The agony of living a lie

Draped in a snow-white wedding dress, roses in her hands- her father by her side clutching her arm, they slowly walk down the church’s aisle with each of their steps seemingly in sync with the background slow-tempo music.

The nearly hundred guests – with admiration all over their faces – turn their heads to get a better view of the procession.
As soon as they reach the altar, the pastor goes through the formalities of handing over the bride and when the groom unveils her, she smiles, her eyes sparkling.

After exchanging vows, they kiss and everyone in the church claps and cheers. Wine glasses are toasted and champagne is popped as the new bride and groom takes to the dance floor.

She looks so happy that even the glitter of her jewellery cannot beat the shine in her eyes.

But inside, she is crying, mourning the death of her planned future.

Her name is Tatenda Musona, 25, media practitioner who is getting married on the insistence of her family members who believe she is getting too old for marriage and this wedding is a result of an arranged marriage.

But that is not her main worry- she is lesbian and has a partner, Sarah.

As she dances on, the lyrics of the happy wedding song sound like death knells, the cheers from the crowd like a collective buzz of vultures waiting to devour her.

Tatenda and Sarah had been seeing each- albeit secretly- for over two years when Tatenda’s parents started cajoling her into the marriage.

Since Zimbabwe’s laws do not allow same-sex marriages, the two could not come out in the open about their relationship but somehow they held some hope of things working out and this marriage seemed to end it all.

“At that time, I felt suppressed; I knew I could not tell my family that I was lesbian as that would mean I was going to be banished from the family. I felt helpless, like a leashed goat on its way to the slaughterhouse.”

Living with a stranger

“After the marriage processes, I found myself living with a man I did not have any feelings for; someone I hardly knew about.”

“I cannot explain in detail our sex life, but it was like I was trapped and unable to express myself and moreso I did not have information to help me understand who really I was. It was torture.”

With same-sex relationships being illegal, there is a dearth of information about the subject and often homosexuals find it difficult to understand the dynamics.

“I could not keep at home any material or documentation about homosexuality that I could get my hands on for fear that my husband would find out.”

Secrecy and health risks

Meanwhile Tatenda continued to secretly see Sarah,putting herself and her partner at the risk of unsafe sex practise as they did not have to come out in the open and get the required health and medication support.

According to a Gays and Lesbians Zimbabwe (GALZ) Report on Discrimination against Women in Zimbabwe based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, “healthcare providers do not have adequate understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. As a result, Lesbians, gays, Bi-sexual, Trans-sex and Intersex (LGBTI) people are unwilling to seek healthcare.”

Zimbabwean hospitals and healthcare systems are not LGBTI-friendly as the country’s laws do not recognise intersex marriages.

“I felt terrible about the health risk that I was putting my lesbian partner in. We both felt trapped as she also could not tell her family about our relationship”

Eviction and rejection

After living for a year, Tatenda finally came out in the open to her husband.

“He could not understand it, he said I had betrayed him and despite my pleas for him not to tell my parents, he went ahead and told them, asking for a divorce and reimbursement of his marriage token money (lobola).

“My parents were equally perplexed; my mother cried and said I had shamed her and the family. My father was beyond angry, he beat me up and chased me away from home and told every relative never to entertain me until I came back and ‘repented”

No police help

With a bruised body, a tormented mind Tatenda was forced to seek refuge at her partner’s house.

She could not go to the police for fear of further victimisation.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is a fervent critic of homosexuality and has made a number of homophobic statements over the years and likewise, state security agents have continually exhibited hostility towards homosexuals.

In 2010, two GALZ employees, including a lesbian woman were arrested and for 6 days, they were subjected to verbalabuse, harassment and torture at the hands of the police officers.

As a result of this fear, for two weeks Tatenda was holed up at her partner’s flat, nursing the wounds from the assault and relying only on pharmacy supplies.

Although she was convinced she was following her heart, her mind was confused as she agonized about her and her partner’s fate.

Dilemma and help

“I almost bulked and was about to make a decision to go back home when I heard of the work of GALZ and it was only when me and my partner became members that we went through counselling and I was able to move on with my life”

Founded in 1990, GALZ is a membership-based organisation that serves the needs and interests of LGBTI people in Zimbabwe and pushes for social tolerance of sexual minorities and the repeal of homophobic legislation.

“At first I had regrets, but now I have none. I am glad about the decision that I made although my pain is in that I hope that eventually my family will understand me and realise that this is a choice that I have made and I require their support.”

