Culture is not an excuse to perpetrate injustice; LGBT Rights are about Human Rights not Culture.

As part of the celebration marking Black History/LGBT Month, I was interviewed by  Tundun Adeyemo, presenter of the program ‘Outspoken’ BookCoverImage new vistaon www.africaukradio.com. Below is a text of the interview, also available on her blog.

October is Black History/Lesbian Gays Bisexual Transsexual Month. In parts of London, people have been marking this in various ways. To help us give that some perspective is author Yemisi Ilesanmi who joins us from London to talk about her book and why homosexuality is not just an European concept.

Hello Yemisi, Many thanks for joining us.

 1- You have written this book ‘Homosexuality is not unAfrican.’ Why did you write this book?

Thanks. I wrote this book to counter the erroneous impression that homosexuality is Un-African. This is a rhetoric that many African politicians keep sprouting in their bid to defend the discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and Transsexuals. With the upsurge of anti-gay bills springing up in many African countries, it became imperative to provide necessary information and create awareness on the issues of sexual orientation especially homosexuality and bisexuality. Information is power and education is key to human development.

In this digital age, where information is easily accessible, it is sad to know that many people especially Africans still fall for the homophobic, biphobic and transphobiic rhetoric that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. In the book Freedom to Love For All; Homosexuality is not Un-African, I put together a collection of my essays debunking the myths that Homosexuality is Un-African.

First, I started by clarifying the meaning of sexual orientation and providing accepted definition of the different kinds of sexual orientation and gender identity that we [Read more…]

Christian Association of Nigeria’s President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and the $9.3m, Arms and Ammunition scandal

When President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, was presented with a private jet for his birthday on the Oritsejafor-360x27040th anniversary of his ministry, he probably did not envision it was going to be his waterloo.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet was seized in South Africa on the allegation that it was used to convey $9.3 million cash allegedly meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition. South African immigration officials discovered the undeclared money. Two yet to be identified Nigerians and an Israeli were said to be aboard the jet. According to latest reports, the private jet has been released after Nigerian officials entered into diplomatic dialogue with the South African Officials, but the $9.3m is still confiscated by South African government.

Funny enough, Nigeria’s government has moved in to defend the embattled Pastor. Government spokespersons have claimed that the money [Read more…]

Why I can’t be bothered to wish Nigeria a Happy 54th Independence Anniversary.

For the first time since I can remember, i cannot be bothered to wish Nigeria a Happy Independence anniversary. The sad part is that I feel 385935_186228838142571_185630604869061_319047_711932141_nindifferent about it. I am not angry, I am not excited, I am just indifferent. Am I finally bereft of any emotion for my once beloved country, Nigeria?

Too much is wrong with Nigeria and its people for me to care about whether it breaks up or stay together as one ignoramus, corrupt entity. The one thing i now only care about is our shared humanity. I hope no innocent lives will be further lost in whatever determines or is determining the present and future of Nigeria.

To think i once inhaled tear-gas, faced bullets and was ready to die for that country!  However, I take solace in the knowledge that my actions were not really for the country but motivated by my strong belief in inalienable human rights.

I marched on the streets and confronted the military junta because I believed and still believe in the right to determine who represent me in the seat of power as a Nigerian via the ballot box and not through military coups.

As a student union leader, in the face of oppression, detentions, and suspensions, I stood my ground to speak out against hike in school fees, cultism, and access to education for all. I remember vividly [Read more…]

Nigerian Trans woman, Ms Sahhara, wins Ms Super Sireyna Worldwide: Eat your heart out Transphobic Nigeria!

I was delighted when the beautiful, multi- talented Ms Sahhara was declared the winner of Super Sireyna Worldwide, 2014 at the grand finale in 10513314_162106167322674_1317010551276969853_nPhilippines. She also won the best Talent award and her national costume was fabulous!

Ms Super Sireyna is the most watched Transgender Beauty Pageant on Philippine Television, Eat Bulaga. The pageant aims to showcase the beauty of Super Sireynas and to foster camaraderie amongst contestants and Sireynas worldwide. It grades contestants on looks, talent and wit.

