Ask Takudzwa 12 – Coaxing the Closet to Open Up

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspectiveand some more.

Here we talk about freethinkers coming out of their proverbial closet.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You mentioned the need, now, to bring more of the freethinking Zimbabweans out into the public sphere for the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. What are some planned campaigns to normalize humanism?

Takudzwa Mazwienduna: We have been doing a lot of writing addressing secular issues in national newspapers and social media. It doesn’t look like a lot of Zimbabweans read however, so are thinking about awareness campaigns, sensitization meetings with community leaders and being represented on national talk radio.

Jacobsen: What have been some feedback from members of the community on the use of public campaigns to further bring closeted humanists into the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe community?

Mazwienduna: Some closeted Humanists have come out as a result, although not in large numbers. We received much more backlash from religious establishments and some of them even went on to write about us in national newspapers portraying us as Satanists.

Jacobsen: For those who were closeted, have they said anything about what would and would not be effective in the development and implementation of awareness campaigns in solidarity with the closeted humanists?

Mazwienduna: We have heard general discussion about that, but I’m realizing this instant that the previously closeted Humanists would probably have more insight into that. I will pass the idea by the group.

Jacobsen: What demographics will more likely embrace humanism and the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe?

Mazwienduna: Segregated religious minorities are likely to support secularism because they stand to benefit from it. We have received moral support from leaders of the African Traditional Religion and Muslims. They are excited about the prospects of religious diversity. It is only the dominant Christian establishment that is mostly appalled by the idea.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.

Mazwienduna: It’s always a pleasure Scott.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-booksfree or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular AllianceCentre for Inquiry CanadaKelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.

Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du QuébecAtheist FreethinkersCentral Ontario Humanist AssociationComox Valley HumanistsGrey Bruce HumanistsHalton-Peel Humanist CommunityHamilton HumanistsHumanist Association of LondonHumanist Association of OttawaHumanist Association of TorontoHumanists, Atheists and Agnostics of ManitobaOntario Humanist SocietySecular Connextions SeculaireSecular Humanists in CalgarySociety of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph)Thunder Bay HumanistsToronto OasisVictoria Secular Humanist Association.

Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an AgnostikerAmerican Atheists,American Humanist AssociationAssociação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and AgnosticsAtheist Alliance InternationalAtheist Alliance of AmericaAtheist CentreAtheist Foundation of AustraliaThe Brights MovementCenter for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist IrelandCamp Quest, Inc.Council for Secular HumanismDe Vrije GedachteEuropean Humanist FederationFederation of Indian Rationalist AssociationsFoundation Beyond BeliefFreedom From Religion FoundationHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist InternationalHumanist Association of GermanyHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist Society of ScotlandHumanists UKHumanisterna/Humanists SwedenInternet InfidelsInternational League of Non-Religious and AtheistsJames Randi Educational FoundationLeague of Militant AtheistsMilitary Association of Atheists and FreethinkersNational Secular SocietyRationalist InternationalRecovering From ReligionReligion News ServiceSecular Coalition for AmericaSecular Student AllianceThe Clergy ProjectThe Rational Response SquadThe Satanic TempleThe Sunday AssemblyUnited Coalition of ReasonUnion of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.

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