blogger’s note: in this countdown to the ‘official’ (biggest) pan-afrikan holiday, we’re going to not only (re)vision where we’re coming from, giving thanx for the legacies en sacrifices of our ancestors, our people, en the future we’re preparing for,

but also, interrogate where we’re at NOW, like with-in (myself) en OUT, communally with all the gaps and dis-unity, (en ALL  the intersections, betwixt en between)

(like) dis’ hadithi ya the prosecution and imprisonment of steven monjeza na tiwonge chimbalanga is (pure) madness,

a ‘living’ example of the convoluted ways that we have internalised ‘foreign’ ideologies en  turned to attacking en criminalizing bredrin en sistren for misguided en oppressive reasons,

like it’s all a part of the master plan?

forgive them father, they know not what they do kinda song?

nigga(s) please, let’s jus’ stop hating (ourselves en) on each other!

if it were all that simple to reclaim love for ourselves with the preach en human rights speech no?

with papa malcolm’s anniversary jus’ one day gone, and ALD just 4 days away, (more than a few) big symbols of  all the labour that has gone into the freedom we DO  have,all the more reason to give thanx for en share stories of peace, and (of) the people willing to fight for it, by any means necessary!  afrika huru! ase o….

21 May 2010

UN human rights chief says sentence on Malawi gay couple is discriminatory and sets dangerous precedent

GENEVA – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Friday that the prosecution and sentencing of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour for a Malawian gay couple, imposed by a court in Malawi on Thursday, is “blatantly discriminatory” and sets an alarming precedent in the region for the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as groups that support them.

“I am shocked and dismayed by the sentence and reports of the treatment of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga while in detention,” Pillay said. “The law which enabled the conviction dates back to the colonial era and has lain dormant for a number of years – rightly so, because it is discriminatory and has the effect of criminalizing and stigmatizing people based on perceptions of their identity. If this was replicated worldwide, we would be talking about the widespread criminalization of millions of people in consensual relationships and the rampant violation of privacy.”  

 “Laws that criminalize people on the basis of their sexual orientation are by their nature discriminatory, and as such are in apparent violation of a number of key international treaties and instruments, including the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights*,” Pillay said “Unfortunately they still exist in quite a number of countries across the world. The trend should be towards getting rid of them, as is the case with other forms of discrimination. Instead, some countries, including Malawi, seem to be heading in the opposite direction.”

 The High Commissioner called for the conviction to be repealed and for the penal codes criminalizing homosexuality to be reformed.

 She said she was also concerned that this case appears to have stimulated a marked deterioration in official and public attitudes in Malawi, not just towards individuals perceived as being homosexual but also towards organizations that speak out about sexual orientation and related issues, including ones doing vital work to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS.  

 

“I fear the reverberations of this decision, along with the recent attempt to bring in a new draconian bill aimed at homosexuals in Uganda, could have severe repercussions throughout the African continent,” Pillay said. “It will inevitably drive same-sex couples underground, and if this trend continues and spreads, not only will it mark a major setback to civil liberties, it could have a disastrous effect on the fight against HIV/AIDS. So, in addition to the serious moral and legal ramifications of this decision, it raises intensely practical problems as well.”    

The High Commissioner dismissed the argument that non-discrimination against people on the grounds of sexual orientation is a cultural issue. “It is a question of fundamental rights,” she said, “not one of geography, history or disparate cultures. The protection of individuals against discrimination is pervasive in international human rights law. Why should it be suspended for this one group of human beings?”

(*) Article 2:Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status. Article 19:All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another.

Learn more about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx

Click here to visit OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org

OHCHR Country Page – Malawi: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MWIndex.aspx

For more information or interviews contact: Rupert Colville at + 41 22 917 9767

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Blogger’s notes:

I, Sista.In.Solidarity, will tell you not only my story, but those of bredrin en sistren, of elders en ancestors, for the sake of our children en those yet to be born….

because we [‘ve probably heard many parts of these hadithi before, we already] KNOW, but if our children are the future re-incarnate, then how satisfied are we with our (supposedly)  civilized trend of forgetfulness?

Hadithi? Hadithi? Nipe hadithi?

The Q werd is a mystic, organic en (us)people-driven hadithi caravan of video diaries. Nothing like the L word, in many ways like I love U People, with a continental twist…….the crux of the series is big love en big mobilizing for, and, within (pan) Afrikan communities (en with our allies)

Hadithi? Hadithi? Nipe mji?

Nilienda meroe, hapo wahenga waliniambia hadithi ya Isis, Oshun, Oya, na Yemoja.

The (inaugural) hadithi ya i,S.I.S, is from the Q werd blog of the day,

http://bedsofpurple.wordpress.com/orishas/

These are some of her parts…..

 “Yemaya is one of the most powerful Goddesses found in the many African-Caribbean traditions. Her name is Yemaya, or Ymoja as she was known to the Yoruban people of West Africa.

She is the Mother of the Ogun River and was also referred to as the “Mother of the Waters”. This is because she is said to give birth to the world’s waters – that new springs would appear whenever she turned over in her sleep, and that springs would also gush forth and turn into rivers wherever she walked.