Ms Sahhara is a Nigerian Trans Woman who resides in UK. She is very visible on social media. She uses her social networks to advocate for LGBT Rights and promote Trans visibility. She entered the pageant as Miss Nigeria.  Her interview section was great! She answered her questions with poise, intelligence and was witty to the core! She also used the platform to highlight the problems LGBT Nigerians face due to criminalisation of their sexual orientation, gender identity and the negative societal attitudes towards LGBTs.

In her entry video for the competition Super Sireyna Worldwide Nigeria 2014, she explained why she was competing. She stated that if given the chance to wear the crown, she will use the opportunity to enlighten people about Trans’ issues. She believes if people don’t understand things, they should ask questions. The video was made as part of her preparation for the competition. She obviously prepared with passion and dedication for the pageant. It wasn’t just about beauty, it was also about talent, creativity and passion. The video is quite informative and worth watching. [Read more…]

Video: LGBT Rights activists demonstrates at Nigerian Centenary Awards, UK

Speaking during the demonstration, Yemisi Ilesanmi said:

We are here to speak out on behalf of all oppressed Nigerian LGBTs who have been denied a voice in Nigeria. We are here to put a face on Nigerian LGBTs. We are here to remind you that LGBT Nigerians are not criminals and are worthy of celebration. We are here to remind all those who criminalised us and are turning us into asylum seekers that we will not be silenced. We are LGBT Nigerians and we are proud.”

The demonstrators left the guests with the message “Nigerian LGBTS and LGBT rights supporters are not criminals and we will not be silenced in our fight for our human rights. We hope as Nigeria celebrates its hundred years of existence, its people will also celebrate diversity and do away with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic laws.”

Blogpost  linkhttp://wp.me/p3uryi-AZ

SDC17235

Nigerian atheist Mubarak Bala held hostage in a psychiatric ward for renouncing Islam and non belief in God

FREE MUBARAK Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian and an atheist is being held hostage in a psychiatry ward at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria on the orders of his father Bala Mohammed. Mubarak’s father is a prominent weekly columnist who writes a Saturday column for Daily Trust, a National Newspaper. Bala Mohammed committed his son to a psychiatric unit when his son expressed  non belief in God and renounced Islam.

I gathered from reliable sources, including sources from within the Daily Trust  Newspaper, that the extremism of Mubarak’s father’s was becoming apparent and some staff members were concerned about the appalling way he was treating his son whose public declaration of atheism and renunciation of Islam on social media seems to have attracted attention in Kano.

My source was shocked when a contact that is very close to the Publisher of Daily Trust said they were aware of the case and have been aware of Bala Mohamed’s growing extremism and the appalling way he committed his son to a psychiatry ward for renouncing Islam. However the paper refused to carry the story because of the controversy it would generate and a fear of reprisal. [Read more…]

Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

It has indeed been enlightening as well as fun anchoring, participating and watching on the Nigerian Atheists group page, the 383946_203577736388137_192116174200960_463961_1674859760_nreality drama triggered by the controversial minutes of the first and only meeting of this group ‘Nigerian Atheists’.

It has provided me with a good story line. This juicy story is not a book full of lies, deceits and a bloodthirsty God character like the Bible or Quran but it has surely been inspired by a minutes of a meeting, with as much credibility as the Bible or Quran, ironically, the group’s name is, wait for it,  Nigerian Atheists!

THE MINUTES OF THIS GROUP MEETING WAS WRITTEN BY PROPHET KUNLE OGUNYEMI AND WITNESSED BY HIS APOSTLES namely, the plagiarizing Apostle GAMBO aka Gambagate, the Lily livered Apostle ANDREW and on the fence sitter, Apostle LEKE!

People wondered why I didn’t just leave the Nigerian Atheists group since they were obviously up to no good. Many of the group members still do not understand that they have been gathered together as evidence for the Nigerian Atheist prophet of scammers, Prophet Kunle, who wanted to show the group to the world as evidence of a congregation he needs to feed. Since he cannot do so through miracles as supposedly done by dear lord Jesus, who allegedly fed a multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish, Prophet Kunle thought it would be great to appeal to international atheists organisations to help fund  ‘his” organization. [Read more…]

ANALYSIS OF COMMENTS MADE BY TWO FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’.

