THEY SAY IT IS CULTURE, I SAY IT IS TORTURE!

They say it is culturetag3

I say it is torture

Born a woman, a reason to be oppressed

It is culture, a woman must be suppressed

I must never be too forward

They will only drag me backward

As a woman I must learn to be submissive

For a man has the power to be dismissive

To be accepted

I must be subjected!

 

Different meals I must prepare

That’s what makes me special

They say teas I must make [Read more...]

8 year old Yemeni girl died on wedding night and Of Nigerian Child-Brides Apologists

child-bride-againchild-brides1

It was reported that a young girl in Yemen had died after having sexual relations with a 40-year-old man who became her husband in an arranged marriage. The 8-year-old was identified as “Rawan” and died from torn genitals and severe bleeding in the northwest city of Hardh.

 Some media reported that the practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and has attracted the attention of international rights groups seeking to pressure the government to outlaw child marriages.

 Human Rights Watch reports that 14% of girls in Yemen are married before age 15, with 82% married before they are 18.

 It is said that Yemen’s gripping poverty plays a role in hindering efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families find themselves unable to say no to ‘bride-prices’ that can be hundreds of dollars for their daughters.

 Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation. [Read more...]

Order your sizzling copy of Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality Is Not Un-African!

BookCoverImage new vistaAbout the book

Sexuality rights remain a controversial issue in many parts of Africa; it is not just a controversial issue but also a taboo subject. Many countries in Africa still criminalize homosexuality. Sodomy laws remain part of the criminal laws thereby making it legally possible to persecute sexual minorities. For example Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana all have laws under which homosexuality can be prosecuted. In South Africa, where the constitution recognizes same-sex relationships, gays and lesbians are often attacked, molested and persecuted for their sexual orientation. Many African societies do not provide enabling environments to discuss sexual orientation issues. Homosexuality has been condemned by many African leaders as Immoral, Un-African and a ‘White man’s disease’. 

In Nigeria, lawmakers are resurrecting a version of a widely condemned anti-homosexuality bill. [Read more...]

My Home is in Heaven? WTF!

I have been having a writing inertia lately due to so much and so little going on in my life. I am c486504_10151925203660117_1558262998_naught up in the hustle and bustle of life and a heavily loaded brain that can’t discharge much right now because it is stuck somewhere in between too much and too little.  It seems all I needed to kick me out of this inertia is to be eerily woken up by an old Christian tune.

I hate early mornings. I am not an early morning person and I do not like it when I am jarringly woken up in the morning by phone calls, chit chats and definitely not by a dreadful Christian song! Unfortunately, as I am fast learning, this is one luxury you give up when you share a bedroom!

I was woken up today by ‘my dear one’ singing this very old tune from the past

Nigeria la gbe bi mi (I was born in Nigeria) [Read more...]

Senator Pedophile Sani Yerima, Bishop David Oyedepo and guilty Nigerians, She is a: #ChildNotBride, #ChildNotWitch, #ChildNotHouseGirl!

Nigerians have suddenly woken up to the ills of child abuse because of an obscure part of the constitution. While we are all getting self righteous and indignant about children’s rights, let us also look at ways we are guilty of perpetrating child abuse. After all Child abuse comes in different colours, shapes  and sizes.

Religion and child abuse: 

Rape is never funny and pedophilia is nothing to joke about. It sure baffles me how people who condemn rape, who would normally freak out at the thought of a 54 year old man raping a 9 year old girl, could still praise and worship a pedophile prophet who did exactly that!

It seems being a catholic priest or an Islam prophet is a shield from being scorned at as a rapist and pedophile. And now, you can add being a Nigerian Senator or diligent follower of the Islamic faith to the list.  Why the double standard?  Even when dead, pedophiles graves should be spit on not worshiped in holy pilgrimages! [Read more...]

