Apr 24, 2010

BURUNDI ´GAY HERO´ GEORGES KANUMA: ¨Mentor and dedicated Friend to many¨ R.I.P.

¨His dream was that gay people feel free¨


By Jerina Messie (BTM French Reporter)

BURUNDI- 20 April 2010: The LGBTI community in Burundi has lost one of its most committed activists and defender, Georges Kanuma who passed away in Bujumbura, on Wednesday 14 April after a kidney failure and malaria complications.

Kanuma was an activist and founder of Association for Respect of Homosexuals’ Rights (ARDHO) in 2003, the first LGBTI organization in the country, which was latter renamed HUMURE.

Those who knew him say he was a committed and fervent activist, who became one of the few out gay men in Burundi in the early 2000s.

“He used to go to radio stations to speak out and raise awareness about issues affecting the LGBTI community. Before we had a proper organization, we used to met and worked at his house. Georges really wanted to mobilize the LGBTI community. Every time he knew that someone was gay he would go to him or her and invited them to attend our meetings and to organize themselves in order to be powerful”, said Nestor Hakizimana, a friend.

Hakizimana added that Kanuma was not only the focal point of LGBTI activism in Burundi but also “a mentor and a dedicated friend for the members of the LGBTI community he served.”

Théophile Habonimana, a member of HUMURE said “I met him in 2004 after he created HUMURE. He was always there when someone in the community needed help. His dream was that gay people feel free. I met him at a time when I was very depressed because of my sexual orientation and he taught me how to be courageous,”

“He will be sorely missed in the LGBTI community. It will be difficult for us to cope without him. He was our hero,” Habonimana said.

At the time of his death, Kanuma worked as MSM Project Manager for ANSS (National Association for HIV Positive and Aids Patients in Burundi) in Bujumbura. HERE

May his soul rest in peace and rise in GLORY!

· Thanks to Behind the Mask, sidebar, HOME
· Thanks to Jerina Messie
· Thanks to ANSS, National Association for HIV Positive and Aids Patients in Burundi
· Thanks to HUMURE, First LGBTI Organization in Burundi
· Thanks to Nestor Hakizimana
· Thanks to Théophile Habonimana


it's margaret said...

May he rest in peace, rise in glory; may the angels greet him as he joins the throng at the feast at the supper of the lamb.

JCF said...

Memory eternal: RIP, RIG!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

What the others said!

And OT, love your "background" picture!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Reference to OT:

Thank you dear Göran, the painting is 4´x 4´ painted on panel and now lives in Chicago...I´m going to be using many of my ¨works¨ as backgrounds coming up (some are available and some have been sold) as I think they offer a fresh look and personalize my blog a bit more...I appreciate your comments always (especially your compliment)...best to you always,

Caminante said...

Thanks be to God for such voices and sorrow for such a young voice lost to the community by something we still are trying to eradicate, malaria. May he rest in peace and rise in glory and may the LGBTI organisation in Burundi through their grief find more voices.