Documentary reveals struggles of queer Nigerians abroad

An interesting new short documentary on YouTube highlights the struggles of queer Nigerian immigrants abroad.

From the African Human Rights Media Network


By Mike Daemon

Due to homophobic and discriminatory laws against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and Queer [LGBTIQ+] persons in Nigeria, many flee abroad to avoid persecution. However, life abroad is not as easy as some people think, especially for queer African immigrants.

Uche Onwa (Photo Source: YouTube)

The new documentary which was put together by Pont LLC, a media company owned by Edafe Okporo, an LGBTIQ+ Nigerian living in the U.S., sheds light on the struggles of LGBTIQ+ immigrant Nigerians living in the United States.

The short documentary, titled “Why Blame Us”, features transgender Nigerian artist Noni Salma along with three LGBTQ+ people of Nigerian descent: Oliver Anene, Uchechukwu (Uche) Onwa, and writer Vasilis Chukwunonso Onwuaduegbo.

In the documentary, Uche tells about applying for asylum, including his unpleasant experiences in the U.S. detention centers where he was held:

“On my arrival to Atlanta, I was stopped by the police; I was stopped by immigration officers….. I was first put in prison in Atlanta, I was there for almost 12 hours, before I was finally taken to detention, and I was chained. My hands were chained to my waist my legs were chained, my mouth and my nose was covered. That was like the first horrific experience and emotional experience that I had in the U.S. and those weren’t the things that I expected.”

Uche says he almost lost his life:

“The experience I had there is something that I am not going to talk about because the experience was really emotional for me and whenever I talk about it and whenever I remember all the things that happened to me at the detention center, at the point I almost died.”

Watch the full video below.

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