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UK, US mount subtle pressure on Ghana over homosexuals, lesbians, others

Indications that the United Kingdom and the United States are keen on pushing LGBTQ rights, considered a cultural aberration in Ghana, have emerged.

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Indications that the United Kingdom and the United States are keen on pushing LGBTQ rights, considered a cultural aberration in Ghana, have emerged.

The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Ghana, Iain Walker has said his government owes itself and the world a right of duty to ensure that laws that set out to ‘intentionally or unintentionally’ discriminate against homosexuality are changed or new favourable ones created.

The High Commissioner passed this comments on GhanaWeb’s 21 Minutes with KKB over the weekend as monitored by MyNewsGH.com.

Mr Walker’s comments were in reaction to a question about what might have prompted Theresa May, UK Prime Minister to offer to help Ghana change its laws to be more favourable and accommodating to homosexuals when President Akufo Addo participated in a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting hosted in London by the United Kingdom.

The UK High Commisioner said Theresa May’s comments were “within the context of LGBT rights”, adding that “it (homosexuals rights) is something that we the UK feel very strongly about”.

The UK High Commisioner becomes the second top diplomat of a powerful Western Nation to add his voice to the call for de-criminalization of homosexuality in Ghana.

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson had earlier said he thinks Ghanaians are “myopic” on the subject of homosexuality.

He said Ghanaians’ attitude towards the subject reflects a “lack of understanding of the sciences”.

In the interview with Ghanaweb’s Kyenkyenhene Boateng, the US Ambassador had categorically replied to a question as to whether he holds the view that it is myopic to oppose the basic human rights of gays just because of their sexuality. The Ambassador had replied: “I do think it’s myopic. I think it reflects a lack of understanding of the science.”

In apparent response to public outcry, however, the UK High Commissioner, Iain Walker, has cleared the air on the raging volatile issue on homosexuality and the role his home country is playing as far as the topic is concerned.

He stressed that contrary to what many believed to be the stance, UK would never dictate terms to Ghana as far as laws on the community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer rights were concerned.

“Ghana’s a very tolerant country. I well understand the fact that many LGBT people live in societies and are not persecuted. They are accepted and there’s the tolerance of it… I think we say that we in the UK helped create laws that were unintentionally or at the time intentional but now unintentionally discriminatory. We feel the responsibility that if countries wish to change those laws we’d like to find a way of helping and that’s what Theresa May was saying when she spoke to all members of the commonwealth,” he stated.

Culture

President Tinubu renames Nigeria’s National Theatre after Nobel Laureate Soyinka

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The Nigerian National Arts Theatre has been renamed after the country’s only Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

President Bola Tinubu who made the announcement on Friday in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka birthday on July 13th said the foremost playwright was a national treasure that should be celebrated.

In the tribute titled, “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” Tinubu expressed his delight to “join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka,” adding that “July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.”

“Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth,” Tinubu said.

“Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu also stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

“When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” the Nigerian President said.

The President further stated that Prof. Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

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Culture

Ghanaian woman sets Guinness World Record for ‘Most Cars Washed’ in 8 Hours by an individual

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The Guinness World Records (GWR) has officially confirmed a Ghanaian woman, Felicity Asantewaa, as the record holder for “Most Cars Washed” in eight hours by a single individual.

The official confirmation from the GWR came in a statement posted on its highlighting Asantewaa’s “remarkable achievement” which took place on March 9, at the Executive Club in East Legon, Accra.

According to GWR, during Asantewaa’s record-breaking attempt, she successfully washed 60 cars within the eight-hour period, breaking the previous record by five cars.

The GWR statement reads:

“The most cars washed in eight hours by an individual is 60 and was achieved by Felicity Asantewaa (Ghana) in Accra, Ghana, on 9 March 2024. Felicity broke the record by 5.

“Her determination and efficiency in washing 60 cars in such a short time frame have earned her a well-deserved spot in the Guinness World Records and put Ghana on the map for such remarkable accomplishments.

“This achievement becomes a source of pride for Felicity who is known as a car enthusiast.”

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