By Jen Thorpe
I have known for a long time about the homophobic sentiments that are prevalent in many African countries, including South Africa. But, before watching Call Me Kuchu I don’t think I have ever fully understood the word ‘hate crime’. This film showed the hatred that is spread by evangelical churches and homophobic media in Uganda for LGBTI people.
Call Me Kuchu speaks to the increasing threats and violence directed at LGBTI people in Uganda and features brave activists who out themselves in order to push for better rights for the LGBTI community. It is incredibly moving and one of the central figures of the film is David Kato, well known activist, who was murdered in his home in 2011.
This is a film that reminded me that rights can never be taken for granted, and that inaction in a context of increasing tyranny is simply supporting those who wish to take rights. The film makers interview the man responsible for headlines in Rolling Stone newspaper such as ‘Hang Them’ who shows no remorse for the violence he incites. It also features pastors preaching hatred for gay and lesbian people, including American pastors who ironically preach that homosexuality is a western import. They themselves import fear and hatred into Uganda, and should be held responsible for the fear they spread.
I am so glad that this film was made, so that people like me who had only heard of Kato, and not heard him speak, could get the opportunity to listen to the complete common sense that he talks. I really suggest that you watch this film, and get involved in supporting LGBTI rights as human rights, whenever you can.
Watch it at the Encounters Documentary Film Festival at the following dates, times and places
CT: NuMetro V&A Waterfront Sat 16 8 | Fri 22 6.30 | Sun 24 5.30
Jozi: Bioscope Sat 9th 6 | NuMetro Hyde Park Sun 17 8.30