Charles Ngengi and Daniel Gichia: Media Scandalised our Union as Gays - The Star

Over the last 10 days or so, the media have presented our lives in the UK in both a sensational and misrepresented way.

At no time did they show either respect or bother to check out the accuracy of the information that they have been reporting.

We are extremely disappointed and concerned about what the media, and specifically the Daily Nation, are telling Kenyans. We are fully aware of the laws in Kenya, when it comes to homosexuality.

Have you ever thought that one's sexuality is something that you are born with? Of course you can try to suppress it or simply mislead people in an attempt to protect yourself from the homophobic elements within the Kenyan society as a whole.

It is sad but many people have to do this. Or you can leave your native country and go and live in a place where gay people can live in peace without extreme prejudice or, worse than that, the fear of survival.

We have chosen to live our lives based on love rather than hatred or fear. God knows we would have liked to have had freedom in our own country but the media has made it quite clear that our lives could be at risk simply because we have done something outside of Kenyan law, as it currently stands, noting that our old colonial masters have updated their laws on this matter.

The facts are as follows. It is true that on October 17, we entered into a partnership under the Civil Partnership Act, which came into effect as a legal statute within British Law in 2005.

The background to introducing this law was based on the rulings made in The Hague regarding human rights, specifically to cover co-habitation outside of marriage as a religious ceremony recognised by the church.

If marriage (as a religious ceremony) is taken out of co-habitation then the sexuality of two people co-habiting is not relevant. Our own civil partnership had no religious significance whatsoever so words like 'husband' and 'wife' should not be used when reporting such events.

Civil Partnerships are meant to illustrate the legal rights of two people, co-habiting within society as a whole.

At no time did anybody working with the Kenyan news-papers make contact with either of us to discuss this subject from a balanced and legal point of view. Clearly the media simply decided to focus on the sensational side of the story and to make matters worse decided to put totally unreasonable pressure and embarrassment on our parents, immediate family and close friends in order to whip up bad feelings and potential acts of violence towards them.

Knowing that homosexuality is against the law in Kenya, we made the decision not to advise or involve our immediate friends and family in Kenya of what we had been planning to do.

This was not an easy decision as we would prefer to be totally transparent and honest with all concerned but our fear of recriminations on the people that we truly love forced us to keep quiet.

Of course the unbelievable actions of the media has proved beyond all doubt that that concern of ours was totally justifiable and now we pray to God that no harm will come to those who have had no input whatsoever on our decision.

The media has gone beyond the limits, in an outright attempt to increasingly scandalise the situation, by going directly to our parents in order to try and gather more details from them. Their objective is to try to discredit us by any means whatsoever and they feel justified in doing this.

Quite simply, our parents, family and friends have absolutely nothing to do with our private lives as we are both well over the legally stated age of 'consenting adults' and have not lived with our parents for many years.

It is unreasonable and shameful to think that we should live in denial or simply hide our feelings just to keep Kenya and the so-called Kenyan image clean.

Perhaps the image of Kenya should be viewed from another perspective. One of tribal differences and political animosity, such as the recent troubles that came very close to civil or tribal war, destroying both lives and property, jobs and business opportunities for many in January 2008. Surely that is where the energy to make Kenya 'clean' should be directed.

We ask the media to stop harassing and interfering with our private life, although we wish to put on record that we are willing to be interviewed professionally and non-judgmentally.

We ask the media to respect our wishes and decisions as mentioned above and will therefore treat us accordingly.

Gichia and Ngengi are civil partners under British law.

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2 Responses to Charles Ngengi and Daniel Gichia: Media Scandalised our Union as Gays - The Star

sheba said...

Non-sense don't include God in your silly and unrespectable acts are you not ashamed to commend?

Elizabeth said...

I am so proud that you have been able to live your life. It is hard for you to come out especially as kenyan men and this must have been difficult. As a fellwo kenyan abroad i can only imagine how tough this must have been. I had a friend growing up in Nair0bi who was gay and he recently came out with his truth while living in Australia... but i can only imagine how much he struggled with that in Kenya where it is not accepted or even understood. However, you are living your truth. I wish you well.