News Brief

Mauritanian Government Arrests Gay Couple Following Country's First Alleged Same-Sex Marriage

Ten young men, including a gay couple, were arrested after a video surfaced on social media allegedly depicting the country's first same-sex marriage taking place.

Ten young men have reportedly been arrested by the Mauritanian authorities and are awaiting judgement for "acts contrary to morality, committing acts forbidden by Allah and circulating a ceremony of debauchery" according to reports by the AFP.

The arrest comes shortly after a video surfaced on social media allegedly depicting the young men conducting the country's first same-sex marriage.


The video of the alleged wedding ceremony, which is thought to have been shot in the capital of Nouakchott, has been widely shared on social media and caused outrage among conservative (read homophobic) Mauritanians who are opposed to homosexuality.

Despite the arrest of the young men, Mauritanian authorities now claim that their investigations have uncovered the true events depicted in the video—a party. Speaking on local television, Police Commissioner Mohamed Ould Nejib referred to the party as "the birthday celebration of a homosexual to which other gays had been invited." The young men remain in police custody.

The Human Dignity Trust reports that homosexuality and any "homosexual practices" including marriage and same-sex intimacy, are still considered criminal in Mauritania which is governed by Sharia Islamic law.

Muslim men who are found guilty of contravening the "Act Against Nature" article of the 1984 Penal Code, are punished with death by stoning while women are sentenced to to up to two years imprisonment in addition to a fine. Mauritania has, however, not enforced the death penalty since 1987.

Mauritania is a part of the 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa which still criminalize homosexuality. On the other hand, countries such as Angola and Botswana both decriminalised homosexuality last year.

Op-Ed
Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum. Courtesy of Mohammed Elrazzaz.

Dissecting The 'Homosexuality Is Un-African' Myth

A new study says four out of five people in Africa don't want gay neighbors.



While someone like three-thousand-and-twelve-year-old Zimbabwean President for Eternity Robert Mugabe might contend that homosexuality is a form of Yacubian trickery: a tool of western imperialism to destroy the African population through HIV/AIDS. The reality is, well, to the contrary.

We gonna do some fact-checking in a minute to see the extent to which this Yacubian conspiracy is true, but first let's get to headlines.

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News

Limit(less): A Groundbreaking New Photo Project On LGBTQ African Style In The U.S.

Nigerian-American photographer Mikael Owunna explores the visual aesthetic of LGBTQ Africans in the U.S. with his 'Limit(less)' series.

Limit(less) is a new multimedia photography series that seeks to explore how LGBTQ Africans in the diaspora are using visual aesthetics to navigate their cultural, sexual and gender identities. Through photos and interviews with first and second generation LGBTQ African immigrants, the nascent documentary project hopes to deconstruct colonial notions that LGBTQ Africans are somehow “un-African."

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popular
(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Culture
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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