virus were rampant among the community members. He adds that it was here that he started on the plans to start up the Aids centre.
“A colleague and I opened the clinic, which we called The aids centre. Initially, the plan was to start up a centre where people would come and get tested for HIV and also be given the drugs,” Dr Kalyesubula adds.
However, the project was not embraced by the locals. Many of the people feared to be stigmatised by their fellow villagers, and that kept many away. 
After much thought, the duo decided to change the name of the centre, and turn it into an actual health centre that would not only deal with HIV cases, but also other illnesses. That is how ACCESS was born. The health centre, which was opened on March 29, 2013, is now fully operating, alongside the Nakaseke hospital, which serves more than five districts. The centre is run by Dr James Sewanyana, who serves as the deputy director, and it employs eight people.
ACCESS’s nursing school was closed because of failure to meet the required government regulations. “We had a primary school, where we mainly taught children that had been orphaned by HIV/Aids. Both facilities were, however, closed, majorly because we didn’t meet the government facilities,” he says. The nephrologist, who was away on a study trip, says he had to close the primary school via Skype, majorly because there was a shortage in funding to run it. The nursing school that was being run in wooden structures was also closed.
Hope on the way
A few years down the road, a fundraising was organised to get funds to revive the schools. It managed to raise $4,000 (about Shs10m). He adds that the initiative also received the Stephen Lewis fund in 2006. These funds have been sued to put up a permanent structure for the nursing school that is in its finals stages.
“We have completed a two-classroom block, and the building meant to house the laboratory and computer lab is also in its finals stages,” he adds.
Dr Kalyesubula’s efforts have been a saving grace, not just for the young, but also the elderly in the community. Many of these have been trained as coordinators for many of the organisations projects. The initiative also carries out community-help projects where HIV/Aids victims, and orphans are given animals to help them start up self-help project to enable them earn some income to take care of themselves. One such benefactor is Nalongo Pauline Nambuya, a mother of four, living with HIV. Nambuya says she was found by one of the ACCESS counsellors, who then helped her obtain a pig, from the a programme, which has made her life much better. At the time, she had twin boys that are both HIV positive.
She adds that because of ACCESS, her twin boys, who were very ill at the time, were able to start on anti-retroviral treatment for HIV, and are now in a better condition. The pig that she was given is now pregnant and will be giving birth in a few months’ time.
By Gloria haguma

Posted  Monday, November 25  2013 at  02:00
Robert Kalyesubula, the founder of the African Community Centre for Social Sustainability, has set up health-related self-help projects that have had great impact in the lives of the people of Nakaseke, especially those infected and affected by HIV/Aids.
There are many like Nambuya, whose lives have been changed for the better, by Dr Kalyesubula’s efforts to make his home town a better place, especially as far as HIV is concerned. Some of these include:
Nalongo Nakibuule, a community health worker at ACCESS, who says: ”...Access trained me as a counsellor. Through the skills acquired, I have been able to guide patients, especially those with Aids, on how to take good care of themselves. Dr Robert has helped the children of this area live a better life, through the skills they were being offered at the nursing school.”
Proscovia Namutebi, another beneficiary says: “I was trained as a nurse by ACCESS way back in 2002. The skills given to me at access have enabled me manage to extend my skills to the people of this area, and I know run a small dispensary, from which I am able to make a living for myself. Dr kalyesubula, is very social, he loves people, and is always advising us.”

