Joburg Pride has announced its theme for the 2010 Joburg Gay Pride Day and Parade, set to take place at Zoo Lake Sports Club on Saturday 2nd October.

Highlighting the deteriorating human rights landscape for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people across Africa, Joburg Pride will be reminding the continent’s people, politicians and religious leaders that: We’re ALL African.

“The ‘We’re ALL African’ theme is a call for LGBT Africans to affirm and assert their African-ness,” says Joburg Pride Co Chair Zak Mbhele. “Sexual diversity is a normal aspect of the human spectrum and we want this to be accepted on the continent as part of its rich tapestry of cultural, religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity.”

He adds: “No longer should we allow certain leaders to use sexual diversity as a scapegoat to obscure their failings or for religious fundamentalists to impose their beliefs on others. Defending and upholding the human rights of LGBT people in Africa is and should be a cornerstone of practising the philosophy of ubuntu/botho.”

The theme was revealed at the Joburg Pride public annual general meeting on Saturday 25 April at Zoo Lake Sports Club and is inspired by the alarming increase in the brutal oppression of LGBT people in Africa.

In Malawi a gay couple remain in prison, without bail, after four months – simply for getting engaged to one another. In Uganda the ruling party is considering a bill which would entrench the criminality of LGBT people and impose the death penalty in certain cases of homosexual conduct. In South Africa and Zimbabwe lesbians continue to be the victims of “corrective rape” in the belief that they will be “cured” of their homosexuality through rape.

“A wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent” wrote Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in The Washington Post in March, a state of affairs which he described as “terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa.”

The ‘We’re ALL African’ theme will inform every aspect of this year’s Joburg Pride, including related events and all marketing and communication.

“We intend to dispel the absurd and false notion that homosexuality is ‘un-African’ or is somehow ‘imported’ from Europe, when in fact it is most anti-gay laws in Africa that are colonial creations,” says Mbhele.

Joburg Pride is the oldest and largest LGBT Pride event on the African continent, drawing a crowd of around 15,000 people. The 21st Joburg Pride Day and Parade will take place on Saturday 2nd October at Zoo Lake Sports Club.

For more information about Joburg Pride, visit

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