Current Affairs

Bisexual woman labelled a ‘curse’ by family in Nigeria granted asylum in the UK

Meka Beresford February 28, 2018
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(Photo by Kelechi Chioba/Facebook)

A Nigerian bisexual activist has been granted asylum in the UK after her first application was denied.

Kelechi Chioba, 37, first came to the UK in 2011 for university.

However, she no longer wanted to return to Nigeria as her family in the country called her a “curse” and would beat her regularly.

She first sought out asylum based on the abuse she was subjected to because she uses a wheelchair for her polio.

However, the Home Office denied the application, arguing that there was nothing “sufficiently serious” in her circumstances that “could possibly outweigh the need for immigration controls to be enforced”.

Chioba has since successfully applied for asylum a second time, listing the dangers she faced as a bisexual woman in the country.

Kelechi Chioba in the middle (Photo by Kelechi Chioba/Facebook)

Related: It took the Home Office 13 months to answer these questions about gay asylum seekers

When she lived in Nigeria, she did not openly discuss her sexuality.

However, she now works as an LGBTQ activist.

Talking to Indy100, she explained that she was grateful to be able to get away from the “fear of being killed”.

At home, her parents used to tell her that she “shouldn’t be born” that she was a “curse”, a “cross” and “useless”.

They also said that she would “never amount to anything” and that she would “only be a sex object to men”.

“I can finally say all the abuse is in my past and with no fear of going back to it.

“Finally, I feel I’m 100 percent safe to continue my activism as a bisexual and inspiring more black people in accepting who they are,” she said.

Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd leaves 10 Downing Street after a pre-budget meeting of the cabinet in London, on November 22, 2017. Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will present the government's annual Autumn budget to Parliament later on November 22. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd (Getty)

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The Nigerian activist added that there were “no services or support for disabled people” in her country and it was a game of “survival of the fittest”.

“Disability is considered a taboo in Nigeria. So as a disabled person in Nigeria you face issues like: inaccessibility, lack of benefits system put in place to assist them.

“Discrimination and inequality they experience in every aspect of their lives. Most of them are tortured to death by their family.

“No implemented laws put in place to secure them.

“Most of them can’t afford to get educated because people around and family consider it as a waste of money. Most of them are sexually abused and used for rituals,” she added.

More: activist, Africa, asylum, bisexual, LGBT, Nigeria, Nigeria

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