Members of the Harambee Starlets
A Kenyan sports website has claimed that lesbianism is “common… in all women teams in Kenya” while publishing misguided and deeply prejudiced views on homosexuality.
The Michezoafrika.com article, written by one Dennis Machio and titled Shocking revelation of Lesbianism in Kenyan women teams, claims to base its conclusions on a two week survey undertaken by the site.
It says that while lesbianism is found in all female sports in the country, “the most affected are football, handball, volleyball, rugby and basketball teams”.
More disturbingly, the site goes on to give its take on lesbianism, offering its readers information on female homosexuality and what its “causes” are.
“Lesbians are known to express their sexual and romantic desires toward other females contrary to the nature where all humans have an inborn instinct to mate with opposite sex,” Machio writes.
He goes onto claim that lesbianism could be caused by girls spending too much time with girls or by spending too much time with boys.
The article perpetuates the widely held belief in Africa that people can be led into homosexuality by others, suggesting that women can “become” lesbian through peer pressure.
“In Kenya, most of the lesbians especially the ones in the sports world have been recruited to the same out of peer influence maybe in the teams or during their high school days where the practice is said to be more popular,” asserts the report.
Other causes of female same-sex attraction listed by the site include “disappointments” by men and being raped.
An un-named source is quoted as saying: “Our relationships with men don’t last. Some of the women have become so disappointed and in the end they become lesbians because they are afraid of heart breaks.”
Machio recounts claims that the Kenyan women soccer team, known as the Harambee Starlets, lost a recent game against Ethiopia because some of the Kenyan players were said to have engaged in lesbian sex before the match.
In June 2011, ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, it was reported that rumours of lesbianism had led to some players being thrown out of the Nigerian national women’s soccer team.
Coach Eucharia Uche told The New York Times at the time that the “dirty issue” of lesbianism in the team had been dealt with thanks to prayer and divine intervention.
In response, FIFA announced it would launch an investigation into the reports of homophobia by Nigerian football officials. Mambaonline, however, has been unable to find the results of the investigation or that an investigation was ever undertaken.