Tatenda still keeps in touch with her family, but according to her, they all exhibit some hostility.
“I rely so much on my workmates as they have accepted who I am.”

But as she walks out of the newsroom, Tatenda knows the world- state and society – is cruel for people like her and her hopes are that someday, she will be accorded the dignity she deserves as a human being.

“It is worrying that some authorities in Zimbabwe are being increasingly homophobic towards people who are identified or perceived as being LGBTI. Any harassment and persecution based on sexual orientation is a monumental tragedy and also a violation of international human rights law,” he said a human rights lawyer.

The African perspective

Zimbabwe is not alone in the harassment of LGBTI as South Africa, despite being one of the leading African countries to enact laws that legalise and uphold the rights of gays and lesbians, statistics show there are still high levels of discrimination and hate crimes perpetrated against homosexuals.

According to a report titled Pride and Prejudice: Public attitudes toward homosexuality produced by the South Africa Human Sciences Research Council, homosexuality is still considered to be “unAfrican”.

The reports, which concludes that “perhaps the acceptance of homosexuality has less to do with the legal frame work, and more to do with consciousness raising and openness to differences in the South African society” states that these “systematic accusations by several African leaders have fuelled these perceptions and South Africans are likewise divided in their tolerance of same sex issues”

The report, which carries statistics of attitudes towards homosexuality states that the perception of homosexuality in South Africa is largely influenced factors that include, gender, age, level of education, religion and the geographical divide.

On gender, the report states that while internationally, men have shown more intolerance to homosexuality, in South Africa, there is little variance and older South Africans are more intolerant to homosexuality than younger people.

“Prejudiced views on same sex relations appear closely related to education, with more highly educated people being more tolerant,” reads the report.

On other factors like religion, the report states that international research shows religiousness often promotes intolerance towards homosexuality.

For Tatenda and other LGBTI people, another day remains another struggle for recognition and as the report recommends, perhaps the future is in stronger advocacy for both the laws and the societies to accept homosexuality as a human rights
*not her real name

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  1. This is a tough cookie.As i christian the bible tell us that God hates such things as immoral sexual behavior, the bible also tells us that love thy neighbor along with judgement belongs to God.So who are we to judge and persecute gays&lesbians.Let God be the judge of us all

    1. Any body who promote homosexuality is putting their own children at risk that kind of life is a result of confused thoughts of teens who experiment what they read in books, bear in mind that if you let the realm of darkness haunt your country, everyone will pay the price. Homosexuality and pornography go hand in hand, allowing them in a community is the same as affecting future generations with an incurable virus. A stray sheep can’t lead aothers. Please don’t take advantage of the media, to air garbage what will you harvest for your own kids, if at all you are parents?

    2. GOOD ADVICE: do something for yourself, for your family. Don’t waste your time talking about these already rich politicians while others are enjoying their lives with money without even paying attention to this dirty politicians. See how this poor South African woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling accidented vehicles. Very interesting. Go to ACCIDENTEDVEHICLES doit COM to see all these 5 companies that she was using to do this business successfully. ACCIDENTEDVEHICLES doit COM , Wake up African people

  2. christopher jack albert

    God will judge,in the meantime pray.For no one knows the date or the time when we shall face judgement.Why pray ,because there are many Christians who do jobs that might involve killing or even not being totally honest.

    Legalizing the imoral is tantamount to condeming the wrong doer,let them know the truth and it will set them free.Teach the Gospel to Believers and unbelievers.Early Christian faced death for their beliefs.

    God is the maker of all and order itself.Why are there sick people and orphans ,the answer has to do with our choices.

    First commandment love God with all your heart and might.Accept his instructions,what benefit is the whole world when you loose your soul ?

  3. nhai sodomn negomorah pisirwei nemoto??

  4. as Zimbabweans we don’t condone gays and Lesbians, it’s disgraceful and what is more disgraceful is a paper that publishes and stands besides such hogwash.Those are demons and what you need is deliverance

  5. yaa the works of the devil are growing each day humans always want suit themselves forgetting GOD am sorry to any one who is made to believe in homosexual its not GOD`s will but we always think we are this practice usualy yu find among very rich guys who can do anything with their money unfortunate the poor are hooked in cz of the money GOD help your pple

  6. why……….,

  7. You guys are now promoting homosexuality, heh? Please stop this nonsense Zimbabweans are against the filthy habit. Homosexuality can be cured through re-orientation of homos by bombarding them with images depicting the joys of heterosexuality. One week intensive courses with a trained psychologist with some visual teaching aids has proved very helpful in curing homosexuality and some former homos are now living fruitful heterosexual lives!

