Uganda concert to raise funds for LGBTQ refugees in Kenya

Rock Angels in performance.
In an earlier concert for the Youth on Rock Foundation, Frank Kamya presented a performance by the Rock Angels.

Activists in Uganda are planning a concert on Saturday to raise money for Ugandan LGBTQ asylum seekers in Kenya, several hundred of whom have been suffering since they fled their homeland for protection against anti-gay violence.

Earlier this month, LGBTI Ugandan refugees in Kenya protested at the Nairobi office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees, seeking protection from homophobic attacks, improved human services, interviews and resettlement.

The organizer of the concert is Frank Kamya (Kanobana Mwanje Franco), a  queer sex worker activist who has also been one of the driving forces behind the Youth on Rock Foundation and the Come Out Post-Test Club, activist organizations fighting HIV in Kampala’s poorest neighborhoods. During an earlier trip last year, Kamya distributed food and supplies to Ugandan refugees in Kenya.

Stella Nyanzi, a friend of Uganda’s LGBTI community, praised Kamya’s commitment and energy. She wrote:

Franco, in collaboration with other Uganda-based LGBTIQ performers specialised in music, dance, drama and fashion, is putting up a fundraising drive to collect money to provide some basic support to Ugandan asylum-seekers faced with challenges in different parts of Kenya.

Franco is not waiting for the assistance of wealthy foreigners, but rather utilising skills to collect money and offer a local Ugandan hand to our folk suffering in Kenya.

Kamya stated: “Instead of waiting for foreign support every time, it’s good for us not to just sit back when foreign support fails, but to find other alternatives for supporting our causes.”

Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where most Ugandan refugees are held (Photo courtesy of Ephemerian)
Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where most Ugandan refugees are held (Photo courtesy of Ephemerian)

“We didn’t say that we don’t need foreign support,” Kamya added. In fact, the first contribution came from abroad and was welcomed.

Entrance fee for the concert is 10,000 Ugandan shillings, or 30,000 shillings for VIP tickets (about US $3.50 and $10, respectively).  Tickets will be sold at the door at a location a few kilometers from a the center of Kampala.

Separate contributions and pledges are also needed, Kamya said.  Money can be transmitted by Airtel Money at +256753833910 or by MTN Mobile Money at +256784500759.

Performances at the fundraising concert will be by Kamya and “other LGBT sex worker divas in Uganda,” Kamya said.

For more information, contact Kanobana Mwanje Franco on Facebook or leave your question in a comment below.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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