Nigeria’s Super Eagles national football team

Nigeria’s Super Eagles national football team

Capetonians have been urged to attend Sunday’s African Nations Championship (Chan) football match between Nigeria and South Africa to voice their anger against Nigeria’s new draconian anti-gay law.

The idea to use the game between the two African giants at the Cape Town Stadium for an expression of LGBT solidarity first emerged on social media in reaction to news on Monday that the horrific legislation had been signed into law.

It’s been suggested that gays and lesbians wear rainbow t-shirts or other items or take rainbow flags or pro-gay placards to the match, which will be screened across Africa and in Nigeria, to show their support for beleaguered LGBT Nigerians.

On Twitter, Karien vd westhuizen (‏@karien_vdw) told Mambaonline: “Few of us going, will be casually waving large pride flags throughout game”.

Al (‏@Alvvv) tweeted: “I hope #LGBT in #CapeTown are using the #Nigeria soccer match to send a message re #AntiGayLaw”.

Writing for Daily Maverick, Rebecca Davis joined in the campaign, commenting that “it’s the perfect opportunity for South Africans to express concern about the raft of hateful anti-gay legislation signed into law by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan”.

She noted that, “the use of sports as a means to exert diplomatic pressure has a long and respected pedigree” and that “the sporting boycott of South Africa during Apartheid played a critical role in mobilising international opinion against the Apartheid regime”.

Davis urged people living in Cape Town to: “Buy a seat (they start at R45), perhaps in the middle tier. Paint your face, carry a rainbow flag, or bring a placard expressing solidarity with Nigerian gays and telling President Jonathan what you think of his bigoted laws. Then cheer your lungs out for Bafana and enjoy the game.”

Leslie Liddell, Director of Cape Town LGBT group Triangle Project, told Mambaonline that the campaign “is an excellent idea”.

She added: “Social media networking has changed the world in many instances. If the LGBTI community can show our distaste for what Nigeria has been doing and the laws it has being passing, I totally support it”.

Mambaonline also supports the campaign and calls on all LGBT Capetonians to do the same. It’s a small and pretty inexpensive, yet fun, effort that could have a significant impact in front of the world’s television cameras.

Bafana Bafana face off against Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Sunday at the Cape Town Stadium at 7pm. Tickets can be bought from the Computicket website here.

The new Nigerian law outlaws same-sex marriages, same-sex relationships, public same-sex affection and LGBT clubs or organisations; with prison sentences of up to 14 years. People who witness or aid a same-sex marriage and anyone who does not report LGBT people to the authorities also face jail time. Gay sex is already illegal with a penalty of 14 years in prison.

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