LGBT Organizing and Self Determination in Africa; Lessons From Zimbabwe

Information & Communications
GALZ Book and Video Library
GALZ Book and Video Library
In Zimbabwe where freedom of expression is seriously restricted through repressive legislation and other means and where an unofficial ban exists on lesbian and gay people speaking for themselves using the government-controlled media, the GALZ Information and Communications Department plays an important role in countering state-instigated propaganda. In this regard, it produces accurate and balanced information for dissemination to the GALZ membership and the broader public.
Major Publications
Until recently, gay and lesbian literature, specifically relevant to Zimbabwe, was virtually non-existent. Even today, there are still only a very few examples of Zimbabwean gay fiction that have been published in this country, all of them short stories.
During the 1990s, GALZ produced a quarterly magazine with a mixture of local and international content but, since 1995, the association has expanded its publication base to include a wide variety of titles of interest either to lesbian and gay people specifically, or to a wider audience.
  • Sahwira is a collection of coming-out stories in English, Shona and Ndebele by gay lesbian and bisexual people in Zimbabwe (GALZ, Harare 1995, second edition, 2000).
  • An Operational Manual for Gay and Lesbian Organising in Africa consists of 297 PowerPoint slides with information on how to set up an LGBTI organisation and conduct non-violent campaigns in hostile, homophobic climates in Africa. The manual also contains advice on financial management and strategic planning (GALZ, Harare, 2004).
  • GALZ contributed the forward and other sections to The All-Africa Symposium on HIV/AIDS & Human Rights Report (2004), the conference at which The All-Africa Rights Initiative (The AARI) was officially launched.
  • Understanding Human Sexuality and Gender (GALZ, Harare, 2005) is aimed at educating communities in Southern Africa about sexuality and gender from a non-heterosexist point of view. It specifically targets the Zimbabwean NGO community, in particular those organisations working in the fields of gender, health and sexual rights, but also appeals to members of the general public wanting to understand more about issues of gender and sexuality. (Order a copy)
The quarterly magazine, The GALZETTE, contains articles of interest to LGBTI people living in Zimbabwe such as reports on workshops, HIV/AIDS-related information, academic articles relating to homosexuality and the law and short stories by members.
The monthly WHAZZUP newsletter is lighter in content and appeals specifically to the GALZ membership who are aware of the context of the stories and the gossip surrounding them.
In order to provide members with information they need in relation to the services GALZ has to offer, coming out, lesbian and gay rights, relationships and health, GALZ regularly compiles small pamphlets and brochures which are specifically relevant to lesbian and gay people in Zimbabwe.
In addition to various planning reports, the association’s annual report comes out in February of each year and details the activities of GALZ over the previous 12 months.
There are also the occasional special reports on matters relating to sexuality, gender and the law most of which are written by GALZ’s Legal Consultant, the most significant being Sexual Orientation and Zimbabwe’s New Constitution: a Case for Inclusion which was GALZ’s submission to the Constitutional Commission in 1999.
Contributions to Other Publications
Members of GALZ frequently provide interviews to journalists and film makers and contribute to local, regional and international publications such as:
The Human Rights Monthly published by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum for which GALZ contributed to the edition on ‘Sexual Rights’
‘A Fair Representation: GALZ and the History of the Gay Movement in Zimbabwe’, (Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, Vol. 1 16 (1), The Haworth Press,
GALZ also assisted with the IGLHRC/Human Rights Watch co-publication More than a Name: State Sponsored Homophobia and its Consequences in Southern Africa (2003). This report evaluates the effects of State-sponsored homophobia on the human rights of sexual and gender minorities in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Deliver culturally competent care to LGBTI persons; Lessons From Zimbabwe

GALZ recently concluded training to 17 medical doctors drawn from around Zimbabwe .The training seeks to ensure that Doctors deliver culturally competent care to LGBTI persons, which has been shown to be successful in positively changing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of health care providers.
Facilitated by Dr. Johan Hugo, a senior medical officer with Anova Health Institute and Ms. Caroline Maposhere, a sexual reproductive health rights specialist, the training covered aspects of human sexuality, history taking, STI’s and HIV management amongst MSM, mental health for MSM and other medical conditions.
Reports from members of GALZ have consistently shown that they face barriers when attempting to access health care in Zimbabwe. MSM reported experiences of stigma from some healthcare providers resulting in lower access to HIV services and commodities such as condoms, lubricants, HIV testing and HIV treatment. It is important that healthcare workers are sensitized about LGBTI issues, their needs and practices in a bid to provide quality services in a friendly environment.
The Doctors expressed appreciation of the training, in particular, the insights on the structural, behavioral and biological components that increase vulnerability of MSM to HIV and STI’s. Commenting on the sidelines of the training, GALZ Programme Manager, Samuel Matsikure said that, “ there is need for further engagement on policy and service delivery by public and private doctors”. He expressed his desire to extend the training to doctors in other cities in a bid to increase capacity, raise awareness and have more referral sites for the community to access quality services.
The current Zimbabwe National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan recognises the need for interventions between MSM by listing them as a priority population to be targeted in order to improve access to HIV services for MSM, GALZ is embarking on a program to train doctors and nurses on how to provide competent care to MSM and WSW in the next three years.
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LGBT rights in Sudan