  8. Personally handineyi hanu ne ma lesbians, ngavaite yavanoita. My issue is with gay men, no no no no, bodo, hazviite, aiwa!

    1. @Twimbo zvakasiyanei?? its same same


  10. Stupid article.these gays and lesbians should be killed.

  11. I am a Christian. I can’t judge the homos because Christ loves them but what i can never do is condone what the Holy Bible of the one and only TRUE GOD says about it. HOMOSEXUALITY iS WRONG PERIOD. Now as a child of God I only pray for those who think it’s okay and is a right. This world belongs to JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER. His Word can never change because some people whose minds have been polluted by the devil want that kinda behaviour.

  12. gay or lesbian no difference. Christ loves them as much as everybody else but it’s wrong. Homosexuality is as bad as infidelity or any other sin in the Bible.

  13. I pray and believe this will never happen to our God given Zimbabwe. I speak that as the Lord our God lives it will NEVER be accepted in Zimbabwe. He sees all things.

  14. This is disgusting you guys now promoting these animals! ‘How the mighty have fallen…

  15. What happened to live and let live. Poor girl…living a lie must be such torment. GOOD ON GALZ!! Gay, straight, black, white,….WHO CARES!!! We are all Zimbabwean!

  16. When God said let us create man in our image and likeness and he blessed them male and female and told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. He had created a man and a women for partnership and marriage. So when someone wants to marry the same sex what do they mean? Are they created in God’s image and likeness or something else? Do they (gays & lesbians) understand the purpose of their being? People should revisit their beliefs, yes God loves us even if we are sinners he loves but this does not makes God love sin. It is unnatural to be gay/lesbian and it is not Gods’ design that people should turn their natural feelings for the same sex. Read Romans 1:18 – 32 and see what God says about the issue.

    1. Siyamunhu arohwegaromhani iwe…

  17. Pastor William Smith

    Homosexuality must never be accepted, tolerated or legalized! It is not natural, and it goes against the teachings of God and his word, the Holy Bible!

    I am proud of the people of your country, because I know you are a Christian nation, and the majority of your people will never accept this disgrace!

    It is a shame for us in the West that some of our government leaders ( against the wishes of the majority of our people ) have tried to legalize homosexuality.

  18. Homosextuality its a sin and Its disgusting just like prostitution.

    God loves all of us, but if you hold on to what is bad don’t expect people to embrace you as well.

    Its sextual immortality. Its as simple as that

    1. Disgusting? Hausati wanyatsorirova. Godzva mahwani.

  19. Why do we not have old granies in your condition/situation? I think it is an issue of people who have travelled elswhere, where these abominations are practised and when they are taken advantage of they think it’s the best thing to have. In some cases the so called expatriates who came and worked here in the early days of our independance, abused our sisters because they did not want to go out with black men they took our sisters as they are better looking as compared to their brothers and introduced this stupid act for it’s not sex. For men I would call it sodomy but for women I will call it stupid act for lack of a better word. I think it is in your mind that you are lesbian but there is nothing like that. If you had male private parts while the rest of the body had female organs I would forgive you. You are just people who have dicided not to sleep with men for some other reasons then you decide to quench your sexual desire somehow with another woman then give yourselves a name (lesbians). you are satanic. your desire for sex means you need a male organ inside you but you just do not want to surrender to nature. It is a coice you made not that God made you that way. You need deliverance for it can inly be a demon operating in you.

  20. i believe as a Christian homosexuality is wrong as much as other things more accepted in our society are equally wrong such as adultery, fornication, smoking and being a drunkard to name but a few.In as much as i want society to discourage homosexuality, for Christians we are expected to be tolerant.

    The duty of every Christian is to pray for your country, your leaders and enemies. It is not the duty of the Christian to persecute so called sinners. The passage in the bible where the Lord Jesus Christ saved that woman caught in the act is instructive. All sin is equal, there is no sin weighter than the other!!

    Were i differ strongly is allowing them to officially marry and have the right to adopt children!!

