For five seconds, Kena and Ziki stare into each other’s eyes. No words, just lengthy looks and shy smiles. A lot is communicated, a special bond emerges. Their ‘relationship’ loosens up and blooms. They go on dates. They talk about everything and then, nothing-and then in a moment, at home…the two girls get lost in each other’s eyes, overtaken by affection, their lips draw closer, to share a kiss…
Let’s take a moment and digest that. Till that point, I can almost hear the screeching confusion in your head, breathe in…exhale! You need to breathe because life is a complicated sphere. It is for so many people than imagined, as portrayed in ‘Rafiki’ (friend) – a film by Wanuri Kahiu.
A lot has been said, of the things Kenya, a GODLY nation cannot condone. While things are thorny for the two teenagers who fall in love in the film, in real life, for Christians, in a life alleged to be a streamline of ease, I got to ask, is it really?
With all that is going on around us, to me it seems we are in a never ending battle. And come to think of it, Christians are actually fighting battles beyond human understanding, or better yet, beyond human victory! Isn’t the song by Todd Dulaney “Victory belongs to Jesus” clear about that fact?
So why am I talking about homosexuality, no, LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex)?
Last Sunday when I met my group of media team, our spiritual leader told me that I have been playing safe in my writing. What he meant is that I actually never touch base with current affairs that actually involves the controversies of our lives, generally, things that matter to us all, Christians or not. I didn’t argue because it is true. I have been playing it safe because I am afraid to even comment on controversial concerns. And why? Reason; I’m a church person.
But, pasi suggesting this, to me, was such a relief, an eye opener, or do I say a window opener, in disguise. I suddenly got some courage to widen the expanse of my subjects, right here.
This is particularly important because Christians, honestly, do either shun some of the subjects we shall be unleashing or just condemn them as non-spiritual, not our concern matters, which is what I’m not certain should be the case. So let’s start conversations in some of the itchiest concerns in our society today. Something like…Homosexuality!
Amnesty International report of May 2018 recorded that LGBTI is punishable by death in countries like Mauritania, Sudan, Northern Nigeria, Southern Somalia, and according to Business Insider by Pulse report of November, 2017, South Africa, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Rwanda are among the sixteen African nations that have made LGBTI activities legal. The likes of Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Central African Republic, Congo DRC, Gabon, are amongst those who have allowed the activities without legal backing. On the other hand, Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt and Kenya are amongst the African countries who are not vibrating to the beats of this subject matter. So, the LGBT community function privately, hang out in private, and, you know, make out in private, not only because it is a private affair but, a forbidden act, prohibited by the public and outlawed by the government!
‘Rafiki’ was validated for a one week screening as an Oscar’s nomination requirement in September, 2018. And as expected, this raised a conflicting number of dialogs, both in the media and in standard conversations.
So, even us (church) let’s talk.
Let’s talk because there are things that are not clear, yet, about being a homo, bisexual, transgender or intersex.
Let’s talk because one may not understand whether these people are who they are because of their own choosing, or whether it’s biological as science puts it, or if by any chance it’s a curse.
Let’s talk so that the next time someone tells you LGBT is wrong, or is a sin, or a taboo, you will have an answer to the WHY!
Let’s talk because this could be a matter of life and love!
What’s your take?