The Level of Hypocrisy Of Nigerians Over Homosexuality

As the positive wind of globalization blows across the world, traces of negativity are also been left behind. Homosexuality which entails a person's attraction to people of one's own sex i.e. gay and lesbianism joins the bizarre list of the ills in the world. This has yielded several supportive, critical and indifferent reactions ranging from one country to the other.

On the 13th of January, 2014, the former Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan signed a bill into law prohibiting homosexuality in Nigeria and a 14-year jail term attached as a penalty to defaulters. There was a massive celebration among Nigerians who felt the African values and culture have been protected from foreign invasion once more. Homosexuality is being regarded as foreign initiative which is totally unacceptable in Nigeria. It is so difficult to trace the history of homosexuality in Africa but the practice has already been imbibed in Nigeria and it is so rampant especially among the youths. Only a few Nigerians openly accept their homosexual orientations in order not to appear weird or possessed. Everyone is heavily scared of being castigated, isolated like an Ebola patient or even subjected to a deliverance session in the church or any other religious gatherings. Gay people in Nigeria are like rape victims, they hardly come out to narrate their ordeals to avoid stigma. They rather live in silence all their lives suppressing their pains. I call them prisoners in a free world. The homosexuality topic is one kind of discussion I publicly avoid because of the level of insincerity among Nigerians. The truth in Nigeria is like a crime. A lot of Nigerians lie to themselves about who they are and then live in that world of lies. It will shock you to see someone vehemently criticizing homosexuality publicly when he is guilty of the act in the dark corners of his room.

United States of America's legalization of same-sex marriage on the 26th of June, 2015    was greeted with massive criticisms and mockery in Africa with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe leading the cause. Kudos to him, I like people that take stands and defend their grounds without fear or favour. Nigerian youths took to the social media to create memes to show their stands against homosexuality. We are not different from the Americans that openly celebrated the freedom given to homosexuals, we are not better than them in any way. They have only decided to leave the self-prison they have been over time.

Nigerians have successfully followed the issue of homosexuality blindly because of our hatred for research and the high level of mediocrity among others. Most of us are victims of hasty generalizations. I have a couple of questions for ardent critics of homosexuality;

 Do you know some of these homosexuals are victims of biology? How does homosexuality really affect you personally? Do you know lesbianism is almost a norm among Nigerian ladies? Do you know how neck-deep Nigerian top men are into homosexuality? Have you ever gone to the club houses in Nigeria to see the evils of homosexuality practiced under the dark fancy lights?

If you haven't found answers to these few questions, then never overflog the issue of homosexuality or else you may end up indirectly hurting someone close to you.

I will like to narrate my personal account on this topic which is what I am known for. I never knew anything about homosexuality and deep inside of me I never cared to know. The only word I was familiar with in my Secondary school days was the word "faggot'' which I blindly joined them in misusing at first after hearing the derogatory word on American movies and rap songs. Some 'cream' or let me say exposed guys in my class used the word and one day out of curiosity I checked the dictionary to find out it was related to same sex. That was around the year 2003. Innocently, I closed the dictionary and never gave it a second thought.

When I joined Facebook in the year 2008 during my 3rd year the University, it took me just a couple of months to know homosexuality was real. As a growing boy that was excited about connecting with friends on the social media platform and meeting new people, I took pictures recklessly and Facebook was the end point. We were all excited about getting the 'likes' and 'comments'. Then, the culture of interaction on Facebook was at the peak compared to now. My profile picture was a topless picture in which I had a flash drive around my neck which a lot of people took for a chain. It was just a normal photo I liked and then I ended up making it my frontal picture which attracted nice comments. I never knew I was sending signals to a lot of guys on the outside. In no time I started getting friend requests from males. I accepted all just to boost the level of fun on Facebook. We all interacted well and dramatically I started realizing some of them openly wanted an 'EXTRA'. This was odd to me. I have never hidden my passion for beautiful ladies. I have a feeling they may cause my downfall one day.