On S29(4)b and the #ChildNotBride saga: Let’s get the facts right

It was one of those days when everything hits you at once. I was physically, intellectually, emotionally and politically tired.  I decided chldnotbrideto check my mails to take my mind off ‘issues’ but instead of some funny cat meme, the headline ‘Nigerian Senate Okays Child Marriage’ jumped at me. I screamed “Whaaatttt?” I clicked on the link to read the report and just out of nowhere I started laughing. Yeah, that was actually my first reaction, it was my first laugh of the day, actually my first laughter in days, I laughed so hard and it was very fulfilling. Now, you might wonder what was so funny about child marriage.  Honestly, nothing. Child marriage is simply child abuse and there is nothing funny about child abuse.  It was the report that gave me a lot to laugh at. Remember I said this was a day everything seemed out of my control and I was almost at a breaking point. I guess stress has a funny bone sometimes.

The news was about the dramatic proceedings in the Senate on Tuesday 16th July, 2013. The report stated:

The voting in the Senate, which lasted for about five hours, also witnessed the adoption of Section 9 of the draft bill of the amendment, which empowers the National Assembly to make an entirely new constitution for the country.

The senators also adopted Section 3A of the draft, which rejected the president’s assent to the amended constitution before taking effect.

Make new constitution for the country? Take away the power of the president to assent the constitution? I smell trouble here, the kinda trouble I would enjoy watching.  Power is hardly ever easily relinquished. Politicians will kick up a storm whenever their rivals propose to hack their powers. I eagerly await the drama that will definitely ensue.

The report further stated that the senators rejected autonomy for Local Governments, refused the proposal to make the office of the Attorney General of the Federation independent of the Minister of Justice and managed to end the day by  somehow ‘Okaying’ child marriage.

Hmm, my reaction was this laughter that went on uncontrollably for minutes. I was already picturing the president heaping abuses on the senators for daring to even suggest taking away his presidential power of assent. Also,picture the screaming Local government chairmen (well they are almost all men anyway and i am tired of complaining about the persistent use of ‘Chairman’ when it should have been changed to gender neutral ‘Chairperson’, even the few women ‘chairmen’ reject the ‘Chairperson’ tag, so much for girl power!) [Read more...]

Why “Thank God I am still better off than some” is a selfish prayer and attitude

734924_268214039970930_2030938367_nSince being forced into the unemployment market, I have noticed an increase in people telling me to be thankful to God that I am still better off than others. Of course they know I am an atheist, but believers eagerly pounce on any opportunity to tell atheists that ‘God’ is great. I have even been told that the rough patch I am going through is God’s way of showing me he is the Almighty God, and he wants me to recognize it, go on my knees and accept him as God and only then would he make my path smooth again. ROTFLMAO!

OK, I won’t even go into the childishness of such a God or the morality of anyone who thinks such a God deserves to be praised or why God takes on the personality of his believers/creators. That is a story for another day. Now, let us not divert too much, the topic for today’s discussion is ‘Why “Thank God I am still better off than some” is a selfish prayer and attitude. Here is an analogy to get us started.

In a village, lives an all powerful king who has the powers to make all things happen. He is famed as omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, he could grant every heart desire if he so wish. Villagers often gather in his golden palace to praise him, pray and give thanks to him. [Read more...]

Child abuse is not discipline or African, it is simply cruelty to children!

Nigerian couple who beat their six children jailed after Coronation Street barmaid Michelle Collins gave evidence against them

 

  • Couple beat their children with brooms, hoovers and wires, claiming they were possessed by evil spirits
  • They gave their baby morphine overdose after her first birthday
  •  ‘I am beaten without mercy’, said an SOS note written by one of the children
  •  Parents alleged Miss Collins wanted to ‘steal’ their children
  •  ‘We are innocent, this is a miscarriage of justice’, screamed the couple as they left court…

 

Yes, it hurts me personally and in every humane way possible when children undergoing abuse are not believed when they finally find the courage to speak out. It also hurts me to no end that in the part of the continent I come from, people define ‘child abuse’ in a different way and conveniently brush it aside by calling it discipline!

It is indeed sad that some Nigerians consider this case as ‘culture clash’ and even racial discrimination!

To many Nigerians, it is considered normal for pastors to accuse children of witchcraft and slap them in churches. It is considered OK  for prophets to take children to beach sides and beat them mercilessly while their parents shout “Hallelujah”, under the ‘acceptable disguise’ of casting out evil spirits from the children.

No, these are not rare occurrences, as I wrote in a previous post, these things happen almost every minute of the day, just visit Lagos Bar Beach!

