Morpho-syntactic Economy in Culturally Sensitive Communications: The Case of Gay Graffiti in the Nairobi CBD Public Lavatories

Author: Henry Indindi (Mjileo Communications Ltd, Kenya)
Speaker: Henry Indindi
Topic: Language, Gender, Sexuality
The GLOCAL AFALA 2023 General Session


The gay topic is a sensitive one in the African cultural setting. The sensitivity of this topic has compelled people with gay orientations to either speak in low and unrecognizable tones or rent other confidential spaces to either articulate their issues or announce their availability. One of such confidential spaces is the public lavatories as evidenced by the Nairobi CBD Public lavatories. While sociological researchers would be interested in establishing factors contributing to the usage of such spaces owing to the fact that they are only accessible to a singular person at a time, our linguistic perspective examines how such rented spaces are linguistically exploited. In this paper, we take cognizance of the morpho-syntactic economy as a tool employed in advertising gay orientation and endeavor to establish if such is the practice in considered sensitive communications. Our research will involve making use of these facilities, photo-capturing the information on the walls of these facilities and making possible dig-out phone calls to establish the veracity and accuracy of the information displayed. The findings will inform our analysis and conclusions on employment of morpho-syntactic economy in culturally sensitive communications such as the gay graffiti. References Meiu, G.P. (2020). ‘Underplayers of Citizenship: Queer Objects, Intimate Exposures, and Rescue Rush in Kenya’ in: Cultural Anthropology. Vol.35 (4), pp 575-601 Nabwire, L.D. (2014). A study on Media Representation of Homosexuality in Modern Culture in Kenya. MA Research Project. University of Nairobi Okal, D.O., Ondenge, K., Nyambura, M., Otieno, F.O., Hardnett, F., Turner, K., Mills, L.A., Masinya, K., Chen, R.T. & Gust, D.A. (2014). ‘Men who Have Sex with Men in Kisumu, Kenya: Comfort in Accessing Health Services and Willingness to Participate in HIV Prevention Studies’ in J Homosex. 61(12), pp. 1712-17726

Keywords: Gay, graffiti, morphosyntactic, cultural sensitivity, economy