The Alphabet Mafia is a series dedicated to the queers of Africa. The series intends to show that the lives of queer people are just as textured as everyone else’s. Or just as basic.
Can you tell me about your last relationship?
I was too young and inexperienced. I gave my all to the person but he didn’t even show me the slightest sign of love. I wasn’t thinking. The person knew I was naive and took advantage too. But I woke up; I read and I made friends and I found out I was with the wrong person.
What do you wish you knew before that relationship that you know now?
Love isn’t just the words, ‘I love you’. Most times, you don’t even have to say it. You just feel it. And also to always stay protected.
How deep in the closet are you?
I think I just opened the door and I’m halfway out.
If you could change one thing about your life as a queer person, what would it be?
My temper. I get angry easily when it comes to my sexuality because I get nightmares. I have had trauma that makes me think I might never be happy with my sexuality.
I am sorry about that. Have you ever experienced homophobia?
Plenty times. I used to be very effeminate. I thought secondary school was tough until I got to University. I tore myself to bits trying to appear manly. I didn’t really change, I just learnt how to hide my effeminate side perfectly. In my mind, I still gesticulate and stuff.
Can you tell me about a particular experience?
OK, so I was in SS1 or SS2 during the era of 2go. I liked one of my classmates. I opened a female account, got his username and added him to my 2go list. I was always texting him. One day, I slipped and he found out it was me. He told everyone at school. After school, one day, these boys waited for me and beat me up. I couldn’t tell anyone at home or in school how I got the bruises so I lied that I was robbed. For days, they would collect my money after school and toss me around while laughing. I started hiding my money better and got used to the bullying. They eventually got tired.
I am so sorry about the abuse. Did that change anything about you?
Yeah. I grew tougher. I worked out. I used to have muscles before but it’s thicker now. After dealing with enough homophobic rubbish, I took a break. Let a fool try me.
Energy! Here for it! Anything you want to tell baby gays?
Keep them homophobes whining. Let them cry. Tears and wailing are only giving us more visibility. We weren’t this loud last year. Let’s be louder this year and the year after that.
One misconception about the queer community you would like to debunk?
Promiscuity. For someone that had to man up, I had to be with a lot of straight people to learn. One thing I learnt about them is that sex is their ultimate goal. You are a champion if you can talk about how you’ve had sex with a million girls. But somehow, the promiscuous person is the queer person who has only just discovered himself and is overwhelmed by how he is comfortable with sex, even though he lived his life never getting tutored about queer sex.