Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many events have had to be cancelled indefinitely as public gatherings are banned, to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Annual pride festivities across the continent have also borne the brunt of the ban, as the organisers of these events have been forced to cancel their plans, much to the disappointment of the LGBTQ+ community.
However, the pandemic won’t be stopping them from celebrating pride this year.
According to South African gay news and lifestyle website Mamba Online, pride organisations around Africa have united to organise the United Prides in Africa online event on September 26.
According to the organisers, online platforms will be used to deliver a pride event in which everyone can participate, wherever they are in Africa and the world.
The event will include musical performances, speeches and keynote messages from human rights activists.
Mamba Online reported that United Prides in Africa is being held in conjunction with pride organisations from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Tunisia and eSwatini, to name a few.
Production co-ordinator of United Prides in Africa, Matthew Van As, said: “This event will give people from across the continent the opportunity to view and participate in a pride event of this magnitude and nature.”
Van As added: “This will be a time to remember, reflect and foster personal pride across the African continent, but also celebrate the steps that we have taken as a community. In many spaces in Africa, people can not celebrate pride or even mention being part of the LGBTIQA+ community. This platform will give those folks a space to let their voices be heard.”
According to Thomas Patterson, director of United Prides in Africa, he has always wanted to do a project that tells the African LGBTQ+ history; a story from the people to the people.
“We need to enshrine our history. As the years go by, many of our leaders pass away without their story being heard. We feel that this is the time to start this project and start building our history,” Mamba Online quoted Patterson as saying.
On a continent where homosexuality is still very much taboo and carries severe punishment – sometimes even the death penalty – the online pride event will allow many LGBTQ+ people to celebrate who they are in the comfort of their own homes and without fear.
-ANA; Editing by Yaron Blecher