Media personality, Funmi Iyanda brings another Nigerian gay out of the closet
By Patricia Uyeh
It would be recalled that media personality, Funmi Iyanda was the brain behind the popular television interview where gay rights activist, Bisi Alimi came out openly to announce his gay status.
This time, Funmi Iyanda is sharing the story of another gay Nigerian, simply known as Akin and helping him come out of the closet.
She wrote an emotional piece for the 51-year-old talking about his life challenges and sexuality, which she titled ” For Akin” on her Medium page
Here is an excerpt: “You see, in 2009, Akin had been diagnosed with cancer at the height of his career and life.
”He lived in a penthouse by Amsterdam’s beautiful haven harbor from where he travelled widely and entertained often. He was an affluent Eurocentric Anglicized Nigerian, one of those shiny examples of diaspora success.
”He had been HIV positive since 2002. Soon after his cancer diagnosis, he also developed full-blown AIDS. Without any family in the Netherlands he spent weeks in hospital and months of chemotherapy on his own.
”He once wrote that his motto through life, cancer and AIDS was to thrive. In his words “I will never live as if I’m dying, l do not intend to start doing that now. I live to live well”.
”A year and a half later his cancer had gone into remission and his HIV viral load fallen to undetectable. His doctors thought it was a miraculous recovery.
”Oh yes, my friend Akin is gay, has been all his life. He didn’t leave Nigeria because he was gay, he’s middle class, to be poor is the only real crime, he left because he wanted to become more than was on offer in 1990.
”He left a high paying job and a company he was part owner of to start over in London then he moved to Amsterdam. He hasn’t been home in 26 years but my meddlesome determination is that he must come home to visit his family.
”We were talking about this on Christmas Day when the news of George Michael’s death broke, suddenly he turned to me and said, “Funmi l want to come out, and I want you to be the one to do this for me, I want people to know I’m gay.”
“I have never consciously hidden it but l want to state it now and make it open.” I asked why, he said, its time, l asked if he was sure. He said yes. So l wrote this story. For my friend Broda Akin, Uncle ilu oyinbo.”
Photo credit: Medium @faduks