Sunday, July 3, 2011
Homophobia: Our ancestors knew better!
The tired excuse for homophobia in Ghana is that homosexuality is against our culture, and it’s a new thing young people are copying from the west. An “evil new thing” that ought to be condemned! People go ahead to emphasize how our ancestors punished any individual who had shown the slightest sexual interest in a person of the same sex by death or banishment. Is that so?
Openness to discussion and knowledge sharing on our individual sexual journeys, our sexual evolution and the truth on the stands of our ancestors on sexual preferences has been clamored by cultural and religious spasms from people who have obviously not taken the time to learn from our ancestors by the language they handed down to us on the matter of sex and sexuality.
Such words as Homosexual, Lesbian and Heterosexual do not exist in our indigenous languages. (e.g. Twi, Ga, Ewe, etc...) Why are these words missing in our indigenous vocabulary? One’s sexual preference was obviously not a thing our ancestors found a need to tag.
A sex offender on the other hand, example the rapist is “monaatofo” and the pedophile/child molester is “awengaa” in twi, which is by the way my mother tongue. Let me again point out, sex offenders and sexual offences have specific tags, rightful derogatory in our various indigenous Ghanaian languages. Here is my question; did our ancestor consider homosexuality an offence as today’s Africa wants us to believe?
The emphasis is on the fact that a word will arise when the concept or thing is deemed necessary to name in a community or when the community finds a concept or thing unacceptable. I wondered what my ancestors called homosexuality and so I kept in search for a word.
It shouldn’t be necessary that we find equivalent words for homosexuality or heterosexuality in our indigenous vocabulary. As old as homosexuality is our ancestors obviously didn’t think a person’s sexual preference formed any basis to be identified by, most of all to be discriminated against.
Contrary to what people would like us to believe today, homosexuality has long existed, it is no “new evil thing”. Ancient African Arts has shown women touching each other and men kissing. If there are no tags for homosexuality in our indigenous Ghanaian languages, it because there are also no tags for people based of their taste for food for instance. Since when did people get tags for their preference in anything for that matter? You can tell me when this started if you know but I know my ancestors did not find the need to name people based on ‘how they want it’. Don’t you dare blame your pointless fears, insecurity and cruelty on the ancestors!
Posted by Nana at 11:39 PM