New website highlights African achievers and successes
A new website highlighting African heroes and achievers has included three prominent gay Africans.
Simon Nkoli, the South African gay rights and anti-apartheid activist
Zachie Achmat, the HIV treatment campaigner in South Africa
Edwin Cameron, the openly gay and HIV-positive South African Supreme Court judge
The website’s founders want to add more African lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) biographies to the site, and are asking people to submit entries to the website:
“Gay Africans make up a part of the landscape of the continent and any member of the gay community who has achieved something of merit deserves a place on our site. We welcome the submission of their biographies,” said the website’s creator, Kadija Traoré Bush, who is of is Malian and Beninoise heritage.
The new website is being supported by gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell of OutRage!:
“The organisers are keen to end the frequent invisibility of famous Africans who are gay. They are committed to challenging homophobic attitudes in Africa and in the African Diaspora,” said Mr Tatchell.
“The first three LGBT entries are all South Africans. There are many other heroic LGBT campaigners in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and elsewhere. I hope that people who know these courageous, inspiring individuals will add their biographies to the AfricanSuccess website in the coming weeks and months.
“This is, in part, a user-generated website, a bit like Wikipedia. It depends on public contributions to expand its data base,” said Mr Tatchell.
The website organisers are keen to debunk the often negative public image of Africa.
“Africansuccess.org is a new web site that wants to get people to look at Africa in a different and positive way,” according to Kadija Traoré Bush.
“We want to inspire the young, give hope and ambition to Africans everywhere, and to change the way the world sees Africa. Our aim is to create a website that will inspire a continent.”
“If we can show the world where Africans are successful, we can change the way in which we are perceived.
“It is an interactive community website, which encourages the people who visit the website to add the names and biographies of people that they know and consider worthy of being included. The site is free access and it is free to add names, biographies and other historical information.
“We are still building the site, and we welcome contributions to add to our growing number of entries.
“We hope that people from all countries and all walks of life are going to put up the biographies of people they feel proud of, so we can offer role models for today’s children and tomorrow’s leaders,” said Kadija Traoré Bush.
“Too much of the news we hear about Africa is negative,” added human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
“It’s mostly about famine, civil war, HIV, corruption, homophobia and dictatorship. The latest horror stories of violence from Darfur, Zimbabwe and the Congo grab the headlines, as do the arrest and jailing of LGBT people. But the extraordinary success stories of people in Africa rarely make the news.
“This website is a welcome correction to the media bias that too often projects Africa as a story of non-stop bigotry, failure, suffering and tyranny.
“I congratulate and salute Kadija and the rest of the website team,” said Mr Tatchell.