Enjoy the sights and sounds of London Pride, 2016, through my lens!
UK Black Pride was held on Sunday 26, June 2016 at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, London, with the theme “Transforming Our Community”. It was a blast with positive vibrations, diversity and thousands of vibrant people.
It was such a joy to be at UK Black Pride, 2016. It was fun in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with lots of foods and drinks to share, great music, great dance steps, lots of twerking and yeah, sexy, lovely people! LGBT BMEs do know how to party!
Did someone say “Why Black Pride?” [Read more…]
It was London pride 2016 on Saturday 25, June 2016. As usual, the annual LGBT Pride celebration meant the streets of central London felt the colourful presence of LGBT Londoners and their allies. Marching from Baker street, Regent street, Oxford street and well, Cockspurs street, all the way to Trafalgar square, the colourful parade brightened up the streets of London. Rainbow flags, beautiful floats, creative costumes, the energetic marchers and the large appreciative supporters who turned out en masse to cheer the parade along, all made for one very beautiful London Pride, 2016. And of course what would London Pride be without the very creative and beautiful drag queens? They were fabulous as always! They slayed in their beautiful costumes and creative makeups. The crowd were eager to take pictures with those divas. And oh, there was even a sweet moment when a police man in the parade went on his knees to propose to his boyfriend!
This year’s Pride theme was NO FILTER. It encourages LGBTs to live life without filters. Just be you. There was a huge turnout. According to London Pride, an estimated 1 million people took part in the Pride and about 40,000 people marched in the parade, the largest so far in London Pride history.
The homophobic killings in Orlando was a rude and appalling reminder that homophobia is still very much alive [Read more…]
Just a few days after a 74-year-old woman was beaten to death by angry Muslim youths in Kano state, Nigeria, for alleged blasphemy, another similar incident with almost same fatal outcome happened in neighbouring Kaduna state. Francis Emmanuel, a 41-year-old man was attacked by irate Muslim youths for not observing the Ramadan fasting, even though he was not a Muslim.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Francis Emmanuel, a carpenter, reportedly said–
I went to buy wood to do some work. When I came back I bought food to eat. As I was eating about six Hausa boys came and asked me whether I am a Muslim or a christian. I did not answer them. They asked why am I not fasting? I told them that I am not a Muslim.
“Before I knew it, one of them slapped me. As I stood up, the rest came and surrounded me and started attacking me with knives. I don’t know them. Nobody could come to my aid because of the type of dangerous knives they were carrying.
“They used cutlasses scissors and knives on me. I became unconscious, I don’t even know who brought me to the hospital.
Beaten unconscious for daring to eat during Ramadan period and he was not even a Muslim! Let’s be clear, even if he was a Muslim, he has the right to choose whether or not to starve himself to please his Skydaddy. No one should have the right or audacity to demand that another observe a religious rite.
In some parts of Northern Nigeria, we have had cases where people were beaten up for drinking alcohol even when they were not Muslims and therefore not bound by the Sharia Law. Shops selling alcohol have been vandalised because …well, Sharia law. This descent into a state of lawlessly in the name of religion needs to be checked before it gets to a point of no return.
Is their precious Ramadan not supposed to be the “Holy Month of Peace”? Unleashing violence on people who chose not to fast while you starve to endear yourself to your sky daddy brings a whole new meaning to the saying “A hungry man is an angry man”.
Which is why I despair when we are told to be politically correct and wish our Muslims brothers and sisters a Happy Ramadan. Why on earth would I want to encourage people to starve themselves in the name of a Skydaddy?
Happy Ramadan indeed, I’d rather we rid the world of religion in all its barbaric forms.
EDITED (16/03/2016)- Latest reports coming in are pointing to the fact that the pictures accompanying this story, which were taken from comments left on the alleged victim’s Facebook wall and news-reports, are not that of the alleged victim. Investigations are ongoing to authenticate the story.
Trigger warning- Graphic pictures: Blood and violence.
For some time now, for the sake of my mental health, I have shied away from reporting any news or write about anything from my home country, Nigeria. There is only so much sadness I can handle and that country has left me heartbroken one time too many. However, when I saw this horrible news of tragic homophobia on my timeline, I knew I had to say something about this. If anything could jolt me out of my silence on Nigeria and its nefarious issues, it is certainly another tragic homophobia, biphobia and transphobia case.
From news filtering in, the victim, Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi, was accused of homosexual activities, he was beaten up by youths in the community on 17th February 2016 and later died on 18th February 2016 from the injuries sustained. [Read more…]
I was out when I briefly saw the headlines for the Colorado shooting today; apparently, three people, including a police officer, have been confirmed dead and many more injured.
The shooter, now identified as Robert Lewis Dear, is a 57-year-old white man from North Carolina.
