They have raised £12927 (which is amazing).They need that to be £35,000 in the next few hours to meet their Kickstarter fundraising deadline. Donate here.
Last night I had the absolute privilege of meeting Bisi Alimi, Nigerian gay rights activist, actor and all round brave and wonderful man. We were at a fundraising event in Hackney for the film, ‘The Boy from Mushin’ by Joe Cohen, which hopes to share Bisi’s story and through it the story of the struggle for freedom for LGBT people in Nigeria. It was a night of music, solidarity and fundraising, we watched the trailer for the film and got to hear from Bisi himself about why the story of gay rights in Nigeria – and, as he said, throughout Africa – desperately needs to be told.
Bisi spoke about his life, growing up in poverty in Nigeria. As children he and his friends would look at the adult world around them and wonder, half-jokingly, which of the two possible fate’s awaited them – drug takers or drug dealers. Yet Bisi’s dream was always to be an actor (he never considered himself to be political) and in 2004 he was well on his way – a rising star in Nigeria, starting to be recognised in the street, and getting interviews on major Nigerian TV shows. It was on one of those TV shows that Bisi came out, live on air. He changed the course of his life completely, and gave a glimmer of hope to all the silently gay men and women of Nigeria. The TV show was one of the most popular shows in the country and had run for decades. It was cancelled, immediately, and Bisi was told he would never work again. Bisi fled to Britain after it became clear that his life would forever be in danger.
This is from the kickstarter page:
The Boy from Mushin is a feature length documentary, telling the story of Bisi Alimi, a man who put his life on the line when he chose to come out as gay live on Nigerian national television.
In 2004 when the president of Nigeria claimed that there were “no gays in Nigeria”, Funmi Iyanda, interviewed Bisi about his sexuality on her popular television show, New Dawn. The fury that followed tore Bisi’s world apart – alienating him from his family and friends and subjecting him to years of hateful attacks. Funmi’s show was pulled off air, and Bisi’s proud declaration was debated in Parliament.
Bisi’s now engaged to a man he met in Britain. He said he never dreamed he would be allowed to marry a man that he loved, and later this year he will do just that. That is powerful, and wonderful and just so obviously right. Since Bisi came here, as well as continuing the struggle for LGBT rights worldwide, he has become involved with domestic politics. (He slipped into his comments that as he now has his British citizenship he will be allowed to vote to stay IN the EU… with added thumbs up and cheeky smile), and mentioned ‘knocking on doors for Sadiq Khan’. I’m sure we’d disagree a fair bit on our domestic political analysis, but Bisi is a courageous person and a good person and I’m proud that he supports Labour.
Right now, there are just a few hours left before the fundraising deadline. They have raised £12927 (which is amazing) but they need £35,000 or all of that money gets returned to the donors. If you are able to donate, please don’t delay – this is money so well spent. Dig deep. Donate here. Thank you.