Activists across Africa pay tribute to Aunty Ivy, a pioneer of the African LGBT movement


The curtain has come down on one of the pioneers of the African LGBTQI+ movement. Emmanuel Kamau or Aunty Ivy as they were popularly known to the community both in Kenya and across Africa, was one of the founder members of the oldest gay group in Kenya ISHTAR MSM, which was founded in 1999. Aunty Ivy had been living in the States for the last twelve years. A resident of Dallas, Texas, Aunty Ivy fell ill in April 2019 and sadly passed on the 17th December 2019, a few days before their 48th birthday. Aunty Ivy’s footprint extends beyond Kenya’s boundaries and was a friend to many activists across the continent and the world. We remember Aunty Ivy, with a selection of tributes from fellow African activists. I met Aunty Ivy in 2002, and I was in college at that time. I was an HIV volunteer peer educator and in one of our meetings he noticed me and he invited me to a monthly focus group discussion at Liverpool VCT here in Nairobi. This meeting was like an AA meeting where people would tell their coming out stories.

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