Category Archives: Gender & Sexuality


by Tam’sanqa Mhepoh | @campusmoments | Interactive post

To end this blog series on sexual harassment on campus, here is a curated list of resources, ranging from multi-media, social media posts, online publications and press reports. These are to help you further understand this problem and how to possibly deal with it.

Sexual Harassment has been in the news over the first quarter of 2017. Citing a  baseline survey conducted by the Female Students Network of Zimbabwe published in 2016, reports say that between 74  and 98 percent of female students in the country’s tertiary institutions have been victims of this abuse. The culprits are male lecturers, male non academic staff and male students.

What is disturbing though is that victims do not recognize instances of abuse and if they do, they may not know where or how to seek redress. Go ahead, empower yourself with these resources below:

  1. Multi-media 

Flirting or Hurting. (DVD)

Even for adults, it can be challenging to figure out what actions and words constitute flirting and what behaviors cross the boundaries into sexual harassment. For middle schoolers, who are just making their entry into a more complex social world, these distinctions are often beyond their grasp. This program uses a blend of realistic dramatic scenarios, on-screen narrators and a round table discussion featuring real students to show young viewers the difference between real flirting (welcome, wanted, respectful and fun) and hurting (unwelcome, unwanted, one-sided, makes you feel bad). Viewers learn what it means to cross the line—whether in person, through texting or on-line—and are reminded of the serious consequences for both the target and the harasser. Helpful “flirting” tips are offered by an expert as well as advice on how to react to behaviors that are not appropriate or welcome.


video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format

available from :

2. #ThatsHarassment :

Social media campaign

Based on true stories, the short films illustrate various environments in which harassment occurs: a bar, photography studio and television show set, as well as the doctor’s, lawyer’s and politician’s offices. Here’s a blog with a commentary for you to understand why exactly all the scenarios are harassment. I’ve included one for this sample video.

What happens in the consent violation? A young model is posing for a photo shoot in front of a number of people. The photographer repeatedly tells her to touch herself and then repeatedly tells her to touch her genitals under her jeans. Eventually she complies and then he tells her to do it more. After a while he takes more pictures and then finishes by saying he has an erection from watching her.



A survey on sexual rights

By Nomathemba Zondo

Sexual Rights Center (SRC) conducted a baseline survey in tertiary institutions to interrogate young people’s perceptions on sex and sexual rights.

The baseline survey which had a total number of hundred and twenty- three participants revealed that 74% are heterosexuals, 20% are homosexuals and 6% are bisexuals.

“Among the hundred and twenty-three that participated, 53% were females, 43% male and 4% other,” said a SRC representative.

One of the key findings from the survey revealed that 65% of the participants said homosexuals should be allowed in church because sex is a right.

“I believe homosexuals should be allowed in church because they are humans like everyone else so they should be granted the opportunity to have an encounter with God like everyone else,” commented one of the students who were ask to share their views on the issue.

“I think homosexuals should be allowed in church because what they are doing is a sin against God so if they are allowed in church maybe they can repent and give their lives a turn around.”

According to the finding of the baseline, participants 51% of the participants said that homosexuals are immoral.

“It is so unfortunate that some still think being attracted to a person of the same sex is immoral and a crime yet this issue is really based on hormones, said another student. I think this this is scientific really. Being homosexual does not mean I am committing a crime or being disrespectful.

Participants in the baseline recommended that there is a need to raise awareness and critical consciousness on sexual rights and agency among persons in tertiary institutions.


A gift from the gods? Issues on sexuality: Scholarly views

By Nomathemba Zondo

homos 2

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.

Abnormal sexuality

By Nomathemba Zondo


The issue of sexuality is a very controversial issue in the African society which believes that any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality is an abnormal. Any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality is treated as a ‘scorn’ in most African societies.

In Zimbabwe homosexuality is treated as a sexual minority because homosexuals are secluded due prejudice and discrimination. A study by the Sexual Rights well known as the SRC revealed that homosexuals make up 20% and bisexuals 6% of the Zimbabwe population which also shows that they are the minority yet however it is important to bear in mind that 26% of these so called non- heterosexuals include people who openly revealed their sexuality meaning if everyone openly said their sexuality they could be more.

