Strange Flag on Mt Kenya Ignites Debate

  • Mt Kenya is a symbolic landmark in Kenya, physically and historically. In 1963, renowned Kenyan mountaineer Kisoi Munyao, then 25 years old, led a team of climbers to hoist the country’s independence flag that signalled the end of the colonial rule.

    As Kenya celebrated its 50th birthday, another flag was also hoisted at the stroke of midnight December 12, 2013.

    On Saturday, December 14, a photo of members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ+) movement hoisting the rainbow flag at the top of Mt. Kenya sparked debate online.

    Members of LGBTQ community take a selfie at the High Court on February 22, 2019, during landmark ruling on the decriminalisation of same-sex in Kenya

    "Munyao didn't climb Mt Kenya to be disrespected like this. Mau Mau didn't shed their blood for this. Our grandfathers didn't call it the holy mountain for this, Our God lives there," one netizen lamented.

    "At the end of the day, they are just people like us. They deserve to climb any mountain they want. I don't see any disrespect here," one Bolanle defended.

    "The LGBTQ works extra hard to be annoying. Even for people like me who support gay rights, these acts are simply provocative," Steve Kiboi argued. 

    In the picture, the climbers had the movement's trademark rainbow flag, which comprises of six colours.

    Each of the six colours has a meaning; red means life, orange means healing, yellow means sunshine, green means nature, blue means harmony, and purple means spirit.

    In May 2019, the movement suffered a blow after the High Court upheld a law banning same-sex relationship, in their quest for freedom.  President Uhuru has also spoken out against the issue, reiterating Kenya’s stand to protect cultural norms. 

    "We will welcome the visitors to Nairobi. We will be there and we will listen. But will be firm in rejecting what we do not agree with. We have a stand. On things that do not conform with our cultures and religion, we will firmly reject," he told the gathering attended by UNFPA Country Director Ademola Olajide and western diplomats in during a global population conference in Nairobi in November 2019.  

    Reactions to a post on Saturday, December 14, that pinpointed LGBTQ hoisting their flag on Mt Kenya
    More reactions to a post on Saturday, December 14, that pinpointed LGBTQ hoisting their flag on Mt Kenya