Worse than dogs and pigs: life as a gay man in Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe says people like Takunda Amina are “worse than dogs and pigs” - so daily life as a gay man in Zimbabwe was never going to be easy. At 24, Amina has already been chased from his family home, forced to marry - twice - and fathered three children who ask him tough questions about sex and sexuality.

He has been vilified in the national press - snapped at a gay party - and rejected as a disgrace by his parents. Not even the best spiritual healers could ‘cure’ Amina of being gay.

”I‘m a single father of three and a male sex worker,” Amina told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He also chairs Male Sex Workers in Zimbabwe, a lobby group with 300 members that helps economically disadvantaged gay men.

Researchers say Zimbabwe’s media fuels homophobia, echoing Mugabe’s belief that homosexuality “degrades human dignity. It’s unnatural, and there is no question ever of allowing these people to behave worse than dogs and pigs.”

Mugabe has characterized homosexuality as “un-African” and many journalists duly report gay stories with hostility. Read more via Thomson Reuters Foundation