Friday, February 25, 2011

African Bloggers Statement on David Kato and Uganda

“We the undersigned wish to express our deep sadness at the murder of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato on 26th January 2011. David’s activism began in the 1980s as an Anti-Apartheid campaigner, where he first expressed a strong passion and conviction for freedom and justice, a passion which continued throughout his life. David was a founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda, where he first served as Board member, and until his death as Litigation and Advocacy Officer. He was also a member of Integrity Uganda, a faith-based advocacy organization.

David was a man of vision and courage. One of his major concerns was the growth of religious fundamentalism in Uganda and across the continent and how this would impact on the rights of ordinary citizens including lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered / Gender Non-Comforming and Intersex  [LGBTIQ] persons. Years later his concerns were justified when the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill backed by religious fundamentalists was outlined in 2009.  David was also an extremely brave man who had been imprisoned and beaten severely because of his sexual orientation and for speaking publicly against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Many African political and religious leaders in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Gambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi and Botswana, have publicly maligned LGBTIQ people and in some cases directly incited violence against them whilst labeling sexual minorities as “unAfrican”.

In October 2010, the Ugandan tabloid, Rolling Stone published the names and photographs of “100 Top homos” including David Kato.   David along with two other LGBTIQ activists successfully sued the magazine on the grounds of “invasion of privacy” and most importantly,  the  judge ruled that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons.

The court did not only rule that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons but it issued a permanent injunction against Rolling Stone newspaper never to publish photos of gays in Uganda, and also never to again publish their home addresses.

Justice Kibuuka Musoke ruled that,

“Gays are also entitled to their rights. This court has found that there was infringement of some people’s confidential rights. The court hereby issues an injunction restraining Rolling Stone newspaper from future publishing of identifications of homosexuals.”

Every human being is protected under the African Charter of Peoples and Human Rights and this includes the rights of LGBTIQ persons. We ask the governments of Uganda and other African countries to stop criminalizing people on the grounds of sexual orientation and afford LGBTIQ people the same protections, freedoms and dignity, as other citizens on the continent.”


Alix Mukonambi,                                        Molisa Nyakale

Anengiyefa Alagoa,                                     Things I Feel Strongly About

Anthony Hebblethwaite                             African Activist

Barbra Jolie,                                                 Me I Think

Ben Amunwa,                                               Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa

Bunmi Oloruntoba,                                     A Bombastic Element

Chris Ogunlowo,                                          Aloofaa

Eccentric Yoruba,                                        Eccentric Yoruba

Exiled Soul                                                    ExiledSoul

Francisca Bagulho and Marta Lança,      Buala

Funmilayo Akinosi,                                     Finding My Path

Funmi Feyide,                                              Nigerian Curiosity

Gay Uganda,                                     Gay Uganda

Glenna Gordon,                                           Scarlett Lion

Godwyns Onwuchekwa,                            My Person

Jeremy Weate,                                            Naija Blog

Kayode Ogundamisi                                  Canary Bird

Kadija Patel                                                 Thoughtleader

Keguro Macharia,                                      Gukira

Kenne Mwikya,                                           Kenne’s Blog

Kinsi Abdullah                                            Kudu Arts

Laura Seay,                                                  Texas in Africa

Llanor Alleyne                                             Llanor Alleyne

Mark Jordahl,                                             Wild Thoughts from Uganda

Matt Temple                                                Matsuli Music

Mia Nikasimo,                                             MiaScript

Minna Salami,                                             MsAfropolitan

Mshairi,                                                        Mshairi

Ndesanjo Macha                                        Global Voices

Nyokabi Musila,                                         Sci-Cultura

Nzesylva,                                                      Nzesylva’s Blog

Olumide Abimbola,                                   Loomnie

Ory Okolloh,                                               Kenyan Pundit

Pamela Braide,                                           pdbraide

Peter Alegi,                                                  Football is Coming Home

Rethabile Masilo,                                       Poefrika

Saratu Abiola,                                             Method to Madness

Sean Jacobs,                                                Africa is a Country

Sokari Ekine,                                               Black Looks

Sonja Uwimana,                                         Africa is a Country

Spectre Speaks,                                           Spectre Speaks

TMS Ruge,                                                   Project Diaspora

Toyin Ajao                                                    StandTall

Tosin Otitoju,                                              Lifelib

Val Kalende,                                                Val Kalende

Zachary Rosen,                                             Afro-Photo

Zackie Achmat,                                           Writing Rights

Zion Moyo,                                                  Sky, Soil and Everything in Between

Here is a little more information about David Kato

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Revolution: Coming to a city near you.

And now add to the list Madison, Wisconsin the town of my birth. That's right, nowhere is governance perfect and even in the US the people will STAND UP AND SPEAK, when their elected leaders greedily serve special interests at the expense of the honest populace. My mom and dad, both educators, as well as my younger brother, are out there on the streets demanding fair and responsible budgeting. Thanks for making me proud guys.

Hear about the Wisconsin protests from the ED Schultz Show on MSNBC.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Revolution Egypt & Tunisia : Designers React

Borrowing a phrase from the excellent blog A Bombastic Element: The Revolution Will Be Embedded...

Revolution Egypt & Tunisia : Designers React: "

North Africa is experiencing what is now called the biggest revolution in modern times as millions of protesters join in the fight against oppression, dictatorship and political domination. With that said, designers and artists are joining in protest and here is a small collection of some digital/graphic art. Please feel free to suggest some more we would love to see what you’ve found.

The Searcher

Marlena Buczek Smith





Freestylee – Michael Thompson

Power to the PeopleOmar Nejai


Z.B.A. the zombie


The King is Dead – Sharif Elshinnawi


Egypt Solidarity - Isaiah King


Cairo 2011 – Malachi Cameron

Dictator – Marwan Shahin

Proud to be Egyptian – Moataz Elsayed


Sunday, February 6, 2011

All the Kings Violins

Last night, I ventured out with a few friends to the Maseru Convention Centre, whose glass-paneled walls had previously only reflected my image from the outside. We had been invited to a classical music performance and were told to dress nicely. I threw on my best, which is a button down shirt with a tie and sweater on top. The color combination, dominated by brown and maroon was reasonably well orchestrated. A bright red pair of complementary socks from South African Airways really tied the ensemble together and ensured a solid level of funkiness was maintained. Of course when, we the Peace Corps Volunteers, show up, we find literally everyone is wearing a black tuxedo or elegant flowing dress. I'm still saving up for a tux on my meager Peace Corps living allowance, I only have roughly 37 years of Peace Corps before I'll be able to afford it though.

After sipping a miniature glass of the sherry that was being offered in the lobby like I knew what I was doing, it was finally time to take my seat. Not long after most of the audience was seated we all had to rise once again as His Majesty King Letsie was escorted by an entourage to his throne-like chair at the front of the concert hall.

The music turned out to be quite the treat as there were performances by the Free State Symphony Orchestra, the National University of Lesotho Choir and Lesotho Defense Force Band. Each group did their own set and then they were all conducted together at the same time by both the Free State Orchestra conductor who had a classic, cartoonish looking jacket that is much longer in the back than it is in the front and the young energetic conductor of the NUL choir. It's not so bad being fancy every once in while even if I'm not very good at it. Not ready to dedicate my whole life to fanciness quite yet though.

I managed to take a few photographs from my seat, but I wasn't really in photojournalist mode as I just wanted to enjoy the show.