17 Mar 2009

An extraordinary gathering of virgins

The Pope’s remarks outlawing condoms yet again, this time in a sermon delivered in Yaounde, Cameroon, call to mind an eerie experience we had on this programme next to a swimming pool in Kampala back in 2005.

We had gone to Uganda to report ahead of the Gleneagles G8 summit, which was dedicated to Africa.

What we found beside the pool was an extraordinary gathering of virgins, male and female. Now, I was unable to prove they were virgins, but they all declared they were.

A swimming pool, surrounded by virgins

They spoke lyrically of the joys of abstinence and swore they would never have sex until they were married.

Of course, their radical Christian evangelical church had been in receipt of significant American funding – the Bush administration believing strongly in abstinence as a means of combating Aids-HIV.

But I’m afraid the cynics amongst us suspected that not everything that glittered was as golden as they pretended.

Hard at work on assignment in Kampala



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