  21. Many people are willing to call names. I was once asked. How different is a gay or lesbians incident from fornication or adultery. Or lust or stealing or lying. Or robbery. All is sin. It’s good that we point out sin and not promote it but I guess it’s still one of those intolerable sins. I am a heterosexual and have never found anything interesting about being gay. But so do all the other sins to other people. Just a thought.

  22. Burn them down.

  23. This indeed is an emotional issue in zim ,how ever it is very wrong for mere mortals to play god and start jugding others homophobia equate to racial discrimination that we fought hard to eliminate we cant be seen to be opresors of this minority.our enemy as a collective is corruption and mismanagement that has condemned us to abject poverty.

  24. This is why I’m a proud Zimbabwean. Hatife takabvumidza zvakadaro.

  25. Its a harsh reality of all the people who have to live double lives to appease family and society… Mese muri kuti heh muzimbabwe hatidi what what are just silly because we aren’t asking for your permission to have our “gay relationships”… We are doing it anyway, many many other “gays” are doing it.
    Our relationship with our god is for us, kwete for you kuti undiudze kuti uchatsva hehehe sodom and gomorrah – saka ndisiyei ndakadaro.

    Foolish people. Tsve fighting about mismanagement of economy and abject poverty asi takatasima nekutuka homosexuals… Ndakambozvitaura, muchaneta henyu, because ini ndirimurume and ndine boyfriend – and tichagara takadaro muno muharare tichiita yatinoita kusvikira muridze mhere.

    1. Highly Defended

      Shame. you need Jesus my dear. That is a demon operating in you, once you get delivered you will be disgusted with homosexuality. Its not normal to be gay or lesbian and its unfortunate that you have stayed too long in sin so much that you want society to embrace you. Sodom and Gomorrah was burnt to ashes because of that sin. Please come back to your senses and seek the face of God, He will embrace and forgive you, He’s a loving God…..

  26. I don’t care who or not she decides to marry or sleep with, but I think there is need for more efficient resource allocation. There are more pressing issues to fight for other than miniskirts and same sex relationships. The economy, corruption for instance

  27. @asingaite.all those you have mentioned may easily repent and become better many lesbians have repented?that is the different.kutofira muchivi!

  28. If it’s my child who has gone into same sex marriage that’s the end of our relationship until death!

  29. Fungai Zvamunoda

    I want to know what the Shona words ‘Kadzi-rume’ & ‘Rume-kadzi’ refer to. How did these words come to being….Before we discuss gays etc in a western framed context, lets talk about our own vocabulary.

    Furthermore in this discussion, the Xtian Bible has no place because not only is it foreign but it also condones slavery (Leviticus 25:44.46), incest (story of Lot f*cking his daughters in a cave) & murder. So if you were true to your Xtian beliefs then slavery, incest & murder shouldnt be a problem. Therefore you cannot be moral yourself…

    PS You can also exclude the Koran from this discussion because there is no way a desert warlord who marries a 6 year old & has sex with her at 9yrs can impart any morals to us Zimbos.

  30. kill them basturds. not zim i know

  31. if they are to be hanged in time to come,l will apply for that job.will wipe them.

  32. promoting chigay and lesbianism sure your paper has sunk too low and its beyond imagination what your next article about the same will be.This surely surely sucks to say the least.This sucks bigtyme

    1. Iwe jemmanewadya nyarara… Huya tirovegarowakati tii..

  33. to hell wit lezbns an gays.

  34. Garongarikwaturwenemubhadha… Nxaaa.

  35. this is not news….truth is the media is full of gays and lezbnz and they are slowly feeding our youth this rubbish pretending reporting news….the media has and continues to play a major role at prompting this life style coz those who run the media are into it…..

  36. WTF* who’s dis reporter anyora this article ndiye anotofanira kumamiswa 1st. Kutamba nemeso edu tichiverenga zvisina basa. “Burn dem di chichi..” Ma gemu ema gay gangsters ndiwo atisingadi muno. Mapenzi akatoita nani. Hapana randakambonzwa kuti arikufemerana mugotsi nevamwe varume. Kunonona manure yeumwe murume here aah mayas noo noo. Chero basic science dzetaidzidza ku creche dzaitiudza kuti like poles REPEL and unlike poles ATTRACT but unotoona vamwe vachiedza by any means necessary to go against nature.

