Homosexuality in Traditional Africa

In Sunday Layi Oladipupo (ed.), African Philosophy: Whose Past and which Modernity. Ile-Ife: Obafemi Awolowo University Press. pp. 277-292 (2021)
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Abstract
This chapter explores the cultural varieties of same-sex relationships that have long been constituent of traditional African life. A recent study shows that roughly 10% of the global population identify as homosexuals. This number consistently and equitably cuts across all cultures of the world despite variations in attitude towards homosexuality. If this is true of the contemporary world, then it extends to the ancient and by that traditional Africa. Accordingly, this research using phenomenological and historico-descriptive tools of enquiry together with ethnographical accounts of anthropologists retraces homosexuality to its African roots ranging from the practices of Hausas of West Africa, Zanzibars of East Africa, Ovagandjeras of Central Africa to those of the Herero, Ovambo, and Ovahimba peoples of Southern Africa. Consequently, this research avers that current attitude towards homosexuality in Africa is as a result of Western hegemony and the revolutionary changes effected by Euro-Christian and Arab-Islamic movements in their first and earlier contact with the continent. Hence, a fair disposition towards historical facts will deflate the current homophobic agitation, stripping it of any moral, historical or logical justification.
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