Together with Oshun and Oya (the guardians of the River Niger), Yemaya was said to be “supreme in the arts of mystic retribution”, and protected her people “against all evil”.

Yemaya is a merciful Goddess who women called upon for aid during childbirth, and the Goddess to whom her people prayed to for fertility, especially by women who have trouble conceiving. According to legend, she birthed 14 of the Yoruban Gods and Goddesses (also referred to as “orishas”). This came about through her being raped by her own son. After this ordeal, Yemaya lay a curse upon him, causing him to die. However, when this happened, the Goddess chose to die as well, and went upon a mountain peak. As she died, the bursting of her uterine waters caused a great flood which, in turn, created the oceans, and from her womb, the 14 orishas were born.

 When the Yoruban people were enslaved, their Goddess went with them, sustaining them with life even in the face of the darkest times, in the new world. When her people were brought to the Americas, Ymoja became known as Yemaya, the “Mother of the Ocean”, for this was the first time that her people had came into contact with the ocean. As the Yoruban people were not allowed to practice their beliefs in this new world, they merged their deities with images of Catholic saints, and subsequently created a number of new religions – Santeria in Cuba, Voudoun in Haiti, Macumba in Brazil, and Candomble in Bahia. Within all these differing religions, Yemaya is still revered as a powerful deity.

To the Brazilian Macumba, she is known as Imanje, the Ocean Goddess of the Crescent Moon. In Cuba, there are many variants to her name – while Yemaya Ataramagwa was the wealth Queen of the Sea, she was also the stern Yemaya Achabba, the violent Yemaya Oqqutte (violent aspect), and the overpowering Yemaya Olokun, who could only be seen in dreams. To the people of Haiti, the Goddess is known as Agwe, and as La Balianne to the people of New Orleans.

Being a Goddess of the Sea, Yemaya is often depicted as a beautiful mermaid, or wearing seven skirts of blue and white. The cowrie shell is sacred to her and her places of worship are the seashores, or large rivers that flow into the sea. In Brazil, where she is referred to as “”Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception”, crowds still gather today on the beach of Bahia to celebrate Candalaria, a ceremony in which offerings of soap, perfume, and jewellery are thrown into the sea in honour of Yemaya. Letters of requests to the Goddess are thrown also. The people wait to see if their offerings are accepted by the Goddess, or returned to them upon the waves. It is believed that the Goddess would wash away the troubles of her followers with her waters, the waters of the womb of creation and dreams.

Colours attributed to Yemaya are blue, silver and white. Symbols are the six-pointed star, an open shell, the Moon, and bodies of water. Stones are turquoise (and other light blue crystals), pearl, mother-of-pearl and coral. The trout lily and sea lavender are her flowers, while sandalwood, tea rose, lilac and frangipani are her fragrances. She is also said to be fond of melons.”

To be continued…..

 Additional reading:

Did you know?….. mami wota in our stories

In a political ploy probably designed to legitimize her reign, after inheriting her father’s expanding colonial kingdoms at the age of 17, the Macedonian (Greek) Cleopatra IV and her 10 year old brother (Theos Philopator)-Ptolemy XIII, installed as the new rulers of Egypt, in imitation of the African queen mothers, reputedly built herself a (now destroyed) Mammisi shrine at Erment (Upper Egypt), when giving birth to her first son. She even had inscribed in her shrine the traditional priestly attributes including depicting herself giving birth to Julius Caesar’s son, being assisted by the seven Netjers (divine African ancestors, including Isis and Osiris). However, lacking the ancestral connection to the divine spirits, she thought she could fake it by trying desperately (without success) to obtain the sacred prophetic poems of the Eastern Masses, authored by the great Sibylline (Mami) prophetesses’. Undeterred, she ordered her conquered African subjects to address her as the “New Isis.” Ironically, she met her demised when she was fatally bitten by one of the sacred asp (serpents). (Walker 1983, p.573, Britannica 1974, Vol. 6, p.484, Vol 8, p. 386, Vol. I p. 261, VIII p.282, Nicholson, p.264,269,Lindsay 1971, p. 384).

[original source: http://www.mamiwata.com/mami.htm]

 

“Our appeal is straightforwardly based on the need for clemency as an essential element in the attainment of that healing process which the present national leader swore to embark upon, on taking oath of office. Without being superstitious, we cannot but observe how a 10-year cycle of blood-letting appears to have become an incubus on the very life of the nation’s Armed Forces – 1966, 1976 and now 1986. You possess the will to break this jinx. You have the moral duty to exercise that will.”

– Chinua Achebe, J.P Clark and Wole Soyinka in a petition to General Ibrahim Babangida at Dodan Barracks on March 4, 1986

to learn how to give love and to let it come in.

 in the spirit of love en resistance,

here’s another gift (yes yes y’all! tis’ the giving season)

more s/heroes waxing LIBERATORY  about  OUR  stories.

iS.I.S: you are beautiful

Wathint abafazi!
Wathint` imbokodo uzo kufa!