    Bt we should not persecute these people they are not normal they have a problem they need help. Asi let’s not encourage them whatsoever ngativabatsirei kurapa hunhubu ihwohwo. Its a condition that they have. Let’s help them the same way we help those w other conditions such as mental retardness, autism etc to get better

  37. give me da machine gun i wanna shoot evry bomboclatt .Does not have a place in Zimbabwe why share dis beauty country with social hell with them all viva president RG kill them all

  38. To hell wt homosexuality

  39. hang them all! Why would you advocate for a sinful act? Sons and daughters of the antichrist? Why are you against creation while you were created? Ndipo pandinodira Matibili for this anopinda denga.

  40. It is because God does not allow it. Hence Zimbabwe does not also accept homosexuality. Why these wrong people would want recognition? Wrong remains wrong nomater what kind of publicity one may seek. We know you are there Lesbians and Gays, but Zimbabwe will not give you the right to do it pachena. Marriage is between a man and a woman which will result in the birth of a child the way you were born.

  41. the level of homophobia in Africa is astonishing, personally I am indifferent to it as a Christian I understand no sin is greater than the other I am of the idea that we have all sinned and came short of the glory of God and that our righteousness is like filthy rags before God, lets love each other despite our shortcomings and the sooner we all realise Jesus came to die for such the better let’s not discriminate sinners for God loves them wether they repend or not that’s between them and their God

  42. Newsday what are you trying to achieve by promoting these unnatural things,shame on you.You have lost my respect.

  43. ok thats great news, i hope the western countries are supporting you to bring this practice into your villages. Go on and let your father marry your uncle, your aunt marry your grand daughter. God is watching

  44. It is so funny how we so much want to embrace each other without telling the truth. Homosexuality is wrong whether you like it or not. Being Christians does not mean we should not tell you that you are wrong. No sin is better than the other but it does not mean that we should keep quiet about it. Telling you that you are wrong is not judging, as many of us quickly jump to conclude that you are already judging. Ko vanoita zvakaipa vanotsiurwa sei. Lets put it this way, you see your child stealing from a neighbor and you tell him that its wrong, he replies you that haaa stop it dad you are judging me, how would you feel as a parent. Lets call a spade a spade. Homosexuality is a sin and should be condemned just like we do other sins.

  45. The article reminds me of the great works by Foucault on technologies of subjectivity and technologies of the subject, it reminds me of Bourdieu’s works on Social Field, Habitus and Doxa where he argues that the theory of agency is impossible because the oppressed cannot see through their oppression, it reminds me of the great works of Judith Butler who argues that we live through and by repudiation but above all l like the works of McKinnon who majors on Consciousness raising. Bourdieu argues dat as long as one is not on that social field he/she will neva understand the doxa, so ma argument is let us the heterosexual not poke our nose into the world of the Homosexuals for we will never understand what the hell is going on and such points to end of times, let God be the judge!

  46. If they want to marry each other and have sex with each other.what then shall in logic and reason prevent me from marrying my Goat or my donkey or even the whole lot of my domesticated beasts.i hasten to supply the similarity.gays and lesbians posit that they must be allowed to engage in their practices because they are consensual and cause no injury to society at large .aaah wonderful…so in essence,conduct may be accepted provided there is some rational basis.Now here is the reason why i would be entitled to enjoy the company of my unnamed Goat and bullet the donkey…by natural endowment,i am given dominion over my animals to the extent that i may kill them for food or burden them for any stands to reason that where greater harm is allowed,lesser harm is permitted by necessary implication.there you have it…have sex with each other…meanwhile i will have sex with billy the goat and move on to bullet the donkey..after we have had billy for supper?.so in essence the homosexual argument has the logical demerit of being extensible to other areas which no sane society may accept.e.g i am a paedophile…i naturally want sex with kids and was born that way….i have a genetic predesposition to violence….i enjoy sex with my tree etc.At times a republic suppresses minority influences which are felt to be potentially poisonous to the majority.endai munoona maprophets etc mubatsirwe ….rubbish

    1. GOOD ADVICE: do something for yourself, for your family. Don’t waste your time talking about these already rich politicians while others are enjoying their lives with money without even paying attention to this dirty politicians. See how this poor South African woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling accidented vehicles. Very interesting. Go to ACCIDENTEDVEHICLES doit COM to see all these 5 companies that she was using to do this business successfully. ACCIDENTEDVEHICLES doit COM , Wake up African people

  47. I dont think I will read the Newsday ever again! They have lost track. How could they glorify homosexuality like that! Mapiweiko nhai Editor? Better kuverenga Herald, it doesn’t torture my senses.

  48. I would have killed her, she is worse than a dog

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