Uche Maduagwu. (Instagram/@uchemaduagwu)
Uche Maduagwu, a celebrated fixture of Nollywood and famous social media rouble-rouser, has come out as “proudly gay”.
The Nigerian actor, known for taking swipes at politicians and celebrities with his trouble-making Instagram account, came out as gay on Thursday (28 January).
In a series of Instagram posts, Maduagwu implored followers to live their truths while calling on US president Joe Biden to challenge Nigeria’s “inhuman laws against law-abiding homosexuals”.
In Nigeria, queer locals spar with the looming threat of 14 years imprisonment and the death penalty, with human rights charity bosses that say homosexuality “is an inch higher” than incest and with police units that brutally molested and tortured them.
The country is, after all, among the most dangerous countries in the world for LGBT+ people.
Uche Maduagwu: ‘You are who you are’
Sharing a photograph of himself with text that says “proudly gay”, Maduagwu told his nearly 90,000 followers: “Appreciate others and share only love.
“We need to respect peoples choices not to judge them.”
While in a video, he said: “Don’t let anybody intimidate you. Come out, show your identity.
“You are who you are, boy – you are who are you.
“Don’t let anybody intimidate you,” he emphasised again, saying that he is gay and “proud”.
Maduagwu’s defiant and unapologetic declaration of who he is comes only a week after Bolu Okupe, the son of a former top Nigerian presidential aide, also came out as gay.
But the 27-year-old’s father, Doyin, the former special assistant on media and publicity to ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo who dubbed being gay “un-biblical and un-African”, was unimpressed.
Bolu also suffered stinging criticism from social media users as well as from his own family, with one Instagram user saying that if he were in Kenya he would “be a corpse”.
“Your whole mentality is tragic,” Boyo blasted back. “I feel sorry for you.
“Your religion has turned you into a psychotic imbecile that you think it’s OK to kill people?”