Now you have touched the women!
You have struck a rock
 

(You have dislodged a boulder!)
You will be crushed!

The Federation of South African Women (1955)

 sistas in solidarity (SIS) is a working concept that grew out of Thursday’s  roundtable discussion on building solidarity within queer/trans afrikan communities.  (this is a living document). 

It is an intuitive and logical consequence to the big dreams we have for the liberation of ALL Afrikan peoples. It is our contribution to the struggle for Afrikan liberation. We are critically analysing our gaps and internal contradictions.

We are addresssing the intersections of our diversity, sharing resources, and building radical, sustaining and  sustainable coalitions.

It’s significant to note that there were only 3 (bio) brothas in the brainstorming session. And only one was over the age of 4. That would be Chris Harris from BADC. another comrade in the struggle for afrikan liberation, ase. and ase, to all the wo/mynthat came together to build solidarity.

We warn you! we have (not)  only just begun, en these issues are OUR stories…..

 For the next few weeks, we will be (mostly) sistas in solidarity, mobilising resources en working together to do more to support queer/trans activism on the continent. we’re working on our own unity first.

It’s official we’re recruiting. write an op-ed. bring it up wherever en whenever. Do something (more).

We will be talking with you on community radio.Verlia stephens is officially back on air this week en she’ll be telling you more about the bill and proposed actions in her next  show  on “Liming with Verlia in de African Diaspora”.

We will be circulating petitions and requesting folks to sit on advisory commitees.

 

We will support the implementation of 4 programs, to start….

AO101  workshops,

a womyn’s circle for healing en self recovery,

queer/trans youth arts collective &

queer/trans youth exchange program (Jun-Aug 2010), to be launched in East Afrika,

en spearheaded by The People Project with the collaboration of various Kenyan & Ugandan groups.

(much, much more will be shared in detail on the listserv)

 

We’re asking for donations of many kinds. 

we will be sending you our wish lists for the GALCK  resource centre

(and) we’ll be checking them twice. 😉    

so check this space (soon).

 

to give you an idea. we’re looking for donations like books, videos & educational brochures for our library.

Binders, condoms, dams, lube, computers, cameras, printers, scanners, sound recorders, paper, STP’s, blank tapes, a boom & mic, hormones, technical support, volunteers, & MONEY.

 

we’re going to ship a container back to Kenya, with (some) necessary resources, for these groups in East Afrika.

MWA, TEA, IshtarMSM, Gay Kenya, AfraKenya, SMUG, FARug &  TITs

 

there are many possibilities to the ways you could support.

(be as creative en as revolushunary as you can, en get back to us with your ideas and suggestions)

 

We’re recruiting performers for our UNDERGROUND &  BIG LOVE  parties.

we promise a round up of the biggest celebrity talent (from the margins)

we got an after party, and our favourite DJ’s cherry picked alot.

 

yes. we have our wishlist. we want folks like  Ryan Hinds, Dainty Smith, D’bi Young.AnitAfrika, Amai Kuda,Troy Jackson, Laura Aidanblase,  Stacey Ann Chin, Imani Henry, Hanifah Walidah, Milo de Milo, Suzy Yim, Brescia Birdthroat Bloodbeard, LAL, zaki ibrahim, deb kirk pearce, ryli skelton, tenacious bryan, marie jolie, njeri damali campbell, truthIS …..the list is long.

we want U people

(to)

 

Book these dates. Nov 21st & Dec 18th.

we’ll be throwing you some (not-so) “UNDER-GROUND”  parties.

 

For now, we’ll spill jus’ a few juicy secrets. 

On Nov 21st,there will be spoken word/dub poetry, song en dance, en an after party.

There will be be many beautiful  QPOC en a silent auction.

It’ll be the kinda win-win situation we all looking for. come out, en raise money, for a revolushunary cause.

 

AND we’re looking for sponsors for raffle prizes for December’s   BIG LOVE  party……

the idea is that we get it all from the community, but we’re ready to exploit small en big businesses for our purposes. 

all a dis, en more,  is by, for, en from the community.

we are (the )  GRASSROOTS.

we are the power of (u) people.

 

We”re looking for other parties to donate part of their proceedings in events over the next 3 months.

would the (not so) usual suspects please stand up?

 Give us your ideas of who else we can get to donate part of their party funds to our cause.

 

Watch the streets and  join our group on FACE BOOK  for more details.

we need your support to realise our dreams.

Because we’re setting lofty goals, and THIS IS  the revolution.

Thinking global and starting local.

 

Join us!

  We are doing this not only because we can, but because it is necessary.

 We stand in resistance to all forms of imperialism.

and, to start, we petition the Prime Minister to release an official declaration condemning Bill 18! 

 

We will launch a queer/trans/pan/Afrikan activists listserv, hosted by Fahamu, that will serve as a forum to connect  Q/tPOC  and, activists of Afrikan descent from the continent en in the diaspora(s).

The official launch for the listserv will be, online, on Friday October 23rd.

And, we’re recruiting people for the cause.

 

Izwe lethu! I Afrika!

 

sis

[you tube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BpXhaDXp-c]

 

s.I.s(ta)