Monday, February 17, 2014

A memo from 'Our African Culture' to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

Dear Kadaga Alitwala,

It is indeed a surprise to find myself writing to you my prodigal child. I had long given up on you because of as one of my daughters, you have lived a life so far out of range of my expectations and prescriptions for a woman that you seemed like a hopeless cause. But now, of your own accord, you have returned to me. Well, thank you. Your passing of the anti-homosexuality bill in defence of me - Our African Culture, was a most thoughtful gift for a parent long forsaken. Granted, it was kind of inappropriate. It would have been more fitting if offered to my bleached version of the mid 1900s. The version of me that mindlessly sucked up to Christianity and Colonialism, my most severe rapists. I have since started to heal from that confusion. But hey, its the thought that matters. And you are trying to find your way back home. I tentatively accept the gift.


However, even as I happily welcome a long lost child back home, I am still a good proper African parent. I won’t spare the rod by failing to remind you of the debts your owe me. Hence this very brief memo. Following:


1. You still owe me offspring. You know me, your very own ‘Our African Culture.’ A woman is no woman until she bares children. Indeed a person is no person unless they are willing to breed. Indeed, this is one of very many things we both fault homosexuals for - the unwillingness or inability to breed. Therefore, I am sure you understand when I insist on this one. Woman, meet your African cultural obligations and give birth! That’s an order not a suggestion. In this area code where you live, women are meeting this African cultural calling more than sufficiently. They are giving birth to six children on average. A good African woman does not stand around with hands akimbo while other women work. Madam, stop whatever you are doing, go to the labour ward and push something out of you. You know that's my cardinal expectation of a good African woman!


2. Related to the above, get a husband. I don’t understand you woman of these days. Going around without husbands as if you are not African. Get a man or you’ll remain worthless to me. Preferably, get a real man who can show you some love by routinely beating you. Have you forgotten my place for you in the hierarchy of this world? Fall in line quickly before I ask the clan to rain down on you with a thorough beating. Mssscchwwttt…. No offspring, no husband --- and you still think you are protecting the traditional African family. Well, now that you are back home, I, 'Our African Culture' will teach you better.


3. You show absolutely no fear of men. That will not do! You speak while they speak. You get involved in political affairs as if you are a man. The other day, you shut up the prime minister - a whole man! Is that the true African woman I raised you to be? You keep on talking smart in that manner and you may as well be lost to me again. A good African woman is seen not heard. Stop talking smart and also use the silence to reflect on what a bad African woman you have been.


Now go work on the above and we will review in a year. If you behave, we can start talking about dropping that non-African Rebecca name of yours and getting you to pass a law that changes the official language of this African country from English to say, Lusoga. Eh, my dear, 'Our African Culture' is a high maintenance lady. The defence of me will be a protracted and deeply invasive operation. Get to work.


Keeping my faith in you,
Our African Culture.

28 comments:

  1. Wow... really true letter to an african woman from the ancestors

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  2. Let all these women/gals know what they are supposed to do

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  3. Happy satire is not dead:)

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  4. a nice piece here

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  5. Using sarcasm and left-wing bigatory to counter argue sensitive is foolish

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  6. This is not fair at all.Personal and I mean private life should never be mixed with someones official duties.Marriage is an institution and a calling from God.If one feels he or she is not ready to take that mantle of marriage,why should we in the name of culture force it on them? Besides,would it be good if Rebecca go around to marry only to end up with a failed marriage? I don't think this will be okay either.One point of correction,child bearing comes from God.For heaven sake,we should stop pretending to be protecting our culture when we intend to do more than harm to it.Give Rebbecca credit for the good she has so far done.What would have been said if she didn't pass the bill? Again,we are pass the line of African tradition where women were relegated to child bearing and silence while in the presence of men.This society is different and believe you me,you will have to have the women like Rebecca if you are to live a peaceful mind in the world of today.

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    1. That's kinda the point of this actually - to demonstrate how it is unfair, below the belt, unnecessary, insensitive etc when we take personal and private lives and force them to be matters public (for example by writing laws or blogs about them). I also agree with you that we don't give our African culture enough credit, indeed we completely misrepresent it, when we potray it as this frozen in the past edifice that still hasn't evolved to; a) allow equality for all human beings b) allow people to make their own personal choices and accord them fully respected lives all the same. Had she not passed the bill, I would have said she did her job - upholding the rules of parliament by refusing to pass a bill without quorum. But then again, she had promised Ugandan a christmas gift and was already a year late on delivering it. Who cares about the rules of parliament? That said, while I am disappointed with her gay bashing antics, I actually do love and respect Rebecca Kadaga. She has lived the kind of life I want for myself and all Ugandans - a self determined life.

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    2. Let's not be apologetic; the truth is the truth.

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  7. Now in Portuguese, if you would like to spread this wonderful bit of biting satire further...

    "Nossa Cultura Africana" manda uma carta para Rebecca Kadaga sobre a homofobia.... Vale a pena ler.

    http://lydianamubiru.blogspot.com.br/2014/02/a-memo-from-our-african-culture-to.html

    (Traduão chulé minha.)