They flooded my Facebook inbox with nice comments about my looks and body. They went on to propose a private meeting with me. I openly share all these with my close pals in the hostel and we laughed about it. They all asked why it was always me they were approaching. I never knew the topless picture was the problem until I signed up on a travel site, with the same pictures only for a white gay man to approach me. I got scared. This time I became inquisitive because the young white man approached me with so much optimism and assurance about my status. So I asked him how he knew my status when we started chatting. I was on a covert operation for answers. He told me he understood the message of the topless picture. My mouth was wide open that day in surprise. A childish act on my path was resulting into a grave mistake. Since then, I stopped snapping topless pictures except at the swimming pool conditions.

Several people approached me as usual. Approaching someone is as free as sending your resumes and cover letters to an employer. That doesn't mean you have gotten the job. I ignored many but I was forced to keep three people to find answers to some questions.

In the year 2011 after my National Youth Service Corps, NYSC programme, I noticed a former classmate of mine who was a dedicated Muslim was seriously stalking me. He was an isolated person that rarely associated with both males and females during my Secondary school days. We all believed he was weird and this nature earned him massive respect compared to childish students of my type. I tried chatting with him after getting incessant comments from him on my several pictures and updates on Facebook. I observed his jokes were so sexual. In summary, he told me he liked me and knew I was gay because he had studied me for a long time. I was shocked to the marrow of my bones. This was someone I thought had a perfect life. I wanted to ask him what happened to him in the best way that would yield the truth. I adopted a covert means of doing so by adopting the participant observation method as a Social Scientist. I lied to him I was gay. This struck an immediate closeness and trust between us. He shared his journey into homosexuality with me.  According to him, he never knew he was gay until his A ‘Level days when he met some cute guys that were good friends to him. From there, feelings developed and they started having sex. I was too irritated to probe further.

What I deduced from his case is that nobody influenced him into being gay. Several guys are induced into the circle by money. Some engage in it for better financial and employment opportunities in life because homosexuality subjectively started as a rich man's disease in Nigeria as it is widely believed. As for my old school mate, nature cheated him.

His case also reminds me of a young toaster I had on the BlackBerry Messenger shortly after the Bauchi state post-election crisis in April, 2011that hit corpers. Then the BBM madness was still very much alive among Nigerians. After paying a whooping sum of N3, 000 for subscription, the only thing on your mind will be to add people indiscriminately. Accidentally, I met this 17-year old boy on a BBM group and we started chatting about music because I am a big fan of hiphop. Along the line, he started talking about my looks and then opened up that he liked me. I was shocked. The young boy had a girlfriend he liked but he wasn't sexually attracted to her. His body called for his fellow guys. I wept for him, he had a perfect life. He had almost everything at his disposal to succeed. His father if I could remember was a top doctor in Nigeria and his mother was an international businessman. He lived in the Lekki area of Lagos almost all alone due to the busy schedule of his parents. He invited me severally to come live with him but I laughed it off. He was extremely rich. Sincerely, I could have married him on the spot if he was a girl. I later deleted him when events got irritating.

There are many guys out there living in silence. They are all feeling victimized. They hide their opinions about homosexuality while straight people bluntly criticize them without knowing their hearts.

The trend is worse in the entertainment industry. It is like the headquarters of gay people. I had a brief stint acting. Within a short while, I met a couple of guys. Someone bluntly asked me if I do get attention from men and I said yes. He told me I should be ready to conform to advances if I want to achieve big in the movie industry. I told myself I will rather abandon the dream rather than have a sexual relationship with my fellow man. I can't even stand being touched by a male. My last acting audition in Lagos gave me another unforgettable experience. This perfect guy, I mean physically perfect guy added me on Facebook. He was just too good-looking. He was actively into modelling. He was a kind of guy girls could rape if he walks aimlessly. The sight of his pictures started making me feel ugly. Tears ran down my face when he asked me out on Facebook. I was like devil; you are indeed who they say you are. Look at what you have afflicted this beautiful life with.

