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Popular Rwandan gospel singer who came out as gay forced to resign from accountancy job

October 09, 2019 at 04:45 pm | News

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor | Associate Editor

October 09, 2019 at 04:45 pm | News

Rwandan gospel singer Albert Nabonibo. Pic credit: RegionWeek

Rwandan gospel singer Albert Nabonibo who recently came out as gay has been forced to resign from his job.

Nabonibo told the BBC that he was pushed by his employers to resign from his accountancy job two weeks after his revelation.

Homosexuality is not criminalised in Rwanda, however, same-sex marriage is not allowed.

The well-known gospel singer, in August, faced backlash after coming out as a gay man during an interview on a Christian YouTube channel.

Nabonibo, at the time, said he was compelled to come out because he wanted to live a normal life.

Despite what he described as the horrible treatment he received from relatives and friends, Nabonibo said: “there is no going back.”

“It’s so sad to see people you know abusing you.”

“There is a long list of [gay people] in your midst and they include pastors or churchgoers,” he said.

“This pretence encouraged me to speak out.”

Recently, he mentioned that he was scared he will be sacked from his job due to his sexuality and the outrage that followed his revelation.

“I was good at my job, but when fellow employees saw the story they started hating me, then my bosses pushed me to resign,” Nabonibo told the BBC.

Being gay is not illegal in Rwanda but homophobia persists in the East African country.

Although some African countries are slowly accepting same-sex marriages, many are still very categorical in their denunciation of the idea. Some have even made it a capital offence punishable by death – Mauritania, Sudan, southern Somalia and northern Nigeria.

Many members of the LGBT community in these countries have been forced to hide their sexuality while others have fled their homes for fear of being attacked.

In Uganda, for instance, same-sex relationships have been illegal since British colonial rule, and in neighbouring Tanzania, the situation is no different.

As political landscapes continue to change across the continent, new ideologies are slowly taking shape and societies are becoming more accepting as far as embracing same-sex relationships is concerned.

In January, this year, Angola shed the divisive “vices against nature” provision in its law, widely interpreted to be a ban on homosexual conduct.

The changes were made on January 23 when the oil-rich southern African country parliament adopted its first new penal code since it gained independence in 1975 and removed the “vices against nature” provision that it inherited from its Portuguese colonizers.

There had been no known prosecutions under the law, but the “vices against nature” provision tended to place the lives of LGBT people in Angola under scrutiny.

Five months after Angola adopted the new penal code, Botswana also discarded its colonial-era law that frowns on consensual same-sex relations.

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