As the global movement continues to put in the work to create a fair and just world for LGBTIQ persons, a new campaign dubbed Upendo ni Upendo is taking hold in Eastern Africa to further push for this very cause. We caught up with the one of the volunteers who he spoke to us all about the campaign and what they hope it will achieve.

Read on!

KT: Please tell us about the Upendo ni Upendo Campaign and what inspired it

“Upendo ni Upendo” is Swahili and it means “Love is Love.” It is a campaign for LGBTQI rights in East Africa, mostly in countries with many Swahili speakers such as Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, DR Congo, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

It was inspired by the urgent need to spread love and eradicate bigotry and prejudice against the LGBTQI community, especially in light of recent attacks on the community by political leaders, be it Magufuli in Tanzania or Museveni in Uganda.

Besides sharing relevant information with the public, we plan to create a mechanism through which members of the community can share their stories safely and anonymously on our platforms in order to encourage others and give a human face to the movement. We want to give LGBTQI people a voice, and a chance to express themselves.

KT: How long has the campaign been running for and in which parts?

It has been running for only a week, and within that time we’ve already built a significant following! The target audience are people in Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, DR Congo, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

KT: What is the overall goal for this campaign?

We believe that everyone has a right to love anyone they choose, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The goal is to spread this message and discourage humiliation or stigma against the community.

We hope that through our efforts and in collaboration with other organizations with the same goal homosexuality and eventually same-sex marriage will be legalized.

Members of this community have a right to feel safe to come out and live their lives freely.  We shall also share news relevant to the LGBTQI community in an attempt to keep the family updated on progress.

Many homophobic people use religion as an excuse and cherry-pick the scriptures to spread hate and threaten LGBTQI community members. It is our desire that homophobia and transphobia will be gradually uprooted from our societies.

We believe that our efforts will bear fruits, one step at a time.

KT: Any successes and/or challenges that you have registered?

So far, we have reached a few hundred people from the community and beyond via Facebook and Twitter. We were able to answer questions and hope to reach even more people in the future.

One of the challenges is that people are afraid to participate on our social media platforms out of fear of being caught. Most LGBTQI people in East Africa are still scared of coming out.

KT: Where can people find out more about the Upendo ni Upendo Campaign?

They can reach us via Twitter at, and Facebook at

KT: A last word for our readers?

 Love conquers! We will win this fight against prejudice and hate. LGBTQI people will live and love freely. They are not alone.

We hope that homosexuality and same-sex marriage will be decriminalized in the near future in East Africa and society will embrace our slogan, “Upendo ni Upendo.”