Anyway statistics aside, despite the point that some countries have legalised same sex relationships and marriages, this issue remains very sensitive in the society and as a result homosexuals continue to face a lot of stigma.

In our society, saying something positive about gays might stand a justification that you one them, as a result most helping professionals in developing countries have neglected the gay community for fear of losing credibility in society.

Homosexuals face a lot of seclusion from society people even make fun of them. The way they walk, dress or talk. Some are even victims of physical violence and rape because they are viewed as abnormal hence these offenders feel they the need to be violent so that they can transform them to become ‘normal’ like them’.

Unfortunately, our tabloid newspapers also contribute to the stigmatisation. These are the same papers who say their vision is to promote diversity but how do you do that by attacking one group?

At the end of the day I just wonder these people are, they have a different sexuality. So what? Does it really affect us? I don’t think so. We all different in our various way and the least we can do is to accept them for who they are and life goes on.


By Nomathemba Zondo

Image result for church buildings photosThe African society has failed up to today to fully tolerate homosexual and bisexuals. These are the so called gays and lesbians which are usually referred to as “izitabane”.

This other day at church, the Pastor preached on how things are changing in the world emphasising that people need to repent for these are the warning signs that the coming of Jesus is nigh. To me it was a touching sermon till the issue of “izitabane” came up. The so called Man of God said one of the warning signs that Jesus is about to come is the fact there are people who now claim that they are in love with other men yet they are man they are men themselves.

“I mean does it make sense to you that one can say I am a man in a woman’s body,” said the Pastor.

“Are we saying that God makes mistakes when creating people? Is it even possible for him to give female organs when u supposed to be male,” he added.

At the end of the day I realised that as much as our society is failing to accept and tolerate any other sexuality which is not heterosexual the church is worse.

In my own understanding a church is a spiritual place where people go and meet up with God. It is a place for everyone for the God whom we worship loves “everyone.” The “everyone” means the black or white, dark or light, any ethnic group and even criminal that is the sinners but funny enough this same God does not love homosexuals and bisexuals!

I mean the Bible teaches that people should love one another and not judge anyone for God is the only judge, who then are we to shun them out? As we continue to gossip and preach about them do we even consider the impact it has on them. No-one ever puts it into consideration how these people actually feel. The church a place where they are supposed to be welcomed, loved and protected yet they are persecuted. This is ridiculous!

Homosexuals, bisexuals are normal human beings, they deserve love and respect. Religious institutions should allow them in church and treat them like everyone else otherwise. They are there to hear the word and fellowship not to be judged. After all these so called religious people are not holy as they claim to be!

Well if the church feels that homosexual need to repent then why allow them to come to church and have an encounter with God so that they may actually repent.



Homosexuality and bisexuality a Western ideology?

By Nomathemba Zondo

Though there has been a lot of controversial debates surrounding the recognition of homosexual rights in the world the Zimbabwean President has remained firm on his decisions not to legalise homosexuality in the country.

In the African perspective most countries have not legalised homosexuality and regard it as a curse, immoral or a Western phenomenon.

Though our neighbours, South Africa were one on the first countries to legalise

Image result for homosexuals  in zimbabwe

same sex marriages President Robert Mugabe still stands by his decision that homosexuality is a criminal offense. Due to the President’s decision most gays and lesbians still find it hard to reveal their sexuality in fear of being arrested and assaulted.

The leader of the Movement for Democratic change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai however seems to support the idea of legalising same sex marriage which has also made people to believe that he is a British puppet since they were the first to legalise same sex relationships.

However it should also be understood that some Western countries still condemn homosexuality and most homosexuals live in fear of being prosecuted. Recently the CNN reported a story on gays in Russia who were being killed by either their family members or members of society.

One of the gays that managed to speak to CNN reporters said he actually had to flee from his home in fear of being killed by his brothers. The interviewee told CNN reporters that once family members found out that one of them is homosexuals is gay that person would not be spared.

Another Korean man also interviewed by CNN said he was forced into a marriage whilst he was gay also had to flee from his home because he felt that he was living a lie.

So at the end of the day people should not think that Western countries are enjoying freedom but the treatment of homosexuals as deviants of society who deserve to be punished exists everywhere.