Parents beat their children with brooms, cut them with sharp objects and inflict all sorts of injuries on their children and wards, all in the name of discipline and these are normally the same parents who steal in their workplaces and brag about their 419 activities in front of their children [Read more...]

Because I Am A Girl

Trembling she holds her tummytag3

Knowing this fourth baby coming

Will be her making or breaking

She moans, her world hanging

Groaning she strains

Not just from labour pains

With one more push, I came panting

With just a look, she screamed fainting

A reprieve from the moment of truth

Husband in-laws with new wife struts

Buckle up; it’s going to be a rough ride

Because I am a girl

 

In the kitchen I am taught to cook

While the boys read from the books [Read more...]

Killing in the name of their Skydaddy: Boko Haram Militants Kill 29 Students, Teacher in Yobe, Nigeria School Attack

409263_194632337300826_100002621825953_318303_1770217189_nKilling in the name of God is unfortunately as old as the first time Man created God in his own image. Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group against western education in Nigeria struck again early this morning. According to reports: boko_haram561_2

 Armed Islamic militants have killed 29 students and an English teacher in an attack on a boarding school in Yobe State in northeastern Nigeria.

 

Survivors being treated for burns and gunshot wounds said some students were burned alive in the attack, which allegedly took place early Saturday and which is believed to have been carried out by the radical Boko Haram Islamic group.

 

Gunmen stormed the premises of Government Secondary School in the town of Mamudo in Yobe State at around 3am, setting fire to parts of the complex.

 

Dozens of children from the 1,200-student school escaped into the bush and have not been seen since, reports Sky News

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/boko-haram-militants-kill-29-students-teacher-in-yobe-school-attack/152599/

484898_433952073352485_1826309972_nIt is said that those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. These horrible people are living testimony to this fact.  Pigs that are for no just reason, much loathed in their various Holy books, are definitely better than those cold blooded murderers; after all pigs don’t kill for any imaginary Sky daddy.

 

BTW, people who want to stone LGBTs to death in the name of their God are no better than these Boko Haram terrorists. [Read more...]

Stop telling black women what to do with their hair or skin!

SDC14317

A woman’s body seems to be the one thing everyone wants to control. Country, religion or even gender is not a barrier, everyone wants to tell a woman what to do with her body and that include her fellow women.  No surprise there, even ‘gods’ seems obsessed with women, but really what is this growing trend amongst women who should know better, telling other women what to do with their hair and/or skin? Why are many black women focused on controlling other sisters’ bodies, hairs and skins? What is all this talk about black African women accusing other black sisters of not being African enough because of their choice of hair style or body cream?

Since the craze for Brazilian weaves, Chinese weaves and even human hair amongst black African women, with a large demand from Nigerian women, many African men and some women have come out to condemn this as a sign of inferiority complex. It is becoming mundane to come across yet another post from fellow women and some self-styled ‘Real Africans’, questioning the choice of black women who use chemicals on their hair or skin. [Read more...]

Homosexuality and the legalisation of Homophobia in Africa

There are ongoing legislative attempts in Nigeria and Uganda to further restrict sexuality rights. There is a clamour for the removal and also the strengthening of sodomy laws inherited by Commonwealth countries in Africa. However, the call for sexuality rights in Africa by the international community is seen as another colonial invasion by many Africans.

Research on sexuality rights is a relatively new developing area in Africa. There is a strong coalition spreading across Africa by Africans advocating for sexuality rights and claiming it as not just any right but as fundamental human rights.

Sexuality rights remain a silent but controversial issue in many parts of Africa; it is not just a controversial issue but also a taboo subject. One of the most efficient ways patriarchy uses sexuality as a tool to create and sustain gender hierarchy in African societies is by enshrouding it in secrecy and taboos.BookCoverImage - Copy

Many countries in Africa still criminalize homosexuality; sodomy laws are still part of the criminal laws thereby making it ‘legally’ possible to persecute people with different sexual orientation. For example Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana all have laws under which homosexuality can be prosecuted. In South Africa, where the constitution recognizes same sex relationships, gays and lesbians are often attacked, molested and persecuted for their sexual orientation.

Many African societies do not provide enabling environments to discuss sexual orientation issues. Homosexuality has been condemned by many African leaders as immoral, un-African and a ‘white man’s disease’.

