Going to South Africa is normally a fairly daunting experience for most Africans. Not much about it is “standard” African issue: not the cities, not the lifestyle – certainly not the economy. Even their problems are closer to being European than African.
In many ways, South Africa has taken a position of leadership to Africa and made itself a benchmark for many African countries. They branded themselves and even have a Brand management organization – the IMC, led by Yvonne Johnson; they have stepped out to market themselves aggressively as a destination for sport, for business and pleasure, they have taken leadership in infrastructural affairs – well, they lead.
And yet on another issue, the South Africans have taken a leadership position and I suspect that it will be a lonely position for them for quite a while: They have approved same-sex marriage. By allowing the homosexual marriages, South Africa has set itself apart as the first and perhaps, only true liberal country in Africa (and in this case that is not necessarily a good thing).
One may have no issues at all with homosexuality as a preference or lifestyle and one may not have very strong opinions with regard to same-sex marriage in Africa, “Bambi!” as they say in Uganda, “Wooiyee” as they would say in Kenya and “Atsi!” as the average mukamba will exclaim – not here. We are not ready to come that far out of the closet yet.