The Art & Global Health Center Africa (AGHCA), a non-governmental organisation based in Malawi’s old city of Zomba, on Monday engaged students of Malawi College of Health Sciences in Blantyre in a debate on homosexuality in Malawi.
The debate was part of AGHCA’s on-going Umunthu program which is a project aimed at bringing voice to marginalised communities by utilising art as a catalyst for discussion, providing a platform to address contentious human rights issues which have implications on health. The organisation does this through the concept of ‘Umunthu’ which is a Bantu philosophical concept of humanity.
Students hailed the Art & Global Health Center Africa for taking a good approach which allows for public discourse on homosexuality.
“Initially some of us thought that you would come here and start telling us that we should embrace minority rights. But you have shown that you don’t have an agenda to impose on us, and that your goal is for people themselves to voice out their views on homosexuality. This is a good approach,” said one of the students after the debate.
Before engaging students in the discussions on the issue, AGHCA first screens Mwizalero Nyirenda’s Umunthu: An African Response to homosexuality which is a short documentary that captures different views on homosexuality.
AGHCA has also conducted debates of similar nature in the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, College of Medicine, Kamuzu College of Nursing in Blantyre, the Lilongwe College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences’ Bunda and NRC campuses, and the Malawi College of Health Sciences in Lilongwe.
Homosexuality became the talk of the day in 2010 when two men, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steve Monjeza, publicly engaged in Malawi’s Blantyre city.
Homosexuality in Malawi still remains a highly controversial issue as the country’s laws do not recognize homosexuality as a legal act.