South African Classroom


Contrary to what many Africans think the controversial issue of gay rights and homosexuality is not a western import as it is as old as man irrespective of the continental location. Historical facts allude to the practice being common in some parts of Africa even long before the advent of colonialism which ironically banned the practice with extremely harsh homophobic laws.

What do you make out of the Igbo culture that even exists till today when some women marry their fellow women when there is no male child and want to perpetuate their father’s name? Agreed, a volunteer male is procured to have sexual intercourse with the woman who wants to get pregnant but there is no ruling out of the possibility of sexual relations between both women since they are technically culturally ‘married.’

Even in the West there was a lot of hypocrisy around the subject matter as the practice was underground especially among the nobles and the leading lights of society as well as some members of the Clergy. The persecution of gays was therefore hypocritical as some of the most virulent persecutors of the sexual minorities were themselves heavily steeped in the act. Literary scholars will recall that popular American novelist Oscar Wilde experienced a heavy decline which led to his downfall not because his oeuvres lacked high quality but because he was outed by the media as gay at a time when it was a gargantuan taboo.

As a Christian albeit a nominal one,  I stand with the Church in its belief in the propagation of heterosexuality as the only viable means of continued procreation but as a humanist, I totally condemn the killings, maiming, emotional assaults that sexual minorities suffer in the world most especially in Africa which arguably has the highest level of homophobia in the entire world.

South Africa also known as the Rainbow country was the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage largely due to the twin influence of Madiba Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu was famously quoted to have said: “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place,” Archbishop Tutu said at the launch of the Free and Equal campaign in Cape Town.

“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.” He likened his campaign for gay rights to his sturdy support against the sinister apartheid and said: “I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

Despite the same-sex marriage legalization, there is a high level of violence against the gay community there especially the common incidence of corrective rape. Sexual minorities are constantly under attack from the largely homophobic society which is a pointer to the crass unpopularity of the marriage equality law.

In August this year, a Grade 9 student of PJ Simelane Secondary School in South Africa committed suicide over alleged homophobic remarks made about him by his teacher as confirmed by the Department for Education in Gauteng.

The unnamed late student attended the school in Soweto and was allegedly mocked by his teacher in front of the other students for identifying as gay. This occurred during a speech presentation which the teacher in question was said to have made him the butt of cruel jokes before his fellow students. The obviously emotionally traumatized student decided not to return the following day only for the school authorities to discover that he had taken his life at home.

As reported by the The Department has confirmed that they met with the family of the child and the school since the incident and a thorough investigation into the matter is ongoing. A psychosocial unit has also been deployed.

Spokesperson for the Department Steve Mabona confirmed that the allegations are being investigated and that a report back at a later stage.

“There are allegations which we are ready to continue to investigate as a department. We will make sure we investigate those allegations and report at a later stage on the outcome thereof.”

It is sad that the teacher who ought to know better and act as a father or mother of all chose to inflict emotional injury on the hapless student. The issue of the LGBTQ is rather delicate and so it requires a lot of caution in its handling especially when minors are involved who are still deeply questioning their sexuality.

Everyone whether straight or gay deserves unconditional love in this turbulent world and so the cruel act of the heartless teacher is condemned in its entirety as love is the killer app apologies to the title of a New York Times Best Seller and the greatest force for good on planet earth.

May the soul of the student who sadly died anonymous without a fulfillment of his or her potential rest in peace!

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3 thoughts on “Tragic: Student commits suicide after teacher allegedly mocked his sexuality by Tony Ademiluyi

  1. This is such a good read and I share your thoughts about intolerance of abuse to another human being. Every human being deserves to live a full life.

  2. There is no situation in life that cannot be remedied; a good no cases of gay cases have been corrected— so the Teacher should pray constantly for his or her students and not make mockery of their unfortunate situations.
    Let people get to know God a lot and answers to questions will come up— there will be peace of soul and mental health will keep flourishing.

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