One of the men behind the unofficial Ghanaian Folklorama pavilion has gotten some good news: he’s been approved to stay in Canada.
Mohammed Musah was among a group of Ghanaians who formed an unofficial Ghanaian pavilion during Folklorama to raise awareness about the conditions facing the LGBTQ community in their home country, where homosexuality is illegal.
The group of nine men became friends after each fled Ghana because they’re gay, and Musah, who arrived in Canada in July, is the first of the group to have a refugee board hearing.
On Thursday he learned he’ll be able to stay in Canada.
“I was already in danger when I tried to run out of the country,” Musah told CBC news Friday, explaining that the risk was heightened when news of the protest he and his friends organized in Winnipeg was reported by media in Ghana.
“I took a risk… and after doing that things got worse on me. If my claim wasn’t accepted things were going to be more worser than they were before.”
Musah left Ghana in June 2014 and spent time in South America looking for a country that would accept him before finally coming to Canada this summer and filing an asylum claim.
Musah says he was rejected by his family and members of his community in Ghana because he is gay.
During their protest in August, Musah and his friends visited numerous Folklorama pavilions, circulating a petition that asked the Canadian government to put pressure on the Ghanaian government to make homosexuality legal.
The men ended up with more than 6,000 signatures of support.
“I really appreciate the life in Canada and giving everyone the right to live under the status he or she wants,” said Musah, who worked as a carpenter when he lived in Ghana and plans on staying in Winnipeg to work and further his education now that his asylum claim has been approved. “I really appreciate how I was welcomed in…