    Um memorando da "Nossa Cultura Africana" para Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

    Minha Cara Kadaga Alitwala,

    É realmente uma surpresa ao encontrar-me escrevendo para você, minha filha pródiga. Eu há muito tempo tinha desistida de você, pois sendo uma das minhas filhas, você tem vivido uma vida tão longe do alcance das minhas expectativas e prescrições que parecia ser uma causa perdida. Mas agora, e de sua própria vontade, você voltou para mim.

    Bom, obrigada.

    Sua passagem do projeto de lei anti-homossexualidade em defesa de mim - Nossa Cultura Africana - foi um presente muito prestativo para uma mãe, faz muito tempo abandonada. Todavia, não era muito adequado. Teria sido mais apropriado se você tivesse oferecida esse presente para minha versão branqueada dos anos 1900... aquela versão de mim que aceitou o cristianismo e colonialismo (meus dois estupradores mais criminosos) sem maiores reflexões. Já tenho começado a me curar daquelas experiências. Mas tudo bem! É o pensamento que importa e você está tentando encontrar o seu caminho de volta para casa. Eu aceito provisoriamente o presente, então.

    No entanto, mesmo eu sendo feliz por acolher novamente em minha casa uma criança há muito tempo perdida, ainda sou uma boa e respeitosa mãe Africana. Portanto, não vou poupar a vara e esquecer de te lembrar de suas dívidas com minha pessoa.

    Daí, este breve memorando. A seguir:

    1. Você ainda me deve prole. Você me conhece, sendo eu sua própria "Nossa Cultura Africana". A mulher não é mulher até que ela tem filhos. Na verdade, uma pessoa não é nenhuma pessoa a não ser que ela esteja disposta a se reproduzir. De fato, esta é uma das muitas coisas que ambos nós criticamos nos homossexuais: a falta de vontade ou a incapacidade de procriar. Portanto, eu tenho certeza que você vai entender quando insisto que você me deve outro presente. Mulher, cumprir suas obrigações culturais africanas e vai dar à luz! Isso é uma ordem e não uma sugestão. Na paróquia onde você vive, as mulheres estão cumprindo esta vocação cultural Africano mais do que suficientemente. Elas estão dando a luz a seis filhos cada, em média. Uma boa mulher africana não fique por aí com as mãos vazias enquanto as outras mulheres trabalham. Madame, pare o que estiver fazendo, vá diretamente a maternidade mais próxima e empurre algo para fora de você! Você sabe que essa é a minha expectativa principal e não negociável de uma boa mulher africana!

    2. Em relação ao ponto anterior, é a hora de você conseguir um marido. Não entendo vocês mulheres de hoje, andando por aí sem maridos, como se vocês não fossem africanas. É preciso que você obtenha um homem ou vai ficar inútil para mim. De preferência, arranje um macho de verdade, que pode te mostrar um pouco de amor te batendo cotidianamente. Esqueceu-se do lugar que tenho arranjado para você nas hierarquias deste mundo? Bota seus pés na linha, agora mesmo, antes de eu pedir para o clã cair por cima e te dar uma surra completa. Mssscchwwttt .... Sem filhos, sem marido --- e ainda acha que está protegendo a família africana tradicional! Bem, agora que está de volta para casa, eu, "Nossa Cultura Africana", vai te ensinar a pensar melhor.

    3. Você demonstra absolutamente nenhum medo dos homens. Isso não se faz! Fala enquanto eles falam. Se envolve em assuntos políticos, como se fosse um homem. Outro dia, mandou calar a boca do primeiro-ministro - um homem de verdade! É essa a verdadeira mulher africana que te ensinei a ser? Continua falando assim e vai ser perdida para mim novamente. Uma boa mulher Africana é vista e não ouvida. Pare de falar e também use esse silêncio para refletir sobre como você tem sida uma má mulher africana!
    (cont. below...)

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    1. Agora vai trabalhar nos pontos expostos acima e vamos rever sua situação em um ano. Se você se comportar, podemos começar a falar sobre como deve largar esse nome não-africano "Rebecca" e como pode aprovar uma lei que altera o idioma oficial deste país africano de Inglês para, vamos dizer, Lusoga.

      É, minha querida. "Nossa Cultura Africana" é uma dama de alta manutenção. Minha defesa vai ser uma operação demorada e profundamente invasiva.

      Mãos à obra!

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  8. This is an absolutist mindset you are using Lydia. You are saying that someone either embraces the entirety of a worldview or they have nothing of it. Very simplistic and unfortunate.

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    1. No, I am saying that just as we take the privilege to pick what suits us from one particular worldview and turn our backs on its other prescriptions, we should recognise that others have as much privilege. Why are we bullying others into bending to the prescriptions that oppress them, when we took the privilege to break the ones that held us down? And lest we forget, the prescription we are bullying them into in the name of Our African Culture may not even have come from African culture.

