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Friday, 12 October 2012 15:03

First Openly Gay African Politician in UK

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The Kaleidoscope Trust is pleased to announce that the second lecture in Kaleidoscope’s Leadership Forum series, will given by David Kuria Mbote, the first openly gay black person in Africa to run for national office outside South Africa. 

Mbote, who is a candidate for the Kenyan Senate in next year’s elections, will deliver the lecture at University College, London, on October 17th. The lecture will highlight the role of leadership in helping to change political and cultural attitudes in Africa. The first lecture in the series was by given by John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons.

David Kuria Mbote has attracted attention around the world as an inspirational symbol of leadership and courage for LGBT people. 

Mbote comes from Kiambu, a county bordering Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. His campaign for a Senate seat is being fought in a traditionally conservative community where to be openly gay has meant the risk of becoming a social outcast. But he believes he is meeting a demand for a new kind of leadership and that by fighting a grassroots campaign he can succeed in a political system that has been marked by corruption and violence. 

“My sole mission will be to serve the people,” he said. Mbote says he aims to change the game of politics – campaigning with social media and committing himself to good governance in order to effect positive social change. If elected, he says his main priority would be the removal of structural barriers to HIV prevention, treatment and care. He is expected to describe the challenges of fighting an election in a country where many people reject homosexuality on the basis of religion. 

Lance Price, Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said: "David is an inspirational and very brave man who is willing to stand up and be counted on a continent where for generations gay people have been forced to keep their heads down or risk physical attack or worse. I met David during a visit to Kenya earlier this year and was impressed by his desire to enter public life not just as an LGBT person but as somebody who believes the people of his country deserve better than the politics they have had to endure for so long. When he announced that he would be standing for the Senate in next year's elections the Kaleidoscope Trust had no hesitation in inviting him to London so he can explain his mission to fight a grassroots campaign for justice and fairness. Anybody who hears him speak will understand that the image so often painted of African politics as corrupt and intolerant fails to tell the full story."

David Kuria Mbote will be in London for a week and will be holding a series of meetings with human rights organisations, HIV groups and members of the Kenyan community in the UK. 

The lecture will take place on 17th October in the Gustave Tuck lecture theatre at University College London at 7.30pm. Place at the lecture can be reserved by emaiing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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