Africa is a large continent with diverse cultures and ethnicities, however homophobia fueled by religious intolerance and oppressive laws are remarkably similar issues most have in common.

The draconian bill was passed in a voice vote on Thursday 30 May, 2013 by members of the House of Representatives. The bill stipulates a 14 years jail term for same-sex marriage and 10 years imprisonment for public show of same-sex affection. The approved bill also stipulates a 10 year imprisonment for anyone who abets a gay person, witnesses a same sex marriage or advocates for LGBT rights.

The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition bill is a blatant violation of human rights of Nigerian gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals. It is a shame that such draconian bill was passed unanimously in both Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives.

Is homosexuality alien to Africa?

Culture and religion is usually used to support opposition to homosexuality, sexual and gender rights. These are viewed as ‘foreign imports’ that corrupts cultural values. Many often claim that homosexuality is alien to Africa; can someone please show me the proof? I am an African, I am bisexual, I was bisexual before I ever met any white person or stepped foot on any European shore, does this make me a fake African?

For how long shall innocent lives be the victims of ignorance, hate and power? Policy makers, religious leaders and politicians seek to make laws and statements that discriminate against lesbians and gay and portray sexual minorities as less than human. For example:

  •  Ugandan Speaker, Kadaga, said the Ugandan homophobic bill which originally mandated death for some gay sexual acts, will be passed as a gift to Ugandans whom she claimed are demanding it.
  •  The former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo was widely quoted as saying:  “Homosexuality is un-Biblical, unnatural and definitely un-African”.
  • President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has for long branded gays as ‘less than human.’
  • Dr. James Buturo, the Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity, stated that: “Homosexuality is a strange, unhealthy, unnatural, and immoral way of life.”
  • In South Africa in 2006, outside the Johannesburg High Court immediately after his acquittal on the charge of rape, President Jacob Zuma said: “Same-sex marriage is a disgrace to the nation and to God. When I was growing up, unqingili [homosexuals in the Zulu language] could not stand in front of me. I would knock him out”.

The legacy of colonialism should no longer be confused with cultural authenticity or national freedom.  As Africans, we should learn about our history beyond what was fed us in missionary schools. Africa is the cradle of humanity; homosexuality existed since time immemorial, which logically means it started from Africa before some members of the human race migrated to other continents for greener pastures. Evoking ‘African culture’ as a justification for the continuous attacks on gays and lesbians is no longer tenable as the following arguments have shown.

“[W]hen you hear about attacks on minorities, whether sexual or whatever, it is not a good sign, because who is to define who is African? Such behavior usually leads to the closing down of the cosmopolitan nature of what is African.”

“How can one talk of ‘African cultural and moral values’ in a continent that has tens of thousands of different ethnic and linguistic groups?…What is ‘un-African’ about homosexuality when…‘homosexuality was not only a condoned but also an actively encouraged’ practice among young males among the Bahima peoples of Ankole?

Sodomy law is a foreign import; it is a relic from the colonial era which all former British colonies inherited. The law, like most old colonial British laws, had a very high religious influence, the name of the law itself points to its biblical origin. Britain has since repealed sodomy laws in its homeland. Unfortunately Nigeria and many other African countries still cling to this antiquated law and many now think it is an original, home-grown, African law.BookCoverPreview.do NEWEST estore

 

Unfortunately, neo-colonialism and mental slavery continue in Africa through the heavy influence of evangelical missionaries who, having lost ground in their western countries to Equality Rights Acts, have now invaded African churches and are inciting members against homosexuals. These evangelicals are also sponsoring bills against homosexuals in African countries; some of these churches are particularly from the USA.

The upsurge of homophobic bills springing up all over Africa is actually a calculated sponsored mission of foreign religious fanatics. Some Nigerian religious groups came to the public hearing with placards designed to incite and even threatened to beat up the few LGBT defenders that attended the hearing; how very Christian-like! Whatever happened to the holy commandment, “Love Thy Neighbor”?

Niankh

The above picture of two men kissing is of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum. They were ancient Egyptian royal servants; they are believed to be the first recorded same-sex couples in history. It is the only tomb in the necropolis where men are displayed embracing and holding hands.  In addition, their chosen names form a linguistic reference to their closeness: Niankhkhnum means ‘Joined to life’ and Khnumhotep means ‘Joined to the blessed state of the dead’, and together the names can be translated as ‘Joined in life and joined in death’.

