The topic of the queer community that is members of LGBTQIA+( Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex Assexual and more) has continued to be a hot debate in Kenya and many African countries. Infact, homosexuality is completely outlawed in some African countries and is punishable by death, life imprisonment or long term imprisonment.
A review done by ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) revealed that Gayism is legal in only 22 African countries out of the 54. In Uganda for instance, the parliament passed a bill making it a crime to identify as LGBTQ and thus homosexuals in the country are already on the receiving end on legal discrimination and mob violence.
In Kenya Same sex acts are illegal and attract a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment to 21 years in certain aggravating circumstances. President Ruto on Mother’s Day 2023 stated that he isn’t going to allow men to compete with women for other men and vice versa.
In as much as homosexuals have managed to publicly embraced their identity without persecution, some have been met with harsh criticism worthy of causing trauma and depression. Here are some Kenyan celebrities that were humiliated for being gay.
When this bold member of the queer community openly embraced her sexual orientation, it proved not to be a walk in park for her. Many, including her family were not for the idea as they were expecting her to be married and bring forth grandchildren. Makena, who is a former Tahidi High actress and also former journalist at BBC identified herself as Chris Makena Njeri.
However, after several trolls when her sexual orientation had hit the limelight, it was rumored that she had cheated on her then girlfriend, businesswoman Mitchelle Ntalami and what followed is quite baffling! Makena’s car was vandalised, images of the vandalised car uploaded on social media and made a subject of criticism. This is when her sexuality was dragged and Makena was trolled for more than a month on twitter, being branded ‘gay journalist’.
“I woke up with over 1,000 messages and over 500 missed calls. My blood went cold, I knew something was wrong. I did not know I had become a trending topic overnight.” Makena said recounting on that fateful morning.
Makena was reportedly in constant depression seeing how people cancelled her existence with some tweeps calling for her to be killed.
Makena Njeri is the founder and CEO of Bold Network Africa, an organization based in Nairobi, Kenya that aims to educate the society in Africa about the LGBTQ community through Films, documentaries, and training.
Ian Munene (Almasi)
This former Machachari actor, Ian Munene popularly known as Almasi was a subject to extreme criticism for his crossdressing tendency. Some Kenyan fans couldn’t even filter the words they jotted in Almasi’s comments sections,reminding him of how disgusting he appeared.
The trolls took it a step further when at some point he posted a photo of himself with a man. They concluded the alleged man was his boyfriend and harshly taming him for that.
Almasi seemed not bothered about critics and came out declaring himself a friend to gay and that nobody can stop him from embracing his authentic self.