Thursday, 16 September 2010

Zimbabwean parents disown gay son..

The devastated parents of a 20-year old Bulawayo man have said that they had no choice but to forcibly evict their son from their Tshabalala Extension home after he confessed he was gay. Sources close to the openly gay Irvine Mahachi Junior said that a rumour about the estranged man's sexual preferences had been circulating for over two years and were only confirmed to be of substance when he decided to come out of the closet.

In an interview, the visibly shocked father, Mr Irvine Mahachi, who was still failing to come to grips with his son's bizarre sexuality, said that he had disowned his first child and does not want to hear from him again. "As far as I am concerned I do not have a son any more. The only child I have left is my lovely daughter. What Irvine has done is taboo and shameful. It is unheard of in our African culture", said the emotionally aggrieved father.

Mr Mahachi declared in no uncertain terms that he was never going to forgive the black sheep of the Mahachi clan and would not entertain pleas from relatives.

"Anyone who tells me to forgive Irvine risks a fierce quarrel with me. I did not raise my son to be gay. I raised him to be a man. I expected him to chase after skirts like other boys, but he never did that. I should have noticed then that there was something weird about him, maybe I could have strengthened him into a man", said Mr Mahachi with tears in his eyes.

The self-employed, shattered father-of-two revealed that his wife fainted, while he was shocked and speechless when his son announced to them that he preferred men to women.

"The manner in which he asked for an audience with me and my wife made me realise that something was wrong. He was nervous and not his usual self. I was so angry and shocked that I hit him with my fists, something that I have never done in my life. My wife suffers from high blood pressure and the shocking news almost killed her. Even today she is not herself", he said.

Attempts to interview the Mrs Caroline Mahachi failed as she refused to talk to Sunday News because her son's disgrace was a "family matter". In a telephone interview, Irvine Junior refused to reveal where he was staying but confirmed that he was gay and a member of the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ).

"Its a pity and a shame I was born into a society full of hatred and intolerance. Had I been born in South Africa nothing like this could have happened to me. This country need to move with the times, it needs to change. All this discrimination is unnecessary because at the end of the day who I sleep with is my business. I know that your newspaper is anti-gay and speaking to you is tantamount to suicide. But please be objective and publish my side of the story with fairness", he said.

Irvine said he was saddened by the fact that his parents had chucked him out of their house, but hoped that one day they would accept him as he is.

"All my life I have been the victim of homophobia attacks but I never expected that from my own flesh and blood. I feel betrayed, but such is life. I have been called names, but now I am numb to it.

"All that matters is that I finally told my parents the truth about myself. I am happy with myself and that's all that matters," he said.

Homosexuality in Zimbabwe is illegal and frowned upon and those who practise the bizarre and unholy act are regarded as outcasts. The three principals in the inclusive government declared that gays have no place in Zimbabwe, with president Mugabe being on record as describing them as "worse than pigs and dogs".

12 comments:

Graham said...

This is an important story to tell but it's a shame that we don't hear about all the African families that have accepted their gay sons.

Anengiyefa said...

Hello Graham,

Thanks for your comment. A good point you've made, especially when one considers that a story about an African family accepting their gay son or brother is likely to be the exception rather than the norm, and therefore the more newsworthy story..

I think Africans tell stories such as the one in this post, because even if subconsciously, they think of it as vicariously expressing their own distaste for homosexuality..

Savvy said...

That's the harsh reality we have to deal with around these parts.

negritude said...

Powerful.

negritude said...

Are you on Facebook?

Anengiyefa said...

@Savvy, yes, but even as bad as "harsh" sounds, it does not describe the reality fully..

Anengiyefa said...

Greetings Negritude,

Welcome. I was once on Facebook, but backed out for reasons I mentioned somewhere on this blog sometime ago.

The main reason was that I found nothing of interest on Facebook, but it may well be that I didn't look hard enough, since the reality is that most others seem to enjoy Facebook.

All it takes is a few minutes to set up an account.. So should I go ahead?

Ty said...

Thanks for posting this. As a Zimbabwean I am saddened by stories like these but it is the reality many live through and one that some of us choose to avoid living through by not coming out to certain family members.
@ Graham definitely a good point.

Savvy said...

It sure doesn't describe fully. I live that reality...

Anengiyefa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anengiyefa said...

Hello Ty

Its great to have you on here. I totally agree that the decision to come out to one's family is a difficult one and I suspect that our friend Irvine in this post has not handled it as delicately as I think he should have done. I can only assume that he would have known beforehand what his parents' attitude towards homosexuality is..

But I guess it was important for him to come out and free himself from torment. I think its significant that the story ends with him telling us that he's now happy with himself and that that's all that matters..

Anengiyefa said...

Hi Savvy,
And so do I, except that in my case I have chosen to refuse to be oppressed. Living abroad helps somewhat, but one is African (Nigerian) nonetheless, and continues to be so wherever one is.

I think some of the responsibility for achieving change rests on our shoulders, since the situation at the moment is that our people are only now arriving on the verge of acknowledging that people like us exist in their midst.

There is a need to create the awareness not only that we are here, but also that we are normal, that we contribute to, participate in and are interested in the world that we all live in, just as everyone else does..