LGBT rights in Sudan: Someone fights for the Rainbow

In the West, the African country is little known, wrapped in a a silence characterized more by indifference rather than misery. Darfur, a vast region of Sudan theater of terrible violence for nearly a decade, captured some attention, but then silence felt even on this conflict. Quite nobody has never heard about homosexual people in Sudan… at least until February 9th 2012, when Mohammed founded Rainbow Sudan, the first LGBTQ* group and website in the country.
Mohammed, a kind man and a charming poet, tells to Il grande colibrì the reality if a country in transition, still undecided between obscurantism and secularism, democracy and dictatorship. “Just think years ago, until the early 80s, being gay wasn’t an issue: homosexuality was common in society, among athletes, intellectuals, artists… Wedding singers were often gay and they were very popular. Then new Islamic laws came…” It was 1983: president Ga’far Muhammad an-Nimayri ordered that penal code incorporated the sharia rules, interpreted in the most fundamentalist manner.
Mohammed says: “Sexual relations between persons of the same sex are illegal in Sudan. According to Article 148 of the Criminal Code, which is based on sharia, homosexual men are punished by the lash for their first offense, and after the third offense they risk the death penalty. There are very heavy persecutions, like at a wedding in Omdurman. For a show of cross dressers in Khartoum, they were sentenced to the lash and to a penalty of 1,000 Sudanese pounds.”
“My generation is very confused and lost: on the one hand there’s the social and religious repression, on the other the self-awareness.” Mohammed grew up in the most difficult years, when the Islamist wave rised and there wasn’t Internet to distribute information worldwide. “The boys of the new generation, on the contrary, are more informed, with great knowledge of what it means to be gay, they get organized in small groups.” However, even for them it isn’t easy to be LGBTQ* in Sudan: “You can’t imagine the level of discrimation that you can suffer because of being gay. People speak badly of you, they call you luti (sodomite), a word used as an insult.”
Sudanese media speak of homosexuality and transsexuality very rarely and always in a very negative way: “The last time, about a couple of months ago, they talked about the spread of homosexuality in schools and among teenagers.” Sexuality in general is considered a topic to talk about not on TV, but in private, “with closed doors.” There is no mention of AIDS, even though “Sudan has one of the largest populations of people living with HIV in the Middle East and North Africa.”
In this difficult background, Mohammed decided to work for LGBTQ* rights: “A dear friend of mine gave me the idea of funding Sudan Rainbow. We started working together for it and even now he helps me a lot in this project. Now we have a couple of groups that work online and offline. We form a small network of people working in an organized way to advance as much as possible LGBTQ* issues, to show who we are, to stop discrimination, to see our rights recognized. We provide sexual education, psychological and emotional support, protection.We do all this, we try to do the best we can.”
Sudan Rainbow’s activists are committed to the rights of all (women, children, refugees, minorities …). “Women and children rights are never recognized, indeed there is an alarming number of violations and child abuses. The situation changes a lot between the capital Khartoum and other areas of Sudan: here women have more rights than in rural areas, where women still do not attend schools and children have to work to support the family. Poverty is, and has always been, the main problem of Sudan.”
Sudan Rainbow’s vision is incredibly large and generous: members of the group participate in so much different and even dangerous demonstrations, such as those that led to the murder of four students in Darfur. Their struggle is wide-ranging, in a country in turmoil as Sudan: “Since 2011 a lot of demonstrations, protests and riots followed one another all over Sudan. Government dispersed violently the protests, that has been youth-led, against austerity measures and ruling party’s policies. Security forces have arrested and detained a large number of suspected opponents, including many students, who where then beaten and tortured, like the four who were found killed.”
The political situation is very serious: “Recently there have been two attempted military coup, one of which was led by former intelligence chief, General Salah Abdallah Gosh. And the tension increased even more after that, in October, Israel destroyed a weapons factory in Khartoum and some Iranian naval ships approached the coast of Sudan. Opposition claim a role in the constitution-making process, and calls out for elections.”
Rainbow Sudan works in this dramatic context, : “In Sudan we are just at the very first steps to start discussing about homosexuality. We move at the pace of a baby. We had established some contacts with some political parties and we began to talk with them, but then the protests broke out and the students were killed. Currently the country is not ready to open up to LGBTQ* issues, but we have not lost hope of succeeding.”
Mohammed never loses his kindness and gentleness, never loses the almost “crazy” hope of the poets that really change the world, even though he’s fully aware of the adversities that he have to face in Sudan and not only in Sudan: “I know what is going on in the rest of Africa just following the news, but it seems to me that the homophobic trend in our continent, so different from the openings in the West and in most of Europe, is due to political and religious elements. Some conservative Christian organizations support anti-gay laws in Uganda and Nigeria because they are losing their war in the West, so now they focus on Africa.” Increasingly dark clouds are gathering over Africa, but in Sudan and across the continent brave activists are working to let the rainbow shine.