Makena Njeri has announced that she intends to start a family of her own with a lesbian lover to be determined in due time but one interesting factor in all this is whether or not the Kenyans are ready for this type of family unit.
You see, contrary to what you might think, Kenya indeed does have certain allowances traditionally for homosexuality. No really, if you’re a Meru, ask your grandmother about the mugawe. There was a gay Bugandan king called Mwanga 2 aswell and it seems sentiment about him only changed when Uganda was colonized. And those are just the examples I can remember.
So what Makena Njeri is trying to do later in life isn’t anything new. The change in attitude towards homosexuals and lesbians actually came through Islam and Christianity which were either brought by Arab traders and missionaries respectively.
Be that as it may, the truth is that homosexuality as an act is still illegal in Kenya and that would mean that Makena Njeri and other people who identify as gay would be contravening the law. Granted this law only seems concerned with men but it is still a thing.
Article 162 penalizes “carnal knowledge … against the order of nature” with up to 14 years in prison, and Article 165 castigates “indecent practices between males” with the possibility of five years’ imprisonment.
But seeing as I am not a lawyer, I am going to drop that gem right here and move on. So back to Makena Njeri’s desire to raise a family as one half of a gay couple. In Kenya, our society cherry picks what to be conservative about. And this would be a real issue. Why? Because Kenyans might decide they don’t want them living near them.
Or perhaps Makena Njeri and her partner will become a problem for the children who will be bullied and teased as she is a high profile gay rights activist. Or perhaps the parents in their school’s PTA will decide they do not want to deal with a homosexual couple. Whatever the case may be, this is a very interesting topic and I for one look forward to seeing how it will respoolve itself. My bet is on Makena Njeri creating a bubble around herself. She will recede into that bubble that will have like minded individuals and she would also live in a more cosmopolitan area and her children would attend a liberal international school.
But as I said before, I would love to see how Makena Njeri would navigate this one.
February 7, 2023
February 6, 2023