Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Opinion: Creating a Single Story About Uganda

South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu...Image via Wikipedia
Source: African Activist

I have been troubled by the coverage of African lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues in the United States and Europe for some time. It is heartening to see that African intellectuals like Keguro Macharia and Sokari Ekine are talking about the issue. You can read Macharia's article titled "How not to explain African homophobia" at Kenya Imagine and Ekine's response to this article titled "Single story homophobia and gay imperialism revisited" at Black Looks.

For many people in the United States and Europe, the sustained media blitz around the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 in Uganda has created another "single story" about Africa and particularly about Uganda. Some of the really important stories about Africa and Uganda have been completely missed. Here are some examples:
How long will it take Uganda to live down this "single story" about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 burned into the minds of the West? The reality is that Uganda and the rest of Africa are full of many diverse stories and it is important that we hold all the stories about any particular place before we rush to judgement.

This was the masterful thesis of Chimamanda Adichie's lecture at TED titled, "The Danger of the Single Story."
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