 “Normativity” is a social construct; it is neither biological nor medical. ‘Hetereo-normativity” may be the norm but that does not mean it is the only type of relationship that exists or is natural. Killing of twins, child marriage and female circumcision were once considered normal in some parts of Africa. Also women contesting elections and inheriting lands and properties were once considered abnormal in many parts of Africa. Times change and so do norms.

Humans are continuously evolving socially and politically to create new norms. Most importantly, we must recognize that some rights are inalienable rights, and all human beings are entitled to these rights by virtue of being human irrespective of gender, birth, race or sexual orientation. What is normal today might become abnormal tomorrow but what I am born with e.g. my sexual orientation remains an integral part of me whether the society or even I, accept it or not.

Homosexuality was embraced in many parts of Africa before the colonizers came with their Sodomy laws. So dear African homophobes, homosexuality is not what is Un-African. Sodomy law is an unfortunate western import and the homophobia that ensued from it is what is un-African.

For those who insist that Homosexuality can never be acepted in Africa, well I got news for you. Malawi’s new president, Joyce Banda announced that she will work to overturn Malawi’s law which bans homosexual acts. Banda said she wants to repeal “bad laws” when speaking at her first “State of the Nation” address to parliament.

Human Rights are not optiona536602_387169381360720_794358212_nl!

LGBT rights are human rights. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals are humans and are therefore entitled to ALL Human Rights; let no politician, religious leader or any bigot tell us otherwise. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rightly opined:

“When individuals are attacked, abused or imprisoned because of their sexual orientation, we must speak out. Where there is tension between cultural attitudes and universal human rights, universal human rights must come first. Personal disapproval, even society’s disapproval, is no excuse to arrest, detain, imprison, harass or torture anyone – ever”

Gender should not be a barrier to love or marriage.  LGBT rights are Human rights and they are not optional.

 

State sanctioned Jungle Justice?

There have been many documented cases of public bullying and torture of gays and lesbians in Nigeria, yet we never heard a public condemnation of such barbaric threats and acts against LGBTs. Under Sharia law adopted by 12 Northern states in Nigeria, sodomy is a criminal offence punishable with death by stoning. Hate crimes are not uncommon in Nigeria as can be seen in the following cases and remarks:

  • In Jigawa State, a Muslim state, in April 2002, a 22 year-old student at the Birnin Kudu College, was beaten to death by fellow students because they suspected he was gay. 
  •  Anietie and Joy, lesbian Christian couple, were attacked with acid by some people through their bedroom window. Joy died as a result of the attack and Anietie was hospitalized.
  • On 12 January, 2013 in Ekwe local government area of Imo state, Nigeria, seven men were stripped naked, beaten and paraded naked by a mob on the streets on allegation of homosexuality.

There are also reported cases of people kidnapped for their actual or suspected sexual orientations by unscrupulous Nigerians who are eager to make money from such discriminatory laws. Recently an intersex person was stripped naked in the market place because of his sexual organs.

It is unfair to encourage the oppression and discrimination of another while you demand that others respect your right to be free from discrimination. It is barbaric, unconstitutional and a blatant violation of human rights to demand that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals be locked up for 14 years or for even a minute because of their sexual orientation.

Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals have not committed any crime by being true to their sexual orientation, we have not harmed anyone and we constitute no harm to the society. If you insist on making us criminals, at least let us know the victim of our supposed crime

  • Who are the victims of same-sex consensual adult relationships?
  • Are you or the society harmed by the consensual adult relationships of others?
  • What do you hope to achieve by jailing the gays?
  • Is prison a reform or cure center for homosexuality?

You are not being oppressed when another group gains rights that you have always had. You should stop denying others equal rights which every human being is entitled to. When you demand that President or the State recognize your right to peaceful protest, freedom of association and freedom of expression, remember these rights belong to all of us irrespective of our gender, class, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

gay-rights

Human rights are not the privilege of heterosexuals; every human being is entitled to human rights. These rights are called human rights, not heterosexual rights. In case you are in doubt, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals are humans. All human beings are born free and equal in rights and dignity. No one should be discriminated against because of circumstances of birth, sex, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or any other status.