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  9. "I can't stand moral absolutism. You know, there's always that guy who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife-- as if he obviously couldn't have been a great person if he did something like that. Or someone will bring out an inspirational quote, and get you to agree, and then inform you that Hitler said it. As if a good thought couldn't come from Hitler. Moral absolutism keeps us from learning from the past. It's easy to say: 'Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad seeds.' That's simple. It's much harder to say: 'Is that humanity? Is that me?'" #borrowed

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  10. It would be really nice if people didn't respond anonymously. Kindly leave your name - or even an avatar. Thank you.

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  11. How sure are you that she hasn't tried to have kids, get a husband and she has failed?i am really disheartened by this piece don't fight with alot of cruelty.......
    Gone are the days when fitting "within what society dictates",utmost rubbish.

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    1. "Gone are the days of fitting "within what society dictates"" A truer thing has never been said! Now say that again with gay people in mind.

      "How sure are you that she hasn't tried to have kids, get a husband and she has failed?" I am not. If she has my heart is with her. If she has chosen her life that way, I root for her choices too. Still, I would be disappointed that such circumstances (failure) or privilege (choice) would not lead her to an empathetic realisation that sometimes, nature, circumstances or personal choices put you out of the conforming majority but that is absolutely no reason for you to be persecuted.

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    2. And again, I would send your plea to her, "don't fight with a lot of cruelty." Infact don't fight at all. Empathise and love.

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  12. "Gone are the days of fitting "within what society dictates"" A truer thing has never been said! Now say that again with gay people in mind. ..now what i would like is you to replace gay with bestiality...
    Every society or group has its ideas of what conforms..the west..china..Indians..cavemen.. doesnt matter..the thing is like any group you have to conform or operate within those constraints.The truth is Africans have always had gay people in the population..everyone knew who the gay people were and accepted them and their roles in society reflected that as well..Kabaka Mwanga for example was gay..everyone knew it but no one really wanted to dwell on it and accepted him anyway..The problem is and which is unfortunate that you cant see through is that that is cultural colonialism orchestrated by a bunch of people who do it for the same reasons the the first lot did it..financial gain..lets be frank about it the majority of LGBT in Uganda are fake opportunists!!The only way they can make more money is making noise about it which justifies their funding.#loadofrubbish.

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    1. "Now what i would like is you to replace gay with bestiality..." You know, at some point, women around the world were allowed the right to vote. Nowhere in the world have squirrels since started to vote. People are not animals. Loving and having sex with another human being is not the same as having sex with an animal.
      "Majority of LGBT in Uganda are fake opportunists." How many LGBT are in Uganda? Which total are we using to determine majority? How many LGBT people do you personally know?
      When you say this is cultural colonialism for financial gain, it would be helpful if you elaborated on the business model through which this financial gain is made. So, someone out there is investing money to enable men have sex with men or women have sex with women because they send him or her a cheque each time they do?
      Seriously, are anti-LGBT people are just cynical liars or do they just repeat the propaganda they have heard elsewhere without questioning it?
      I appreciate that there is a lot about homosexuality that we don't understand - because they are a minority, we are a culture that is very silent about sexuality and honestly the scientific inquiry into the matter is still very limited at this point. But why don't we admit that we just don't know and go looking for answers. In the meantime, I would pray we do no harm to other people until we know. Racism was fueled mostly by gut reactions of fear at the sight of black skin by people who hadn't seen much of it all their lives. And now just because we don't know, we feel that in the same way our own gut reactions are enough to based persecution on? That's sad.

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    2. Meanwhile, here is someone more eloquent than myself appealing to our humanity too. You might find it easier to listen to her.

      http://www.thescoopng.com/chimamanda-adichie-why-cant-he-just-be-like-everyone-else

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  13. As a non-Ugandan I have questions regarding the anti-homosexual bill.
    Why did Pres. Museveni reject the 60 prominent scientists from prestigious institutions when he asked for feedback on the topic of homosexuality. These scientists stated in their open letter the following: homosexuality is NOT a disease, mental illness or perversion - and they all agreed that it CANNOT be changed, hence it is NOT a choice and people are born this way. Why ten is Uganda persecuting homosexuals?
    Question 2. Is the persecution based on religion? Leviticus with its 100 abominations,has as one of them the lacking of loving. Jesus gave the Good Samaritan (the most despised ) Story where two religious Jews walk by the man who was beaten by thieves (they could quote scriptures) but had no love for others.
    Question 3. Why quote Leviticus when Christians are NO longer under the OT. Paul's comments about men with men and women with women was directed against Temple Prostitiution where orgies were thought to be loved by the gods who joined them.
    Question 4. Homosexuality has been around since early mankind. It is in every country. Doesn't that tell Ugandans that homosexuality is a form of diversity….observe children you can see 'feminine traits in young boys' and butch type /tomboy traits in young girls.
    Question 5. Why is Rebecca NOT married and has no children. She has associated her self with women's groups…could she be a closeted lesbian? http://stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com NOt a porn site but a second home for persecuted lesbians. I love and I do not hate - that is the Christianity in me.

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  14. On the boarderline of being offended, or laughing out loud and share the blog.

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