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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:30am July 04, 2024,

Mixed reactions as Cameroon president’s daughter posts about relationship with another woman

Brenda Biya shared a photo of her kissing another woman -- Photo: kingnastyy/Instagram

There have been mixed reactions in Cameroon after the daughter of the Central African nation’s president shared a photo of her kissing another woman and seemingly expressing her affection to her in the caption.

Per BBC, same-sex relationships in Cameroon are illegal and punishable by up to five years in prison. So Brenda Biya’s photo sparked a conversation about who is privileged to come out and if that benefits only a small section of Cameroonians.

In the Instagram photo, Brenda, 26, is seen embracing and kissing Brazillian model Layyons Valença. “I’m crazy about you & I want the world to know,” she also captions with a love emoji.

Despite sharing the seemingly intimate photo, Brenda stopped short of disclosing her sexuality – though she later shared a news article about her coming out. That article was published by French newspaper Le Monde.

Brenda, who is an abroad-based musician and goes by the stage name King Nasty, additionally posted supportive messages she had received. Shakiro, a Belgium-based Cameroonian transgender activist, said Brenda’s social media post possibly poses a “turning point for the LGBTQ+ community in Cameroon.”

Shakiro was granted asylum in Belgium after a Cameroonian court sentenced her to five years in prison for “attempted homosexuality.” She said Brenda “is now positioning herself as a voice for social change in a country where taboos are deeply rooted”, BBC reported.

“I love this for Cameroon’s First Daughter,” LGBT activist Bandy Kiki also shared on Facebook. “However, it highlights a harsh reality: Anti-LGBT laws in Cameroon disproportionately target the poor. Wealth and connections create a shield for some, while others face severe consequences.”

Despite the supportive messages, some of Brenda’s compatriots back home made homophobic comments on social media in response to her photo. And because Brenda is also reportedly known for stirring controversy with some of her social media posts, some people questioned if she shared the photo for that reason.

Brenda’s father, Paul Biya, is one of the longest-serving presidents in Africa. The 91-year-old assumed the Central African nation’s presidency in 1982. 

Cameroon’s anti-LGBTQ laws are said to be severe and discriminatory. The Human Rights Watch in 2022 entreated the Central African nation to “take urgent action to revoke this discriminatory law and to ensure that the human rights of all Cameroonians, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics, are upheld”.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 4, 2024

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