By Nomathemba Zondo
Several debates have come across concerning the issue of homosexuality. Homosexuality is a very controversial topic considering that in our society we have been taught that being heterosexual is the only “normal” meaning anyone else who is not heterosexual is a deviant.
Jacques (2000) postulates that over the past years, homosexuality has been defined as a sexual preference, a gift from the gods bestowing wisdom and powers of healing on the recipients, a mortal sin and a natural sexual human variation.
Jacques (2000) goes on to suggest that current literature suggests that one’s sexual orientation is not a matter of choice meaning that individuals do not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual. Meanwhile most Africans regard homosexuality as a Western phenomenon that came to light after the colonial period.
Osei- Hwede (2000) argued that some social interaction are more acceptable than others because they are seen as morally better, more satisfying and healthier hence natural. This is the reason heterosexuality is considered as acceptable in the society at the expense of heterosexuality which is constructed by the media as deviant.
According to the National AIDS Council and United Nations Fund Population Services (2006). There are more than 10000 male homosexuals in Zimbabwe. However, this is not the total of all homos living in Zimbabwe because some of them do not disclose their sexuality in fear of the underlying homophobia.
Interestingly, Epprecht (2009) highlights that homosexuality in Zimbabwe can be traced back from the pre-colonial period. He argues that there is evidence of homosexual acts among the Bantu ways of life. Apprecht (2009) notes that homosexual experimentation among adolescents took place as part of the boys’ normal learning process- homosexuality play in the bush was normal but adult men who were seen as engaging in same sex acts were seen as bewitched or being witches themselves.
One may therefore note that the issue of sexuality has raised a lot of debates among academics. The media plays a critical role in the construction and representation of homosexuals so that people can view homosexuality as a form of abnormality.