Popular
Wikimedia Commons

Angola Has Finally Decriminalized Homosexuality

It's 2019 and the country has dropped its 'vices against nature' provision.

2019 has been off to a shaky start for many African countries. However, the LGBT community in Angola, as well as its allies from all over the world, are celebrating after the state decriminalized homosexuality.


Angola adopted a new penal code yesterday since its independence from colonizer, Portugal, in 1975. The notorious 'vices against nature' provision was a part of the remnants of colonial law and led to the discrimination of LGBT Angolans particularly when it came to accessing healthcare, education and obtaining employment.

According the the new penal law, individuals who discriminate against members of the LGBT community may be subject to a prison term of up to two years. The news comes after the country's only formal LGBT organization Iris Angola was recognized legally by the state in a historic move. Following the decision, the organization's Carlos Fernandes said:

"We're turning the page for gay citizens who now have a body that is recognized by the state which gives more weight to the work of our organisation."

Although there are at least 70 countries in the world which still view same-sex relations and associations as criminal, even punishable by the death penalty in parts of Northern Nigeria, this is nonetheless a victory for the Angolan LGBT community.

And if you ask us, it's about damn time.








Interview
Photo: Lex Ash (@thelexash). Courtesy of Simi.

Interview: Simi Is Taking Risks

Nigerian star Simi talks about the successes & risks of this year, her thoughts on the #EndSARS protests, and how her husband, Adekunle Gold, inspired Restless II.

Simi is restless. It has nothing to do with the year she has had, in fact, she reaffirmed her status as one of Nigeria's most successful musicians with a single music drop, "Duduke," which enjoyed widespread appeal as the nation went into lockdown earlier in the year.

The 32-year-old singer's restlessness is a reflection of the organised chaos that has defined her recording process this year as she combined the rigours of being an expectant mother with an examination of her place in the wider world. It, more accurately, reflects her re-negotiation of the parameters of her stardom.

"I've never really been a big fan of the spotlight," she whispers silently early in our Zoom conversation. "I know that it comes with the territory, but when I got my big break and more people started to recognise me, I realised that I had to edit myself, my life, and most of the things that I'd do or say because I wanted to be careful to keep a part of me for myself."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

These Poignant #EndSARS Protest Photos Show the Heart of a United People

Documentary photographer Victor Adewale captures poignant moments in the continued #EndSARS protests in Nigeria which are calling for an end to police brutality.