Gay refugees, Malawi

Matofu was at risk from his own family back in Uganda. Family members had murdered his eldest brother for being gay. Years later they suspected Matofu was also gay. His mother took him to her parents across the Kenyan border for protection, she too was murdered when she returned. “My uncles killed her because she hid me,” Matofu says with a deep intake of breath. Back then he was eight.

One evening in a town in Kenya, Didier closed up his shop for the day and went to meet friends for a party, he had no idea his life was about to change so drastically. He was illegitimately arrested at the house party, abused by police and forced to leave the country. “I miss everything,” he says.

Malawi’s Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) accuses the UN Refugee Agency in Malawi (UNHCR) of being homophobic, based on research carried out with LGBTQ people in the camp.

Matofu, 41, and his son Suphi, 10, arrived at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi in 2015, as did Didier, 27, who they became friends with at the camp (all names changed).

Story produced for Frontline AIDS.