This was first posted in June, 2012 on the Nigerian atheist group Facebook page, my Facebook notes and old blog and now published here for easy reference.

My short stint with the Nigerian Atheists group exposed me and many others to bigotry, sexism, homophobia and a blatant 304914_209227842473067_100001575579815_591821_3991924_ndisregard for facts in the group.  It really was an eye opening experience that brought to fore the characters of its founders and the real intention behind floating the group. It is indeed a pity because they give Atheists a bad name and has unfortunately contributed to the stereotype of Nigerians as yahoo scammers. I believe such experience should be documented for present and future purposes and HERE is a link to my write up on the experience

Below are my analyses of the comments made  by two of the Nigerian Atheists group main founders, Hotem Dajenid and Gamba Joel Sl, on the Nigerian Atheists group Facebook page , following my objection to the minutes of the first ever Nigerian Atheists group meeting, where I was blatantly misquoted and misrepresented.

The analyses of their comments was posted as a document and comments on the group page , not surprisingly and very unethically, the document along with my OBJECTION TO THE MINUTES document and my comments were deleted by Hotem Dajenid and Kunle Ogunyemi, who are both founders and Admin members of  the Nigerian Atheists Facebook group page. The group has also been made a closed group, hmm .. now closeted atheists or just hiding their bigoted, sexist , homophobic group from the prying eyes of the public?  They form a backdrop of interesting characters for a good storyline worth reading about HERE! [Read more…]

Boko Haram, #Bringbackourgirls, conspiracy theories, media and the mess called Nigeria.

I have so far refrained from writing about the Nigerian ‘missing girls’ for some reasons. Firstly, I wouldn’t want to cause any more pain to families of the missing girls, if indeed there are missing girls.

download (3) Secondly, I am not a fan of conspiracy theories.

I got a glimpse of just how much Nigerians love conspiracy theories when Lee Rigby was hatched to death on the street of London by Nigerian/British born Islamist fanatics, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. Many Nigerians went into conspiracy frenzy on social networks. They claimed it was all a set up and made the murderers out to be victims of a twisted immigration plot! Surprisingly, many of the conspiracy theorists were self-identified skeptics and freethinkers. I got fed up of their conspiracy theories showing on my newsfeeds that I reached for the block button. One thing I emphasized was how much pain their insensitive posts were causing the bereaved family. So, let’s get this out of the way, I loathe conspiracy theories, not just because they are mostly misguided but because they do tend to cause pains to the victims and their families. [Read more…]

Why Are Many Nigerian Christians So Stupid? (Part 2)

Below is another stupid message from one of the many stupid Nigerian Christians who have made it their duty to force down their blue eyed blonde Jew saviour called Jesus, down my throat. I posted on my Facebook wall excerpts from my blogpost  ‘Because you are a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful:My 24 hour ordeal with religion‘ and this person decided to respond by sharing the post on his wall and tagging me with the following response:

Ikechukwu Nwanze edited

Yemisi, History is all planned out. Everything is in stages. When God’s time came to move The Gospel around the world, He made Constantine, emperor of Rome, embrace and adopt Christianity. Then Europe went on exploration of foreign lands – Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, England, etc. The Gospel spread, although so did atrocities, pillaging, etc. God is in charge. He has planned out history. What would the world have been had Christianity not outlawed human sacrifice and all forms of idolatry. Yemisi would have been a helpless woman only good as pleasure object of some king, chief or egoistic male chauvinist. Thank God for Christianity, Yemisi. Jesus reigns!…

[Read more…]

Boko Haram kills in the name of God, AGAIN; Nigerians pray to God for solution, AGAIN.

The notorious Islamist terrorist group, ‘Boko Haram’, strikes again in the name of Allah, this time killing more than a hundred bomb-m-1people and leaving hundreds more injured with some lying critically ill in the hospital.  In the early hours of Monday 14th April, 2014, members of the religious terrorist group, Boko Haram, sets off a bomb in a crowded bus park in Nyanya,  a highly populated area in the outskirts of the federal capital territory, Abuja.

