Death of a hero

The late GALZ Director, Keith Goddard

The late GALZ Director, Keith Goddard

At the weekend I got the tragic news of the death of one powerful human and gay rights activist Keith Goddard. I was so shattered because here was a man who died before things changed in Zimbabwe. This, he pointed out in an interview with Kubatana.net as one of his worst fears. I was more shattered and gravely disappointed at a Zimbabwe Online article titled GALZ Director Keith Goddard has died, that strangely, went on to eulogize the history of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) in its battle for recognition and serving the needs of the gay community more than it talked about Keith. I wrote them a comment that I didnt think the article needed to focus less on this remarkable person and more on the organization he headed itself. I doubt they published that comment. I recall the first time I met him as I was doing my undergrad dissertation of which the topic focused on the representation of LGBTI in the media in Zimbabwe. I initially thought this quiet man with a curved spine would not afford me a single opportunity to carry out research in his organization. Turned out he wasn’t too quiet at all. I remember at some point he asked me if I was not ashamed to be seen entering or leaving the GALZ offices or being friends with any of them. During that time I got to find out a lot about him. He had a quick wit and great sense of humor and bluntness that immediately made you feel comfortable.  His curved backbone proved stronger than those of the fittest as he always stood on the frontlines advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians. I think he is a hero who dedicated all his life to fighting for the advancement of the rights of sexual and self expression. His life, well lived was a shining example of strength and resolve. And I am not ashamed I knew this man, Lord rest his soul.

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2 thoughts on “Death of a hero

  1. Indeed such an inspiration – he was a great man, a hero among heroes. He was my brother, and dear uncle to my daughter, Sipho. I started working with him when I had a really shattered confidence, and he worked hard with me to rebuild this life to the standing that I have today. Thanks for the beautiful tribute. Fond memories forever etched…

    Martha

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