SAMUEL MATSIKURE – QUEER WARRIOR

Written by Sive Mjindi

Harare-born activist Samuel Matsikure has emerged as one of Zimbabwe’s most accomplished and impactful figures for his long-standing work with the LGBTQIA+ community in his nation. For nearly a decade, Matsikure has been a Programmes Manager for GALZ, an association providing healthcare, academic research, advocacy and human rights services for LGBTQIA+ men and women in Zimbabwe. 

As one of the leading organisations striving for the recognition of the queer community and equality in Zimbabwe, Matsikure’s activism has been particularly impactful in helping marginalized men and women in one of Africa’s harshest environments for queer individuals. His advocacy began years prior in research and academia that would greatly aid the Zimbabwean LGBTQIA+ community gain aid, and support as well as make advancements in their struggle against queer censorship, inequality and erasure. 

Matsikure contributed for almost two decades to uphold constitutional equality as well as provide health and social care access for queer Zimbabweans – a mission he has rallied and led many individuals as well as intersectional organisations towards achieving. Serving as the Chair of the Coalition of African Gay Men, a regional coalition of up to 19 organisations, Matsikure is one of the many public figures working toward safe, non-discriminatory sexual health services and rights for MSM. 

In the past, Matsikure has also dedicated 13 years to working for the betterment of LGBTQIA+ communities within turbulent environments. Matsikure also served on the Global Forum for MSM for eight years, ensuring that queer African men are empowered in the struggle against discrimination in their countries. This has been a particularly great feat as MSM have a higher risk of contracting HIV while being less able to access healthcare compared to the rest of the population in Zimbabwe. 

Matsikure’s innovative activism has reached thousands worldwide, revealing that governmental and organisational collaboration with communities is possible in eradicating some social and administrative issues faced by queer bodies in these spaces. Matsikure has also completed various academic programmes and extensive contributions to various writings, policies as well as research studies on health for LGBTQIA+ people. 

Matsikure holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Sociology and Gender Development from Woman’s University in Africa, a Diploma in Higher Education from the University of Zimbabwe and a Diploma in Systemic Family Therapy from Zimbabwe Institute of Systemic Therapy. Notably, he completed a Master’s in Human Rights, Peace and Development with African University and is also a 2016 Human Rights Advocate Alumni with Columbia University, in the United States of America. All these accolades have strengthened Matsikure’s message of constitutional equality, making him a well-known and involved figure in the queer movements across the African continent. 

 

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