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HAWANE – A pastor from the LGBTIQ community has admitted how he was in denial for seven years about being gay because he thought it was a sin.
LGBTIQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer.

Pastor Fana Lukhele from the Fountain of Life Church based in Manzini said he had to pretend to be someone he was not, in fear of being judged by society, including his own family.

Pastor Lukhele said no one chooses to be gay because it came with a lot of rejection and ridicule and no one could tolerate that. “Why would you choose to be insulted?” he questioned.

Lukhele was addressing the LGBTIQ community at Hawane where there was a workshop themed; ‘Queer Eswatini-Breaking Barriers.’
The pastor said he was forced to get married to conform to the norms and not disappoint his family, because of pressure coming from his relatives.


The pastor said he did not even know how to propose to a woman and decided to approach a woman whom he knew and their first encounter engaging in sexual intercourse, a child was born.

According to Lukhele, he then got married and there were children born out of the marriage, but the marriage fell apart when he accepted who he really was.
Unfortunately, he said when he was halfway through the marriage, he failed because he was attracted to other men, instead of his wife.
For many years, Pastor Lukhele said he fought with the idea that he was attracted to the same sex.

However, he said choosing to follow his calling and not live a double life but being openly gay, helped him a lot in overcoming rejection.
He noted that this was happening a lot to other men who were in marriages but could no longer cope.
Pastor Lukhele said his life was no longer the same from five years ago as he had changed completely. “I was a depressed person in my life because of having a wife and children.”

The pastor said no one could blame him for having to come out of the closet and accept who he really was because he did try to be heterosexual.
This, he said had consequences as he had to divorce his wife and God also wanted to show him that he had to choose Him as he was to become a pastor.
Further, he said so many times he had been attacked and mocked as ‘umfundisi wetitabane,’ loosely translated ‘gay pastor’.

He highlighted that some pastors focused on homosexuality being a sin yet there were a number of sins, adding that pastors took to the pulpit yet they woke up next to their wives who were on their monthly periods. In the book of Leviticus, he said the Bible states that menstruating women were dirty.

Others, he said were changing women like their underwear and also got into relationships with their congregants, but went to the pulpit to attack homosexuals. “The moment you preach about one’s sin, you are sending a message that you are self-righteous.” He said the most painful part were pastors preached negatively about homosexuality yet they forgot they were born of women and men.


Lukhele said there were pastors who thought they slept with God next to them and also engaged in holy sex by first inviting the Holy Spirit before sleeping with their wives. “No erection can come if you pray first before engaging in sexual intercourse,” noted Lukhele.

He said pastors loved sexualising homosexuality and thought of how they engaged in sexual intercourse with their partners, yet love was just love.
He encouraged the LGBTIQ community to accept the Lord as their personal saviour, stating that God loved them as they were.

Lukhele said they would go to heaven despite their sexual orientation as God loved them all and wanted people to accept Him as their Lord and saviour.
The pastor said for them to live a holy life, they needed to be strong as they survived rejection because they were hard pressed on every side but would not be destroyed.

Meanwhile, he said the world would not be complete without the LGBTIQ persons. Lukhele said the reason was that the Lord was God of order and He would not allow all persons to become heterosexuals because there was going to be a missing group of persons. “What would the world become if we were all engaging in heterosexual relations?” he questioned.

Lukhele said other people were confused that he had children and that he was once married. “LGBTIQ people are also parents but there are those who do not bother trying to be heterosexual but choose to be what they want to be,” said Lukhele. However, in his situation, he said he also did not want to try but was forced by circumstances.

Further, he said he joined a number of churches but stopped attending after being judged.
Pastor Lukhele said whichever church he went to, they questioned his body shape as he used to have hips and looked more womanly. “My nickname at school was ‘sister,” Lukhele stated. He said he thanked God because he was ageing graceful.

He said in church, he used to become the topic as the pastors would preach homosexuality and condemn being gay strongly.

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