A Ghanaian reggae artist has been criticised after he called homosexuality a “disorder” in an interview.

Blakk Rasta told GhanaMusic.com: “It is not the normal concept of life. Every man must sex a woman and not otherwise. Homosexuality is a mental/genetically disorder, in my opinion.”

He added: “I do not incite violence against gays and lesbians. I believe it is a disorder which we must empathise with and not otherwise. I will never take human life. It is a sin against Jah. We burn fire on homosexuals to cleanse them spiritually because fire signifies purity. It is not a physical fire.”

The reggae genre has had a number of run-ins with gay campaigners in recent years. Jamaican stars Beenie Man and Buju Banton have seen their gigs scrapped after protests by gays and lesbians.

Amnesty International criticised Blakk Rasta, saying his remarks would “perpetuate a climate of discrimination and intimidation against LGBT people”.

The human rights group said: “To describe homosexuality as a ‘disorder’ is simply abhorrent – and [his] comments should be condemned vigorously from all quarters.

“Sadly his comments reflect a growing rise of homophobia across Africa and those prevailing attitudes need to be challenged.”