NoStringsNG – Empowering LGBTIQ+ Voices in Nigeria
NoStringsNG.com is nigeria’s first LGBT media platform. discussing issues concerning homosexuality in Nigeria.
Not too long ago former President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Anti-Same Sex Marriage Bill into law. The bill criminalized same-sex relationships, marriages, as well as any public show of affection by homosexual couples. Under this draconian law any individual found guilty of the above offences faces up to 14 years imprisonment, while any individual who witnessed and supported the act could face up to 10 years, and so NoStringsNG emerged.
Within this extremely homophobic environment created by the Nigerian government, and largely supported by Nigerian society, a LGBTIQ podcast has emerged. The podcast, entitled NoStrings, is hosted by a Nigerian going by the name “Mike Daemon” who advertises his show as Nigeria’s first LGBTIQ podcast.
Thus far, the early episodes of NoStrings have addressed the discrimination gay men and lesbian women face in Nigeria. “Mike Daemon” claims the podcast’s purpose is to educate people about homosexuality and life as a homosexual person in Nigeria.
NoStringsNG produces a show every week. The podcast has featured interviews with gay and lesbian Nigerians living within the country, and in the diaspora. Both the hosts and guests regularly voice their support for the LGBTIQ community, an opinion that is not widely held within Nigeria.
One recent interview featured John Adewoye, an openly gay Nigerian and ex-Priest, who currently lives in Chicago. During his interview Mr. Adewoye described his personal struggle with his sexuality as a young man. He was so deeply troubled by his sexuality, that he travelled to the US to be “cured” of his homosexuality. Eventually, Mr. Adewoye was able to come to terms with his sexuality, and move on with his life.
NoStringsNG hosted two Nigerian filmmakers, Elizabeth Obisanya and Adaora Nwandu, both of whom described their lives as lesbian Nigerian women. Mrs. Obisanya, who runs an LGBTIQ Christian ministry in the UK, discussed her film “Magdad’s Lesbian Lover” and pointed out that her sexuality does not affect her Christian faith.
Several episodes have featured anonymous Nigerian callers discussing their homosexuality openly. These Nigerians call in to Nostrings even though dozens of alleged gay men and women have been arrested, harassed, and stigmatized across Nigeria before, and after, the passage of the Anti-Same Sex Marriage Bill.
In an interview with SaharaReporters activtist Michael Ighodaro stated, “these stories, told by gay Nigerians, are extremely important because they are stories about gay life in Nigeria told by gay Nigerians. Typically when gay life is covered by the media or others, gay Nigerians are portrayed terribly.”
NoSringsNG has clearly gained an audience based upon the download number of the podcast. In addition, the show has garnered a following on the Social Media platforms Twitter and Facebook. According to Mr. Ighodaro, all of these trends are positive for the LGBTIQ community, “this podcast [Nostrings] is a positive first step the journey towards acceptance of gay life in Nigeria. Hopefully we will see more podcasts, and perhaps even TV-shows and films which feature a positive depiction of gay Nigerians.”
The official website of NoStringsNG informs its readers that the podcast is designed to educate Nigerian society about the LGBTIQ community, and in so doing prove that the LGBTIQ community is not a threat to anyone.