Trans woman protests by walking down the street naked in Zambia

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Tanaka is a prominent LGBTI activist in Zambia | Photo: Facebook

A trans woman has taken to the streets of Zambia naked to protest against the treatment LGBTI people.

Kanyanta Kakana, also known as Tanaka, protested by walking down Great East Road in the capital, Lusaka.

Tanaka live streamed her protest.

‘They want to put me in jail,’ she said.

‘Please tune in. There’s a naked girl on Great East Road and it’s me.

‘Look at the human rights discrimination in this country. My own mother is doing this to me. You are my witnesses.’

It is understood Tanaka was apprehended and returned to a nearby mental health facility where she had been detained. Tanaka had recently returned from South Africa where she went to begin her medical transition.

For two years, Tanaka served as the board co-chair of LGBTI rights organization, Pan-Africa ILGA.

Police are investigating the incident but Episcopal priest Kapya Kaoma said they should not bother.

‘It’s ridiculous,’ he told Mwebantu.

Police should investigate Zambia’s unsolved murders rather than a woman’s non-violent civil disobedience.

‘Protesting naked is a Zambian tradition.’


Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, which criminalizes same-sex relations for both men and women.

Much of Zambia’s population considers homosexuality to not only be immoral but a form of insanity.

A person convicted of same-sex relations faces up to 14 years in prison. But Zambia is also one of many countries that carries out anal examinations on suspected gay men.

Forced anal examinations are outlawed around the world, but some countries still use them to prove homosexuality. The exams involve doctors or other medical personnel forcibly inserting their fingers, and sometimes other objects, into a person’s anus. It is an attempt to determine whether that person has engaged in anal intercourse.

The General Assembly of the World Medical Association (WMA) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have called for the practice to stop. The United Nations described forced anal exams as torture.


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