According to reports
“Lt. Catherine Buckley of the Colorado Springs Police Department said the gunman, described as wearing a long coat and armed with a rifle, gave up after officers inside the building shouted at him. He previously had been firing at police who entered the facility.
Buckley also said the unidentified man had brought “items” with him inside the building and left some outside, meaning officers had to make sure they were not “any kind of devices.”
“The man apparently began his deadly spree at the Planned Parenthood building, although it was not clear if his motive was related to the organization.
“We don’t have any information on this individual’s mentality, or his ideas or ideology,” Buckley said.
Interesting how they are not eager to jump to conclusions about this shooter’s ideas and ideology. This is white cis [Read more…]
When Time Out London invited the leading actresses of the new film, “Suffragette”, to be photographed for its October 2015 issue, they did not envisage the heated debate that ensued. The photoshoot featured the stars of the movie, Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Romola Garai, and Anne-Marie Duff posing in t-shirts bearing Emmeline Pankhurst’s quote, “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” The appropriateness of the t-shirts message was called into question. Reactions to this debate have been very enlightening as well as disturbing. The photoshoot provided another opportunity to see white feminism in action and the reaction shows how difficult it is for feminists of colour to be heard in a visibly white world.
Below are 8 reasons why the quote on the t-shirts is inappropriate, insensitive and offensive as a promotional material for a 21st century film that seeks to promote equality.
1- Not everyone has the luxury of choosing between being a slave or a rebel
My ancestors were humans who were carted off from Africa and made slaves in foreign lands. They did not have the luxury of choosing between being a rebel or being a slave. No one would “rather be a slave”. Many of them were rebels but this did not save them from being slaves. They did not just hand themselves over to their captors. They did not just roll over and decided to live the slave life. They did not choose to be separated from their families and land of births.
Captivity was forced on them. Slavery was forced on them. Many were born into slavery. Being a rebel in the sense of organising protests and speeches under police protection and throwing animal blood at their fancily dressed “Masters” were not options available to them.
However, the fact that millions of my ancestors died as slaves in foreign lands did not mean that many of them were not rebels. There were rebellions on the slave ships. Many died with their rebellion stories that will never be told. [Read more…]
I am especially looking forward to starting a new job as a union organiser with one of the largest trade unions in UK. I missed being a full time trade unionist and I am so looking forward to working with union activists and organising workers again!
I started working for the labour movement in my early twenties and with the responsibility of fighting for workers’ rights came many opportunities to see the world from different angles. The views can be very depressing especially when it comes to class stratification, oppression, exploitation of labour, crass capitalism and its uneven division of wealth built on the backs of the long-suffering majority who toil every day to earn a living wage but never get to enjoy the wealth created by their labour. However, sometimes the view can be very exhilarating, especially when the voiceless find their voices through union organising, and against all odds, conquer to achieve great successes, fuelled by strength in unity and propelled by hope in a better tomorrow, while demanding for a better today. The last few years of my 30s were pretty challenging, mostly due to having to start afresh in a new, unfamiliar environment as a single parent with a teenage son who was about to enrol in college. I did not plan to be an immigrant in UK or anywhere else, but sometimes, even though we have our life already neatly planned, circumstances beyond our control could force us to depart from our schedule.
Leaving behind a comfortable life and job security to start afresh in a strange land was not an easy decision to make. [Read more…]
#BeingFemaleInNigeria is a hashtag that went viral in Nigeria just barely hours after it was first tweeted by members of a small book club. The hashtag started trending in many countries including UK. I would have loved for the hashtag to read ‘BeingaWomanInNigeria’ because the word ‘Female’ has its own social construct problem. However, i am over the moon that this very important conversation, which got the whole nation talking, was started by a very small book club.
The book club members had gathered to read their book of the month, an essay titled ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Nigerian award winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. According to a member of the book club, Florence Warmate, the discussion got very interesting and members started sharing their personal experiences of sexism in Nigeria. They decided not to leave it there but start a conversation on social media about what it is like being a woman in Nigeria.
Florence Warmate posted her first tweet on the subject using the agreed hashtag #BeingFemaleInNigeria. Hours later, it was trending on twitter. It was interesting that a small group of women could ignite a national discussion via social media in a matter of hours. Clearly, it was a discussion Nigerian women (and some men too), were dying to have. [Read more…]
London Pride is an event I eagerly look forward to since I started residing in UK. For me, it represents freedom, a safe place to make a loud political statement and have fun with LGBT families and allies.
Therefore, it was a shock when I checked the London Parade list for 27 June, 2015 and saw UKIP LGBT staring right back at me. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is widely known for its homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia and blatant racism. I was aghast that UKIP LGBT is going to be in that ‘safe and fun’ pride parade.
