Ghanaian preachers are attracting international press for peculiar reasons. It is not uncommon the world over for religious figures to wade in on political issues and find themselves considered as a respected authority on a given matter. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, often gave his opinion on social and political affairs and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s disdain for the current incarnation of South Africa’s ruling ANC party is well known. Ghanaian preachers are no different. And now, after years of finding (read advertising) themselves in the pages of national newspapers they too have reached the global stage. Albeit for less noble reasons.
Homosexuality is also often depicted as an import from the deviant West. But the African Continent has always been more queer than generally acknowledged; it has always rainbow-hazed into such a range of sexualities that it is a matter of legitimate political and critical concern that homosexualities and African societies are read as antinomous. Also, these homosexualities fall outside of the purview of the law and even of language. The expression—‘to call a spade a spade’— entails speaking plainly without avoiding embarrassing issues. But what if the spade, while remaining a tool, is called differently in another language? While same-sex practices are rampant throughout the African Continent, claiming homosexual identity is forbidden and even condemned. The question of what constitutes ‘sex’ in Africa and, in particular, same-sex sex is still a blindspot.
Last weekend in Khirki Village, Delhi, a late-night mob led by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti went looking for “some Nigerians or Ugandans.” They pulled four young African women out of their home, held them captive in a taxi for hours, probed their “private parts”, forced them to urinate publicly, hustled them to a hospital against their will for “tests”, and reluctantly let them go the next morning. In the light of this event, and given black peoples’ fondness for suspicious activities like studying, working, breathing, etc., many foreigners wish to know if India is worth visiting. This is an inclusive website, so here is a handy guide for potential travellers of all races.
Following the publication of Elizabeth Rubin’s profile of Shannon Sedgwick Davis (“How a Texas Philanthropist Helped Fund the Hunt for Joseph Kony”, posted October 21, 2013), readers have raised concerns about the New Yorker’s fact-checking process, as well as its apparent lack of interest in the legal and ethical implications of funding private military operations with secretly managed funds.