Website celebrates Africa’s gay heroes
A Supreme Court judge, an HIV treatment campaigner and an anti-apartheid activist all feature on a new website highlighting African heroes.
All three are from South Africa. The website, africansuccess.org, was created by Kadija Traoré Bush, who is of is Malian and Beninoise heritage.
She wants to add more African lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) biographies to the site, and is asking people to submit entries.
“Gay Africans make up a part of the landscape of the continent,” she said.
“Any member of the gay community who has achieved something of merit deserves a place on our site. We welcome the submission of their biographies.”
Simon Nkoli, the South African gay rights and anti-apartheid activist, Zachie Achmat, the HIV treatment campaigner and Edwin Cameron, the openly gay and HIV-positive South African Supreme Court judge are the first three entries.
The new website is being supported by gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“The first three LGBT entries are all South Africans,” he said.
“There are many other heroic LGBT campaigners in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and elsewhere.
“I hope that people who know these courageous, inspiring individuals will add their biographies to the AfricanSuccess website in the coming weeks and months.
“This is, in part, a user-generated website, a bit like Wikipedia. It depends on public contributions to expand its data base.”
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The website organisers are keen to debunk the often negative public image of Africa.
“Africansuccess.org wants to get people to look at Africa in a different and positive way,” said Kadija Traoré Bush.
“We want to inspire the young, give hope and ambition to Africans everywhere, and to change the way the world sees Africa. Our aim is to create a website that will inspire a continent.”
“If we can show the world where Africans are successful, we can change the way in which we are perceived.
“It is an interactive community website, which encourages the people who visit the website to add the names and biographies of people that they know and consider worthy of being included. The site is free access and it is free to add names, biographies and other historical information.
“We hope that people from all countries and all walks of life are going to put up the biographies of people they feel proud of, so we can offer role models for today’s children and tomorrow’s leaders.”