Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Wiki (Edward Enninful picture: Attitude/Markus Bidaux)
Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell and Edward Enninful are among 67 public figures to sign a letter in solidarity with LGBTQs in Ghana.
The social media campaign follows the recent closure of an LGBTQ centre in the country's capital city, Accra.
Actor Idris and Vogue editor Edward were joined by politicians and other influential people largely of Ghanaian heritage in signing the letter. Naomi, although not of Ghanaian heritage, also showed her support.
While directly addressing the LGBTQ community in Ghana, the letter also calls on Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo and other political leaders to protect LGBTQs.
"It is unacceptable to us that you feel unsafe"
The letter, as shared on Naomi's Instagram account, states: "We have watched with profound concern as you have had to question the safety of your vital work at the LGBT+ Rights Ghana Centre in Accra, and feared for your personal wellbeing and security. It is unacceptable to us that you feel unsafe."
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The letter continues: “As prominent and powerful advocates for this great country, we are beseeching His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and political/cultural leaders to create a pathway for allyship, protection and support. We petition for inclusivity which will make the nation even greater and even stronger."
The centre in question, set up by the LGBT+ Rights Ghana group, only opened in January 2021. However, it closed last week following anti-LGBTQ backlash. Its leaders have since been forced into hiding.
Same-sex relations are illegal in Ghana and punishable by up to three years in prison, although the law is rarely enforced. Still, LGBTQs face huge social and legal challenges in the mostly Christian country.