Opening Remark and Introduction:
The event kicked off with an opening remark from Akudo Oguaghamba, she gave a brief talk about the purpose of the event, which was to celebrate our cultural diversity as queer people, and she promised the participants that it was going to be a fun and enjoyable day for all. After that, the MC introduced himself and welcomed everybody to the event and we commenced with presentations. Different people came out to showcase their talents in singing, dancing and spoken word, the dancers ranged from mimes to cultural dance and the stage was lit with all kinds of dance moves and spoken word.
Margaret Otubo facilitated the panel discussion with four different panellists who faced the audience to answer questions concerning our sexuality and culture. The questions include:
- What are your experiences being a sexual minority and a Nigerian?
- The argument is that homosexuality is un-African. (Can you share your view on this)?
- In your culture, what has been the queer representation prior to the advent of religion?
- How do we navigate our identity in this modern time, taking into consideration our cultural identity amidst prevalent homophobia in Nigeria?
All four panellists answered the questions, citing examples where necessary and digesting them for the participants, and we learnt that African culture is diverse and there is no formula written somewhere on how people should love one another, after this session, three people from the audience contributed by saying culture is always changing and it is the people involved that effect the change, not ancestors who are long gone.
The next session was facilitated by the MC, which was couples runway, different couples came out holding hands and displaying affection on stage, it was fun because this kind of thing hardly happens in an environment like this, then its followed by trans runway, in which all the trans people came out in mass to display themselves proudly and what they represent.
This was followed by an African celebration which took over the rest of the evening with groove, partying and celebrations! At the end of the day, the event was successful and fun.
We were happy to give safe spaces for queer Nigerians to flaunt their talents, dance, sing, and most important tell chosen families that they are queer and proud.
But the work is not yet over. Pride (month) isn’t 30 days, it is a continuous process where we reshape our stories and break homophobic barriers.
This is why we look forward to another #MyAfricanPrideReloded come 2022. We want to keep fostering these spaces because they are important. #MyAfricanPrideReloaded 2022 is going to be bigger, more inclusive and filled with so many entertaining highlights. We are already looking forward to it, and hope you are too!