Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp Pride still on despite violence and death threats

08 Apr, 2019
Organizers of the first Pride parade in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp will defiantly come back even after violence was witnessed in the inaugural event.

Mbazira Moses and his organization, Refugee Flag Kenya, was the person who organized the last years Pride at the populous Kakuma refugee camp.

Kakuma is considered to be one of the world’s biggest refugee camps and has a sizeable population that identifies as LGBT. Most of these LGBT people are from Uganda where gay sex is illegal.

Last year’s Pride festival went off with a hitch but still proved a great success. But organizers then received death threats and violence afterwards.

‘If you don’t leave the camp we are going to kill you one by one and we mean it,’ a note to LGBT community in the camp read.

Kakuma Pride

But Refugee Flag Kenya is not intimidated and plans to make the 2019 Pride event even bigger than the previous year's. Mbazira decided to engage local LGBT groups and businesses in nearby Nairobi.

‘This time our plan is to involve the Kenyan community and activists in our pride event so that it creates strong solidarity, togetherness and awareness as an LGBT community,’ Mbazira stated.

‘We plan to partner with security concerned agencies and we don’t plan to disclose where the event shall be to any one apart from the organizing committee.

‘We would like to inform the public that this year’s pride shall much exciting and full of life because we plan to involve in a lot of partners who have so many ideas and are willing to see the success of the event come true.’

Along with a Pride parade, the Kakuma Pride will host a trans party as the marquee event. The trans party will happen at a gay club in Nairobi. During the party a Mr and Miss Pride will be crowned and will also feature a beauty pageant.

Last year’s Pride attracted a lot of negative attention from homophobes and transphobes. But Mbazira believed it forced local Kenyans to ask why it took refugees risking their own lives to host the country’s first Pride parade.

‘It was the first pride in Kenya, so Kenyans asked themselves why a refugee had to stand up and put on a brave event,’ he said.

The second Kakuma Pride will run on 27 June with organizers crowdfunding to cover the costs of running the event.