Considering how vocal UKIP leaders and members have been about condemning LGBT rights and [Read more…]
When the video of an angry mom beating up her son at the Baltimore protest went viral, Toya Graham, the mom who smacked her 16-year-old son, Michael Singleton, for joining the protest, became the face of good parenting and many lauded her as hero mom of the year.
It is disappointing that many hailed her action and called for more ‘black mothers’ to whip their ‘erring’ sons into line! Are we so desensitised to violence that we don’t see anything wrong with a parent hitting a child in anger? You cannot discipline a child when you are out of control, not thinking straight or blinded with fear or anger. Toya Graham was expressing anger and fear, she admitted, “I just lost it”.
I cringed when I watched the video, the fear and violence hit me in the face! This is not what good parenting looks like. This is not what discipline looks like. This is not what makes a hero mom. This is FEAR. This is ANGER. This is a panicked mother lashing out at her child. This is an adult hitting a child she knows will not hit her back.
Hitting your child in a fit of anger is not discipline; it is child abuse. Lashing out at your children in fear because you want to keep them safe is not Love; it is child abuse. [Read more…]
Every day, the divide between the Rich and the Poor widens, few overpaid workers, some well-paid workers and many underpaid workers. On this special day, please spare a minute to remember the millions of unemployed people; many made redundant by the many budget cuts. Many unemployed people are desperately seeking to enter the workforce, to keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table for their children and struggling to pay bills. Underpaid workers and the unemployed bear the brunt of nasty government policies.
Help turn on the light at the end of the tunnel for many unemployed people left struggling to make ends meet due to economic downturn, corporate greed, redundancy and many avoidable budget cuts. Together We Can! [Read more…]
On March 20, 2015, xenophobic attacks broke out in Durban, South Africa, some disgruntled South Africans turned on their neighbours, viciously attacking foreigners, mostly immigrant black Africans. This set in motion a wave of anti-immigrants attacks. The locals accused migrants of taking local jobs. They wanted the foreigners out of their country. Since the attacks, many deaths have been recorded and thousands of foreigners have fled for their lives, with many rendered homeless and in hiding.
A Mozambican man, Emmanuel Sithole was stalked, stabbed and murdered on the streets by vicious South Africans, According to reports, many including policemen watched while he pleaded for his life.
In the wake of the atrocious murder of Charlie Hedbo’s journalists by Islamist fundamentalists which led to #Jesuischarlie, it is sad that some people have chosen this horrendous time to falsely accuse the magazine of the very thing it stands against; Racism, Sexism, Homophobia and Misogyny.
As Libby Nelson wrote in Charlie Hebdo: its history, humor, and controversies:
Charlie Hebdo is known for its cartoons, which are often raunchy and provocative, whether they depicted the Prophet Mohammed or portrayed the Pope performing holy communion with a condom.
Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was murdered in the attack, described the newspaper’s positions in 2012 as left-wing, secular, and atheist.
Below are 5 different crowds that are getting it wrong and why.
1- The “Charlie Hebdo is racist and sexist” crowd
The context of Charlie Hebdo’s Parodies/cartoons is easily understood by the French but not easily understood by outsiders, unless they are conversant with French politics. Some of these cartoons can be viewed and understood under the piece What are some of Charlie Hebdo’s most famous cartoons?
At first glance, these cartoons might appear racist, sexist, and ill-thought-out, but after reading the contexts, this is usually not the case.
So, “What was the context of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting Boko Haram sex slaves as welfare queens?”
This is what Libby Nelson has to say:
Charlie Hebdo covers often combined two unrelated stories to make a satirical point. In the context of the magazine’s leftist politics, this seems to be about spoofing not Nigerian trafficking victims, but French welfare critics, who have argued that France should cut welfare programs to prevent immigrant women from exploiting them. The cover, in this view, seems to say, “Hey, welfare critics, you’re so heartless that you probably think that even Nigerian sexual slavery victims are money-grubbing ‘welfare queens.
Islamist barbarians have struck again, as 3 gunmen went on a killing spree, murdering 10 journalists, 2 police officers and injuring 7 people in the name of Allah.
Gunmen have attacked the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring seven in an apparent Islamist attack.
At least two masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car.
The gunmen shouted “we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad”, witnesses say
Barbaric, primitive religious fanatics and those so-called moderates, who feign disgust at these atrocities but still spew passages from their Holy books to justify atrocities, need brain transplants!
This is another blatant attack on Freedom of Expression by these barbaric religious fanatics.
It was also reported that 2 of the cartoonists killed had personal body guards because there has been ongoing life threatening messages from Islamists who feel offended by the cartoons the Newspaper published.
Imagine what it is like to be under constant fear for your life for exercising your Freedom of Expression.
I am so tired of hearing the rhetoric that people should not upset the religious community. Why should we care that religious people are [Read more…]