This is not the first time the barbaric group has committed such atrocities in Abuja. In recent past, their bombs have also gone off in  Yobe, Nasarawa,Borno, Kaduna etc. killing thousands of innocent people including school children. In the face of the seemingly helplessness of security agencies to curb the atrocities of this menacing, religious fanatic group that originated from the Northern part of the country, Nigerians are left fearing for their lives.

Sadly, waking up to the news that another Boko Haram bomb has gone off and killed many innocent people is no longer news. Seeing maimed arms, legs and rolling heads amidst burnt debris seems like a routine show now. Many Nigerians on social media scamper to post the goriest pictures of the victims of the latest bomb blast on facebook and twitter, leaving one to wonder if they derive a sort of macabre pleasure in these gory pictures. These pictures are posted without even a trigger warning alert. This act does nothing but diminish our humanity. [Read more…]

Another inglorious medal for religion as Boko Haram invades secondary school hostel, Kills 43 students in the name of Allah

On February 25, 2014 the world woke up to the news that Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group in Nigeria, ha409263_194632337300826_100002621825953_318303_1770217189_ns once again invaded a secondary school hostel, this time the Federal Government College in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state and killed 43 students. The terrorists in the name of Allah hurled explosives into dormitories, sprayed sleeping students with bullets and even hacked a few to death. The death toll is still rising.

Since the news of the killings broke, I have been in a kind of dazed state of mind, heavy-hearted and not able to post or say anything on it. I have been kind of numb. I am numbed, not because it is the first killing of such,  after all, just a few months ago, they did the same thing in a different secondary school, leaving about 35 young students dead. I think I am numbed because it is finally sinking in that this kind of barbarism has become normal in Nigeria. And the world would read this kind of story, look at the gross pictures of murdered children and just turn the page because it is no longer news.

We look at the horrific pictures of children with their intestines blown out by some bearded jihadists, we shake our head and sometimes express our outrage but within minutes things go back to normal. And the sad fact is these killings are now fast becoming part of what is ‘normal’. Children screaming in the middle of the night as their brains are blown up by some adults whose group’s name BOKO HARAM means ‘No To Western Education’, is now the norm in Nigeria.

I despair when I read posts of fellow Nigerians on the latest killings of Boko Haram. Many are busy calling on God (or is it Allah), to punish the evil doers. They pray for the dead students to find peace. They pray that God comfort the grieving parents. I read all these posts calling on God to act and I wonder about the logic in that. [Read more…]

Dear friend, I’m going to prison. Protest rally against Nigeria’s Anti-LGBT Law.

Nigeria demo 1 - 14 Nov 11Dear friend,

I’m just writing to say goodbye.

I’m going to prison,

for 14 years,

for being gay

and Nigerian.

And if you associate with me, or don’t report me, whether you are straight, gay or bisexual, you face 10 years too… [Read more…]

Open Letter To Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

27 January, 2014

Dear Dr. Chidi Odinkalu,

It is with deep concern that I write this open letter to you to register my dismay at the continued silence of your offSDC15091ice on the recently signed Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act. It is surprising that as Chairperson of the Governing body of National Human Rights Commission, a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you have not deemed it fit to issue a public statement weeks after a section of Nigerian populace was criminalized and stripped of their fundamental human rights via a stroke of President Goodluck Jonathan‘s pen. The most you have said in your official capacity, albeit in private, is that you are still studying the new law.

Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, how long would it take your office to study this legislation? The content of the law has been known to you and most Nigerians since 2011 when the bill was first approved by the Senate. The harmonized version of the bill that was signed did not change much. In your official capacity, you must have received a copy of the Act as it is part of your official duty to advise the President on the human rights implication of bills tabled before him.

As a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you cannot claim to be unaware of the human rights violations inherent in this new legislation. Therefore, I wonder how you could turn a blind eye to such blatant violation of fundamental human rights. Is this about protecting [Read more…]

Venting my concerns over Nigeria’s new Anti-LGBT Law

If only I could physically slap some sense into the hypocrites parading themselves as Nigerian lawmakers and the ignoramuses who are celebrating the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill! They had better be warned, the battle line has been drawn. Logic will supersede their infamous ignorance and Love shall triumph over their hate. Enjoy the TV interview.