A well-heeled Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender (LGBT) activist who is Nigerian by birth has been installed a traditional sub chief at the Yamonransa Nkusukum Traditional Area of the Central Region and has pledged to scale up his campaign for human rights.
The new chief, Davis Mac-Iyalla, has gone through the requisite traditional and customary rights and is now known by the stool name, Nana Kwesi Gyasi I.
Davis Mac-Iyalla was officially installed as the Amankorehen of the Yamonransa Nkusukum Traditional Area by the Omanhen and President of Nkusukum Traditional Area, Nana Okese Essandoh IX, and his people at public ceremony held at this royal durbar grounds and attended by traditional authorities from far and near.
The LGBT activist chief was also seen being carried shoulder-high in a palanquin and dancing on a tour across the major streets of the town.
During the palanquin ride, the newly installed-chief fell off and landed on the ground before he was quickly bundled together and flung back into the palanquin to continue the ride. When he fell, and was still scrambling on the floor, onlookers were heard shouting, “awww, awww, awww, Yesu! Nana has fallen down”.
It is said that under indigenous traditional practices, a chief cannot fall from his palanquin and remain chief. In this case however, Davis Mac-Iyalla continued to remain Nana Kwesi Gyasi I despite his public fall from the palanquin.
When news went round that Davis Mac-Iyalla has been installed a traditional chief in Ghana, persons of same sex orientation took to social media to express renewed hopes of acceptance in the country.
While the LGBT folks expressed excitement and congratulated the new chief and his installers, persons who are anti-LGBT did not mince words in expressing fury and disappointment at the news.
In the community where Davis Mac-Iyalla was installed chief, opinions remained divided.
Many said they know him as a philanthropist and someone who funds social development projects but are not aware about his links with LGBT.
Nana Kweku Gyesi I speaking at the durbar grounds asserted to Nana Tawiah “If you know me very well, you will notice I wasn’t born here in Ghana but in Nigeria. And by God’s grace, I practice what I preach which is equal rights for all persons. I don’t like discrimination.
“Whether you’re tall, short, black, white, yellow or green, you’re a human being and I will fight for that my belief to the very end no matter what it may cost me.
“I’m not a hypocrite and will not stand now to be a hypocrite.
“You don’t need to like me, but you have to respect my views,” he noted.
In addition, the Paramount Chief for Nkusukum Traditional Area, Nana Okese Essando IX, pleaded with government appointees within his municipality to aid his community Yamoransa to get asphalted roads together with a health facility as the over 400-year-old community cannot boast of even one hospital facility.
He as well asked for befitting police cells to house female culprits within the community who are usually left off the hook due to the area’s police post’s lack of female cells
Who Is Davis Mac-Iyalla?
He is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa (IDNOWA), an organization with the mission to build bridges across all faiths and change attitudes towards LGBTQI people. They have an office at Nungua in Accra.
He is an Anglican Christian, a Nigerian by birth and currently a British citizen after he fled his home country in 2006 to escape homophobic attacks.
Davis Mac-Iyalla is reported as one of the first Nigerian gay men to come out publically and has campaigned for the rights of LGBTI people for over twenty years.
He co-founded Alliance Rights, the first gay and lesbian network in Nigeria, and in 2005 founded Changing Attitude Nigeria, the Nigerian wing of the international organization Changing Attitude, which supports LGBTI Anglicans.
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