Just over a year ago, I wrote an article which was published (though edited somewhat unfavourably) in a Nigerian newspaper, and I was subjected to much online abuse as a result. I was also told by people close to me that it was very ill-advised. One friend even said that it was good that I was leaving home at the end of a holiday from the UK the day it was published!
The recent decision of the Nigerian president to sign an anti-gay bill into law, and the myriad wicked comments one reads in condemnation of gays and those who dare to support them makes me want to share the article afresh.
People keep saying we deserve better leadership. I wonder if they're right after all?
I post the original article (published accurately on a Ghanaian website) after this new poem.
Let's Criminalise the Gays
Mr. Mandela made us proud again
Made us walk straight and tall
Look good in the whole world’s eyes
Now let’s criminalise the gays
He and others went before
Fought so we could be free
Accepted hardship, prison, even death
But let’s criminalise the gays
They have passed us the baton
It slips from our oily hands
We lose it in polluted waters
Still, we’ll criminalise the gays
Our leaders are raping our nations
Selling our bodies and our wealth
Stealing our children’s future
Heck - let’s criminalise the gays
We who are holier than they
Have nothing to declare or hide
We’re not major or minor sinners
If we criminalise the gays
Our God is a merciful God
He said "Blessed are the meek"
He will be the one to judge
But we’ll criminalise the gays
When we criminalise the gays
Then look in the mirror and smile
Truth stares back unacknowledged:
We are UGLIER than the gays
Wouldn’t it be funny
If when we meet our maker
He sends us “the wrong way”
'Cos we criminalised the gays?
©Tayo Aluko, January 2014
Modern Ghana, December 27, 2013