What traditional African homosexuality learned from West

76 CRIMES

Patrick Awondo Patrick Awondo (Photo by Eric Lembembe)

Homosexuality has a long history in Africa, says anthropologist Patrick Awondo, contrary to the claims of politicians who consider it a recent Western import.

But Awondo acknowledged in an interview last month that two key elements in the debate over homosexuality in Africa did come from the West — first, colonial-era laws against homosexual activities and, more recently, the establishment of groups opposing discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

“Homosexuality has always existed, but some of the current forms of gay self-identification and gay activism originated elsewhere,” he said.

Awondo was in Cameroon last month to help lead a training session on HIV/AIDS.

Citing historical records of homosexual practices in Africa, Awondo mentioned evidence of same-sex sexual relationships in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Benin.

It is helpful for Africans to know about ancient practices such as Mossi kings’ sexual relations with their…

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