The story of the gay couple in Malawi who celebrated their commitment in a marriage ceremony last December face prison sentences of up to 14 years with hard labor according to the report in the Mail and Guardian, SA.
Peter Tatchell (human rights campaigner) told the Guardian he received a defiant message from Chimbalanga that said: "I love Steven so much. If people or the world cannot give me the chance and freedom to continue living with him as my lover, then I am better off to die here in prison. Freedom without him is useless and meaningless."
Tatchell, of the rights group Outrage!, also quoted Monjeza -- who is described as thin and weak with jaundiced eyes -- as saying: "We have come a long way and even if our family relatives are not happy, I will never stop loving Tiwonge."
Chimbalanga, 20, and Monjeza, 26, made history when they committed to marriage at a symbolic ceremony last December -- the first same-sex couple to do so in the southern African state, where homosexual acts are illegal.
Two days later, the couple were arrested at their home. Facing taunts and jeers, Chimbalanga, wearing a woman's blouse, and Monjeza appeared in court to answer three charges of unnatural practices between males and gross indecency. They were denied bail, supposedly for their own safety, and have been forced to endure dire conditions in jail.
Gay sex is still illegal in 37 countries in Africa. A recent poll by the Pew Research Centre found that 98% of people in Cameroon, Kenya and Zambia disapprove of homosexuality. But encouraged by legal advances in South Africa, a new wave of activist movements are making a stand and pushing the boundaries in Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Zimbabwe and other countries in ways unthinkable a generation ago. Gay and lesbian lifestyles are also much more visible.