Are you part of a progressive humane society for ALL or are you for retrogression? LGBT rights are human rights not extra rights. LGBT rights advocates are not demanding for extra rights. Equality for All does not take away the right of others; it only means no one is allowed to discriminate against another. It is about treating others the way we want to be treated.

Rights are never freely given but always fought for. Fundamental human rights have already been fought for and won; it should be accorded to everyone irrespective of race, gender or sexual orientation.

In the international arena, Nigeria has continued its homophobic campaign, openly calling for killing people who engage in homosexual conduct. At the UN Human Rights Council in September 2006, Nigeria ridiculed the notion that executions for offences such as homosexuality and lesbianism are excessive.

Also, recently at the United Nations, Nigeria was one of the countries that voted in support of removing sexual orientation as one of the grounds which extra judicial, summary and arbitrary execution would not be tolerated. Need I point out that extra Judicial, summary and arbitrary execution include jungle justice?  Well, Nigeria actually voted that jungle justice be meted out to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.

When Nigerians have so much hate for LGBT persons who have not caused them harm in anyway, how can they even have an iota of humane feeling for those who actually harm them? Law enforcement agents are not sympathetic to sexual minority cases, the government seeks to further criminalize homosexuals and the majority of the citizens want to stone gays to death, what a country, what a continent! When leaders of our country, our security agents and the generality of our citizens have such mindsets, how can we even begin to expect a social justice conscience or envision a just society?

We must rid ourselves of mental slavery, self-righteousness and religious stupidity before we can truly empathize with another human being. We must break the need to justify our actions with quotes from some imported ‘holy books’.

Those of us who believe in equal rights and justice for all will keep on fighting fr equal rights and justice, it does not matter whether we are a majority or minority because LGBT rights are human rights and that is the beauty of democracy.

Some of our international colleagues and comrades ask what they can do to support LGBTs in countries where LGBT rights are criminalized. International solidarity is important because no country is an island unto itself. One way you can help is by talking about it and bringing it to the attention of your government. You can and also demand that your government act in ways that shows that they do not support criminalization of a minority.

One way they can do this is not issue visas or traveling documents to visiting government officials from countries that criminalize homosexuality. If a lawmaker voted in favour of criminalizing or putting gays in jail, you should put pressure on your government not to issue traveling document to such persons. Let it be clear that you do not want to associate with or open your borders to such persons. That will send a strong message to the lawmakers and the politicians that your country will not tolerate homophobia, will not tolerate human rights violations, and will not welcome dictators or human rights violators into your country.  So it is important you stand with us because we know that this is one way our lawmakers do have to stand up and think twice before criminalizing sexual minorities. The Lawmakers are very fond of traveling abroad for shopping sprees, they travel out for every small headache because they can afford to have their health consultants outside the country. If you told them that they will not get traveling documents, because of their support of the violations of the rights of sexual minorities, they will think twice before passing such laws since it will have implication for them too. Snapshot_20130302_4

 

We really appreciate your solidarity, keep on creating awareness on this issue, we are happy you are standing with us on this issue. LGBT rights are Human rights and an injury to one is an injury to all, so it is important that we stand together to fight this blatant violation of human rights.

FYI, I have a book out on Amazon titled Freedom To Love For All: Homosexuality is Not Un-African. The book takes a critical look at Nigeria’s Jail the gays’ bill and homosexuality in Africa. You can order your copy on Amazon. It is available in paperback, E-copy and on Kindle.  I hope you will order your copy. Thank you. I hope you have enjoyed the presentation; looking forward to answering your questions. If you have any question or clarification you’d like me to make or areas you want me to further address, let me know during question time.  Thank you.

London Pride 2013: The Parade, The Protest, The Pride.

I love attending Pride. It might have a lot to do with the fact that I come from a country where staging anything close to Pride would get you stoned to death with no remorse from your murderers. In fact, the State would gladly decorate your murderers with state medals, the pastors would declare them worthy warriors for Christ and everyone would blame you for daring to flaunt your evil lifestyle choice! 1044301_10201428609819815_1606103747_n

I value freedom, I value democracy, I value equality, I believe diversity is the natural spice of life and equality trumps all. It therefore saddens me that in many countries, people would be killed if they dared to stage what is now taken for granted in some parts of the world; Pride.

