Couldn't help but facepalm, cringe and die a little inside when I watched Prince Africa Zulu lecture Prince Manvendra Singh about the evils of being gay on the BBC show, The Undercover Princes. I guess I can't blame the guy for holding his sentiments(not really his fault, as I will show in a bit), hell, I can't really fault him for airing them either, but what really irked me was what he used as "evidence": the Christian Bible.
Aw shaddup you anti-Christian devil-worshipper, I hear you say. But my frustration is justified. Christianity is a recent import to the continent, one that was brought here through the barrel of a gun. Africans have taken to it way too readily, and it's distorted our own culture until it's almost completely unrecognisable. This reminds me of the oldsters who complain so bitterly about revealing dresses, saying it's "not in our culture". Well guess what, in our cultureunmarried women can walk around topless, and it's no biggie!(Best link I could get in a rush. Pics are dead, though. Sorry!)(Besides, I didn't want to gratify your twisted desires, pervert :)
True, homosexuality has always been a taboo in our culture, but the real thing I have an issue with is the lack of progress that's been made during the shift from Traditionalism to Christianity. In reality, the new set of morals introduced by the settlers and missionaries was no less barbaric than the one the native "savages" had been practicing all along. And what makes it worse is just how readily and unquestioningly Africans have taken to this new religion. I noticed how Zulu just kept driving on and on, stopping just short of literally bashing Mani over the head with the bible, taking no heed and seemingly not comprehending that Mani's belief system is entirely different from his, but with just as much merit(assuming Mani is a practicing Hindu).
I felt pretty embarrassed by this. What image of Africans does this paint? That we're a bunch of intolerant wackos hell bent on bludgeoning all others with our (borrowed) beliefs? All the wars, conflicts and insane dictators (most of which are caused or backed by religion) only serve to reinforce that picture. This is why I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that the humanist mission is such an important thing here in Africa. Not only will it serve to end the discrimination of groups living an alternative lifestyle, but it will educate the next generation of leaders, hopefully make them a lot more responsible and able to lift the continent out of its present plight.