Of Heart & Home: Safe Houses for Queer Africans


Tuesday 19 October, 17:30 – 18:45 BST
Venue: Crowdcast
Tickets: FREE / £2 / £5 / £10 (Pay What You Can)

With Annette Nyabundi, Chiké Frankie Edozien and others.

A conversation on community activism and loving affirmation of self and others found in LGBTQ safe house organising in Kenya and beyond.

In 2008, after moving to the port city of Kisumu in western Kenya, Paula Abuor decided to open up her house to other LGBTQ people. Meeting in bars and parks was just too risky – and, as one of Kenya’s LGBTQ ‘elders’, she really wanted young Kenyans setting out on their queer journeys to have a safe space where they could be themselves, embraced by love when their families and friends wouldn’t accept them. That’s how Annette Atieno found herself there – when she was outed by a relative and her mum sent her away from the family home in Nairobi to Kisumu.  Annette takes us on a poignant journey to meet Paula and other people from that era. In doing so, we delve into an important chapter in Kenya’s LGBTQ history – and Annette reflects on the role Paula and her Kisumu house played in her own queer journey.


Join us in this special partnership with Afro Queer podcast in a conversation with Annette Nyabundi, subject and narrator of Paula’s House, and Chiké Frankie Edozien, author of Lives of Great Men, as we delve deeper into the specially produced episode for the podcast’s fourth season and what safe spaces truly offer LGBTQ people living on the African continent.

Listen to the episode here

Presented in partnership with Afro Queer Studios with support of the British Council.


Here’s what you need to know about the speakers:

Chiké Frankie Edozien is the author of the groundbreaking memoir ‘Lives of Great Men:’ Living & Loving As An African Gay Man which won the 2018 Lambda Literary award for biography/memoir. He lives in Accra, Ghana.

Annette Atieno is a Strategic Communication professional based in Nairobi who is currently pursuing a Masters in Communication for Development. For the past six years she has worked mainly to improve the lived experiences of Sexual and Gender Minorities in Kenya through diverse communication initiatives. Annette is Passionate about Fairness and Equality and very lovingly moderates a Cat-Lovers group in her spare time. 





Image credit: AfroQueer podcast logo

Africa Writes 2021 returns from 4 – 24 October. You can join us in celebrating the imagination, pleasure and activism within contemporary African literature either online, at 180 The Strand and the British Library. Learn more about the programme here.