Being gay is still illegal in Nigeria, even though gay people exist everywhere, the expectation in Nigeria is for anyone who is a member of the LGBTQ community to keep quiet about it and never admit to being gay, especially publicly.
Coming out as gay poses a significant risk as a civilian, but when one is in the public eye, that risk increases marginally because such a revelation could jeopardize one’s livelihood, personal life, and even safety.
However, the five Nigerian celebrities on today’s list chose to come out publicly and risk the consequences.
Without further ado, here are 5 Nigerian Celebrities Who Have Openly Admitted to Being Gay.
1. Bolu Okupe
Bolu Okupe, the son of Nigerian politician Doyin Okupe, came out as gay in an Instagram post last year.Bolu is seen in the photo wearing a rainbow shorts and holding a rainbow flag with the caption “Yes I’m Gay AF.”
In a later interview with Punch, Bolu stated:
“Sexual orientation is not something that one can “reconsider”. This is the way I am and it is the way I have always been and will always be. I and many others in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community were born the way we are, many may not understand this but stop and think for a second, why would we intentionally choose this lifestyle when we know that we will be ridiculed and shamed by society? I do hope that one day we can, as Nigerians and Africans, get to the point where we love and accept each other regardless of things such as sexual orientation.
I do not have any regrets about coming out. Whether people like it or not, it (the law) has started a discussion on this topic within the Nigerian atmosphere that was necessary. Being gay is not “Western” or “European.” There are many gay people in Nigeria, they just do not have the ability to openly live that way due to fear of criticism and judgments similar to the reactions that I received. I hope one day homosexuality can be decriminalized in Nigeria. However, I know that we have a long way to go before we get there”.
2. Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim
Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim,a Nigerian and filmake,is another woman who has publicly admitted to being a lesbian.
In an interview with her sister,actress Nse Ikpe.
In retrospect, Nse wishes she has responded differently by hughing her and saying nothing else.
The two’s relationship is now on the mend.
Uyai also tweeted about her experience coming out to her mother.
“I (officially) came out to my (Catholic) mother. I watched her as her heart broke again, probably thinking, so the rumors are true. This thing that you are will send me to an early grave, she said. Come, see where you should bury me when I die, she pointed. My heart broke too. But I recognised this for what it was. The universal language of African parents – Emotional blackmail. I’m not an unholy thing, I said. I am not a sin. In spite of how hurt I am that you said that, I won’t accept it. No be me go kill you. Immediately alarmed, she said – I would never call you a sin, you are my child. I love you. You will always be my baby but – No buts. You say you love me, then love me. She talk her own, I talk my own sef. Finally – so one day, you will bring home a wife? Yeah, most likely. Hmmmm. She heaved. Hmmmm. I heaved too. Mine was of relief. I am officially out to my mother”.
3. Temmie Ovwasa
Temmie Ovwasa, a Nigerian singer,shot to national prominence in 2016 when rapper Olamide announced her signing to his label, YBNL.
Temmie was signed and released songs such as “Jabole,” “Bamidele,”and others
She left YBNL in 2020 and released her debut album ‘E Be like Say Dem Swear For Me’ which was hailed as Nigeria’s first openly queer album.
Temmie had this to say about it:
“I’m a radical queer feminist who happens to be a visual artist, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet, and more. Being a queer feminist means belonging in marginalised communities. The album’s direction comes from a place of women, queer people around me who’re also suffering. No matter how privileged I am, it doesn’t invalidate the brutality of being a queer woman in Nigeria and I’m probably always going to be miserable. I found out about my sexuality at five; I got into a lot of trouble for long because I didn’t know I was supposed to hide it. I made the album for myself and from that. I wasn’t thinking when I dropped the album because I would have chickened out by mere thinking about my family, mum etc. To find freedom sometimes, you’ll go through fire, I did and it’s been worth it”.
4. Chike Frankie Edozien
Chike Frankie Edozien, a Nigerian journalist and author, was born in Nigeria in 1970 and began his journalism career in Port Harcourt
before moving to America and working for news organisations such as ABC News and The New York Post.
Chike opened up about his experience as a gay celebrity in Nigeria in his memoir, Lives of Great Men, and has been open about his sexuality ever since.
5. Godwin Maduagu
The most recent Nigerian celebrity to come out is actor Godwin Maduagu, who had a sex tape featuring him and another man leaked onto social media last year.
Godwin initially denied being in the video when it was leaked, but he has finally come to terms with what happened and decided to come out. On social media, he stated:
“After getting a better life for myself, my close friends set me up, blackmailed me, and leaked my sex tape. I became depressed and almost committed suicide. My family saved me by giving me words of encouragement and advice that kept me going. Look at me now living my truth because I’ve now gotten a strong thick skin. Love is love. Say no to blackmail. What will people say has killed a lot of people”.
To openly come out and chest to being LGBTQ is not an easy task, hence i wish each of them well and the Nation as a whole.
I believe in life everyone should take responsibility of their actions and i must applaud them for doing that.