Award winning broadcaster, journalist, TV talk show host Funmi Iyanda has finally opened up about how Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) shut down her live shows after she interviewed openly gay Nigerian man, Bisi Alimi, on her popular breakfast show, New Dawn, in 2004.
See her tweets below:
According to Funmi, after her interview with Bisi on national TV, their lives changed forever as her show was cancelled and he couldn't return to UNILAG where he was a student at the time. He had to go into hiding and eventually relocated abroad.
When asked recently why as a straight celebrity, she supports Bisi Alimi and LGBT rights, she said:
"My sense of justice, fairness and rationality supersede any latent sense of social propriety. Gay rights, civil rights, religious rights, gender rights, child rights are human rights. Justice, equity and fairness are my idea of morality.
"Nigeria of today seems completely homophobic, xenophobic and religiously polarized as though that is the way we always were.
"I was a little girl who grew up in the same neighbourhood as gay Miss John, Muslim cleric Alhaji Abara, disabled Nureni, Mulika in her headscarves and pious Catholic Igbo Mama Uche.
"I saw differences in ethnicity; religion, gender, class and sexuality but these differences did not carry judgement. We lived together mostly harmoniously; any lack of harmony was on account of individual bad behaviour not genetic differences or lifestyle choices. I miss that Nigeria. I guess in a way l still live in that Nigeria in my head.
"And that was why in 2004 I risked my career to put Bisi on my sofa and conduct Nigeria’s first interview of an openly gay man on national television. Bisi and I did pay a hefty price for that action, he more than myself.
"Was it worth it? I’m afraid l have never had the luxury of absolute self-congratulations or flagellation. What I do know is, at that moment, it felt right. And every moment since then, it has felt right. I do what feels right by a conscience conditioned by my justice-minded, meddling mother, a childhood experiencing the beauty of diversity and a belief in our common humanity," she said.