He pestered me so much that I was forced to block him. As fate would have it, we auditioned together in Lagos in August, 2013 for a failed cinema movie. All his antics vehemently irritated me. At a point I had to warn him. It was that day I realized I was too far from being gay.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
My friend's elder brother who desperately nursed the dream of modelling was frustrated out of his career by popular figures in Nigeria who are very prominent in the entertainment industry. I felt for him, for years he was left devastated. Modelling was like all he lived for. His entire world was surrounded by modelling. He lived it. I watched him hit the gym in the morning and evening. I saw him nurse and overcome the pains of muscle strains every day. He had special soaps for the different parts of the body, he had his special food, special cream and he avoided the sun. He was from a humble background and this made the modelling demands more expensive for him. He kept going to Lagos with his parents having expectant hearts. They supported him with their dry pockets. Finally, he got close to a billboard project for a telecommunication giant in Nigeria. At the tail end of the agreement when he had finally called his family to share the news of the impending breakthrough and the immense benefits with them, some certain gay top officials wanted to have sex with him.
It was a close shave for this young man. He got increasingly frustrated and had to return to Ibadan with the little funds he had left. He was disoriented for years and had to choose a new career later in life.

If you feel the percentage of gay people is so minute in Nigeria, then visit club houses. I was once invited to a club party in Ibadan. It was an all night affair. I had to attend to honour a good friend as it was more of a birthday party for June babies. It was a popular club house whose name I will not mention. It was almost a taboo for you to dance with the opposite sex at the club. For the first time in my life I noticed the ladies were divided into two classes. Some ladies dressed so feminine while others had masculine appearances. These ones dressed like males, had the walking steps of males, imitated our voice tones and had our hair styles. This class policed the females around while the female class showed so much loyalty and respect. On an occasion I saw a lesbian couple kissing and I almost vomited. I had to leave the scene.

The males had their class too. The males dressed like females in skin tight wears and they were good dancers that could light up a dead crowd. The ladies loved the gay guys and felt so comfortable with them. That night was like the end of the world to me. I tried approaching one beautiful lady on the dance floor. I always have this confidence that I have what it takes to blow a lady's mind. For the first time in my life, I was almost on my knees begging for her phone number but she was too adamant on not giving it to me. Not too long, I saw a frowning lady at one corner looking at us. She swiftly told me to leave that her 'boyfriend' wasn't happy.
I lamented bitterly and swore to myself never to step into a club house again.

It will also shock my readers that the percentage of lesbians in Nigeria will be three times the number of gay men in the country. Out of every 10 girls, 4 very cute ones always end up being partial (bisexual) or acute lesbians. Several ladies are not really lesbians but they see nothing bad in engaging in the act. In a simple language, they are much very open to lesbianism. The major problem is that most of them hardly open up. It takes a height of intensive talk for her to confide in you. Most of these girls kiss their fellow girls in the girls' hostels, they smooch each other either seriously or painful and also finger themselves. It’s no news to me when ladies share their lesbian gist with me. It was only in the past that we believed close female friends were mere friends indeed. Today, the closeness has been cemented on sexual grounds.

The point I am trying to make here is that homosexuality is too pronounced in Nigeria and the supposed criticisms of America's legalization of same-sex marriage in Nigeria rinks of acute hypocrisy. A lot of Nigerians are not speaking the truth.

Nigerians shouldn't look at the Americans with imploring eyes. Over here we perpetrate more evil that could bring the wrath of God on a whole nation. How does Sodomy directly affect you in a society? Any response you give will likely be selfish and subjective. I am not supporting homosexuality in any way but I just feel the issue has been over-flogged with undue attention given to it. We forbid it openly while a lot of us practice it secretly.

Nigeria has recorded far worse cases like the late Clifford Orji who was eating human beings, we have heard of baby factories in the eastern part of Nigeria. What about the kidnappers' den in Ibadan called Soka and others in Ogun state where human parts are sold for rituals like butchers in the abattoir? What about the menace of Boko Haram which claims the lives of hundreds of innocent individuals? About 1.4 million people are currently internally displaced in Nigeria without adequate food in the north-east. Despite the level of poverty in Borno state, Governor Kasshim Shettima is rumoured to be spending a whooping sums of N10 million daily on the Ramadan breakfast with some elites in the state. In conclusion, we have too much on our plate than to be poke-nosing in the affairs of a made country like United States of America.
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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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