First-ever pan-African Pride will celebrate the ‘bustling, multi-layered, chaotically explosive reservoir’ of queer Africans

pan-African Pride

A first-of-its-kind pan-African LGBT+ Pride event, Pride Afrique, is set to take place virtually, celebrating the “bustling, multi-layered, chaotically explosive reservoir” of queer Africans.

According to Star Observer, Pride Afrique will be the first pan-African virtual Pride, and has been organised entirely by volunteers across countries and time zones via Zoom.

Pride Afrique will be a three-day live “storytelling experience”, running from August 14 to 16, “featuring the most critical voices” on LGBT+ issues in Africa, and acknowledging queer icons and history.

It will feature content from individuals and organisations in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese touching on themes including the “intergenerationality of same-sex love, gender transgression, queer parenting, inter-faith queer revolutions”.

David Nnanna Ikpo, a Nigerian lawyer, novelist and one of the virtual Pride event’s organisers: “The global media has been flooded with narratives of a completely homophobic and hopeless Africa.

“We are never in the news or in discussions until there is a Hollywood script of dusty, poverty stricken, hungry Africa where queer men are only ever lynched.

“Queer women, children, professionals, healers, artists, parents are invisible and erased.

“Having said this, Pride Afrique was born not necessarily to tackle with these destructive narratives, but to reach the corners of the continent and world where these narratives are splitting the dignities of young queer children and dreamers.”

He added: “There is a bustling, multi-layered, chaotically explosive reservoir of African queer narratives that the world ignores. And because these stories do not get the spotlight, they do not travel far.

“So now we are coming together, calling on all queer stories, we are building our own light, and weaving the rainbow kente in the glare of the sun.”

Ikpo said that the recent Black Lives Matter movement across the globe was a “crystallisation of a historic fight for racial equality”.

“The Black Lives [Matter] movement is legitimately veined from that need and the urgency to emancipate,” he said.

“Like the Igbo rising, it defies odds, makes sacrifices and pays the price for being heard, being seen, but shakes oppression at its roots so that history, the system hears you loud and clear.

“Our chances of  defiance and equality are fortified by what we know, what we can know.

“Content creation and storytelling is such an important part of that emancipation, most especially for us who need to nourish ourselves and our children with stories of love, of laughter or triumph and defiance.

“With stories of tears too, because those are important but incomplete without the telling of the sun and how we, as different as we are, moved ahead, and moved on.”