Pride is a protest; yes some think it has lost a lot of its protest value and now just another avenue for big organizations to make profits. Some say they do not attend pride anymore because it seems it is now all about showing off, getting drunk and strutting on the street half naked. Some are angry that the new generations who now freely participate in pride do not understand or value the price the older generation paid for them to be able to stage a pride.

I think pride should still be enjoyed by the old and new generation. The mere fact that you can freely stage a pride on the street with guaranteed state protection is something to celebrate. It was not always the case. Such diversity, such freedom, such protection needs to be celebrated not boycotted. Bear in mind that it is not yet Uhuru for sexual minorities even in UK. Same-sex couples are still fighting for marriage equality. Homophobia still exists and transsexuals can still get killed on the streets of London. [Read more...]

Rachel Jeantel is not on trial: Judging her accent is a show of your ignorance not hers.

What a sad society we live in with people valuing appearances more than content. Hypocrites who in their own actions and judgments are no less racist than Zimmerman who shot a black boy because he thought his black skin did not belong in his precious white neigbourhood. Now, those racists think Rachel Jeantel’s accent and mannerisms do not belong in their posh court.

Rachel Jeantel was herself in the courtroom when she bravely stood up to testify as a crucial witness in the court. Even though It was not a spotlight she wanted, it was not a scenario she hoped for, it was not even a publicity she embraced, yet she did her duty and stood up in that courtroom to ensure justice or at least the semblance of justice for a friend whose life was cut short by the bullet of someone who felt ‘threatened’ by his skin colour. Rachel Jeantel has every right to be herself in that courtroom. 171552081

And shame to all the self loathing blacks who says she gives a black woman a bad name. Her accent, her weight, her mannerisms, her skin or hair is not what is on trial; it is the murderer of her friend that is on trial.  You should be ashamed of yourself for being diverted by such trivial as her weight or accent which btw is none of your business.

Unfortunately some black people don’t get it too. The fact that she does not speak perfect English in a ‘polish’ accent does not make her a bad representation of Black American women. I have not watched her court testimony in full, but nothing, absolutely nothing justifies the terrible image many including some blacks are painting of her just because they think she exemplifies the stereotypical Black “hood rat”.

This 18 year old young woman should not be expected to suddenly transform into another person just because she is taking the witness stand to testify in the murder case of her 17 year old black friend Trayvon Martin, who was murdered by a racist. [Read more...]

Cultural Censorship: My Coming Out Is Not A Threat To Your Closet!

309588_268567446510551_121692274531403_901024_424303210_nI do a double take whenever I hear the words “Your coming out is threatening the safety of closeted gays” and the addendum “Protesting ‘Anti Same Sex’ bills and homophobic behavior is a threat to closeted gays, please stop the protests”.

Really, I mean, really?

Recently on a facebook group, an African who identifies as queer recently called me selfish for daring to come out as bisexual and for protesting against oppression of LGBTs. She suggested that African lesbians and gays should be discrete and not flaunt their love-life. Well, she wasn’t the first African to suggest this ‘do not flaunt your same-sex love life’ bit. It really is sad and that is why I have decided to write a blog post about this issue.

What exactly qualifies as flaunting ones’ love-life?

Is it that goodbye kiss at the train station?

The hand-in-hand walk you take with your lover when the weather permits?

Or the dance you have together at that office party?

I see heterosexuals do all these every day and no one ever accused them of flaunting their love life, in fact it is often referred to as ‘celebrating their love’ but when it is a same sex couple, it suddenly becomes ‘flaunting’.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, no lesbian, gay, bisexual or Trans has ever stoned anyone to death for being heterosexual. However many LGBTs risk this possibility in my beloved country, Nigeria, where it is actually legal in the northern part of the country to stone homosexuals to death.

Why should my having a love life and expressing my love openly like every other normal adult, be considered as ‘flaunting’ simply because my lover and I are of the same sex? Why should my being in love with a same-sex adult and celebrating my love lead to 14 years imprisonment or public stoning?

More importantly, why should closeted gays try to stop me from being OUT and PROUD?

Why the censorship? [Read more...]