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REMEMBERING A HEROIC ACTIVIST: David Kato’s Sixth Memorial


On 26th January 2011, Uganda’s LGBT community woke up to news that activist David Kato had been brutally murdered at his home in Mukono; this was news that would go on to reshape the journey of the country’s LGBT movement.
Every year, a memorial is held in his honour and 2017 wasn’t any different. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) hosted a memorial gathering that saw community members reminisce about the life of David Kato.
SMUG’s Program Director Pepe Onziema and the Executive Director Frank Mugisha shared the rather chilling experience of hearing the news of Kato’s demise. More went ahead to share what they most remembered of the man that is now remembered as the Father of Uganda’s LGBT movement. What was clear from the several stories shared was David’s passion and dedication to creating a just society for LGBT Ugandans, his sense of humor as well as his rather ‘unconservative’ but innovative approach to tackling issues. To quote one of the day’s speakers, “David was living ahead of his time.”
One of the highlights of the memorial was Mavuno’s Pastor Waweru‘s call for the nation to embrace all people and draw them to God irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. He called on all those who might have lost faith because of religious persecutions and bigotry to remember that only God could judge them.


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