Tiwonge / Malawi
“My name is Tiwonge Chimbalanga and I am a Malawian aged 25 currently residing in Cape Town, South Africa. I came here to South Africa in the year 2010 and the reason that brought me here was that in the year 2009 I got married to Steven, and it was the first gay marriage in my country.
Then it was not allowed for gay people to get married in my country.
On the 28th December 2009 I was arrested along with Steven. It was a very painful experience because it was my first time to be in prison. I was later released on the 27th May 2010 after the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki Moon had some talks with the President of Malawi, Bingu Wa Muthalika. After I was released from prison I experienced a lot of challenges in my country. People were calling me names and it was a very difficult time for me, so I decided to run away to South Africa.
When I came to South Africa I met a lot of people from my country, which was good. I was happy because it was easy for me to communicate with them but to worsen the situation there were some people who knew me from my country who started insulting me and calling me names again.
I found that life had difficulties even in South Africa, one of them being that I have been trying to find a job, but it’s hard for me to find a job. This has been a very big challenge for me.
When I was in prison in 2010, I was told that I will spend a minimum of 14 years in prison for what I did, but it did not happen because some organisations and individuals intervened and I was later released. I want to take this opportunity to thank the following countries and organisations who helped me get out of prison:
(b) Amnesty International
(d) South Africa
- Non governmental organisations – C.A.D.P Malawi and C.H.R.R.
- Gender Dynamix
- Global Fund
- The Scottish Parliament – Joe Fitzpatrick, Dundee West M.P.S.
- Timothy Wood from Canada
I also want to thank the people who were coming to see me during that difficult time.
Lastly I would like to ask these organisations and individuals who can help me find a job because at the moment I am not working and it is very difficult for me to survive.
As a people we must all help each other during difficult times, like I was helped. If you want more information about my story you can find it at PASSOP office or Gender Dynamix: www.genderdynamix.org.za / firstname.lastname@example.org
God Bless all people to help me.”
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