3 musicians challenge anti-LGBT hate in Africa

3 africans

Three courageous African musicians recently spoke to NoStrings about their personal struggles and their use of music to combat homophobia in Africa, despite strong oppositions and death threats.

The three musicians who spoke to NoStrings are Mista Majah P, an African-American reggae artist from Jamaica; Grammo Suspect, a lesbian rapper from Kenya; and Chisom Iheangwaram, a singer from Nigeria.

On the podcast interview, they all spoke about their personal struggles and why they decided to use music as tool to advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Africa.

Chisom Iheangwaram, who recently released an LGBT-themed song in Nigeria, said:

“The energy and passion to advocate for gay rights in Nigeria comes from my attention to the last survey. In that survey, we had about 87 percent of non-acceptance of LGBT persons in Nigeria from the score card. There is still a huge gap of non-acceptance, so that’s why I keep advocating strongly.”

Grammo SuspectKenya’s first lesbian rapper, Grammo Suspect, who has two LGBT-themed singles to her credit, said that since she came out, things have changed so much for her. She said:

“My music career has been on and off since I came out of the closet and decided that I am going to use my talent to fight for LGBTIQ rights.”

Mista Majah P, a four-time winner of the Canadian Reggae Music Awards, was Jamaica’s first reggae artist to release a full reggae CD dealing with homophobia and the LGBT experience in Jamaica. He spoke about the importance of using music and social media in LGBT activism. He said:

“Music is very effective to reach the masses, because everybody listens to music, and so it is a very good way of reaching people”

Homosexual activity is currently illegal in Nigeria, Kenya, and Jamaica.

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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 info@76crimes.com.

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