Entertainment of Saturday, 10 December 2016
Branding specialist, Kenny Badmus, has come out again. This time, Kenny, who came out as a gay man early last year, is talking about his life experiences since his status became a public affair.
Writing on his Facebook handle, in a post titled “Home: The Travel Journal of a Nigerian Homosexual”, Kenny shared on how his ex-wife of six years believed God would heal him and convert him to a heterosexual man even when she knew his orientation before they got married.
He also shared on how he lost a yearly Federal government contract after his ex-wife told people he was gay.
“Magic Johnson could announce in 1991 that he had contracted HIV, and still return to play in the 1992 All-Star Game but Justin Fashanu, the first black footballer to command a $1.23million transfer fee could not announce he was gay. Being black and gay stinks. Or why do you think so many great black men and women who are gay never come out to say it? Let’s not mention names. You know who I’m referring to.
For me when my shit started to fall, many family members stayed away. (I’ll talk about those who stayed through the shit later) Friends refused to pick my calls. Wifey had told them I was gay. Church stayed away. Jesus had told them ‘touch not the unclean thing.’ The advertising industry in Nigeria, where I had spent a good part of my life raising talents and developing the industry stayed far away. Cricket. Even those I had assisted finding their first jobs in the marketing communication industry. Those who are now brand managers, creative directors, account planners, strategy directors, managing directors and all those sizzling titles. Wifey had told them “Kanny is a homo.” In Nigeria, it doesn’t matter what you have done to assist people. If you don’t post updates such as ‘Come and see what the Lord has done,’ ‘If not for Jesus,’ ‘Father Lord no ni’ on your social media, you are an infidel. So you see all these people, after stealing company’s money, after inflating media and production quotes, after giving so many kickbacks and receiving so many bribes running crony businesses. You see them on social media telling the world how God had brought them from nothing. How they are being elevated by the Almighty. They have a suction device to hide their shit.
As my shit started to fall through the roof, major clients left because they heard from someone who heard from someone, who heard from my ex-wife that I was gay. The ad industry in Nigeria quickly avoided me like a leper. The Lord had told them to stop talking to me. My shit had no hiding place. Remember I have no suction device. It’s falling through the roof. It stinks too. But the Lord is graceful enough to help these people hide their own shit. They dwell in the shadows of the Almighty.
My yearly contract with the federal government (which trained thousands of graduates annually) ended. Speaking with the director of the program earlier, he claimed my wife had been to Abuja to tell them I was a pervert and had no moral standard to teach the youth how to develop their talents. In theory, when I spoke, my saliva emitted millions of gay matter that could infect unsuspecting young adults. In theory, also, I would be bringing the wrath of Jehovah upon a delicate nation already struggling with bad governance. This Jehovah, they claimed, was happy to live with the looters, the child-bride proponents, and the terrorists. The roads to the farms might be bad; the nation might not have electricity, and the cost of food might have skyrocketed, but nay! The sin of Kehinde and other such gay persons in the Republic was the abomination that had robbed Nigeria of its greatness.
I read the papers and online blogs, the chant I heard in the courtroom kept rising: kill the gays. Punish these homosexuals!
In August that year, instead of going back to the court to continue my trial, I flew to the US to begin my graduate degree. I left the only nation I had called home. Behind me was a kaleidoscope of a country with colors of corruption and injustices. Stella Oduah. Lawani. Oil subsidy. Bring back our girls, and all that military ammunition imbroglio. But nay! The sin of Kehinde and other such gay persons in the Republic was the abomination that had robbed Nigeria of its greatness.
I said goodbye to Aduke, my 80-year old mother. She looked me in my brown eyes and said, “home, my son, is wherever you find peace and happiness. Don’t worry about me. Go!”
Now, it’s November 2016. I’m on my way back to Lagos. I heard Aduke has now become a flower sprouting from the earth”.
Why is it compelling for gay people to come out in the first place?