In Africa, homosexuality remains a taboo in many communities, with some governments even passing laws that allow for the execution of members of the LGBTQ community.
In a country like Uganda, gays and their sympathizers are often attacked and ridiculed by members of their communities. A number of them have even lost their lives in the process.
But despite the apparent risk of being attacked or prosecuted, two African women have made it their mission to fight homophobia on the content through drama. Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile, an openly transgender playwright from Botswana, and Adong Judith, a straight female filmmaker from Uganda, have partnered to fight homophobia in Africa.
With her theater festival titled “Queer Shorts Showcase Festival”, Katlego, who is known by her stage name “Kat Kai Kol-kes” hopes to use the platform to sensitize the people of Botswana on the importance of accepting gay and transgender people.
“I want to amplify the voices people are just not hearing. We are not being celebrated for the work that we are doing. So we keep carrying this label of brave. I am not brave for living my life,” Katlego told CNN in a recent interview.
Adong, on the other hand, creates films and theater plays that seek to normalize homosexuality, develop compassion for gays and elicit debates by reconstructing everyday situations that portray moral dilemma.
Through her controversial plays, Adong has toured different parts of the world, including the United States of America. In 2011, she was invited to attend a three-week residential program themed “Sundance Theater Lab” in New York.
The two women met earlier this year when they attended the recently held TED Global conference in Tanzania, where they delivered powerful speeches about their work.
They also criticized the media and the religious community for advancing propaganda campaigns against the LGBTQ community on the continent. Africa is one of the leading continents where homophobia is still very rampant.
Despite the numerous interventions by the international community and civil society, many African governments remain adamantly opposed to homosexuality in general.