Africa

Nigerian actor Uche Maduagwu arrested after bravely coming out as gay: ‘I will forever remain gay’

Danai Nesta Kupemba July 9, 2022
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Uche Maduagwu has come out as gay. (Credit: Instagram/Uche Maduagwu)

Popular Nigerian social media personality Uche Maduagwu, who previously denied he was gay, has bravely come out in a candid post on Instagram.

Maduagwu was riled to come out in response to three men who were sentenced to death by stoning for being gay in the Nigerian state Bauchi, including a man who was 70-years-old.

The Instagram post shared on 4 July was accompanied by a photo of Maduagwu and words that said: “I was born gay. I am still gay. I will forever remain gay. The government cannot tell us how to live our lives in Nigeria.

“What is happening in the North especially Bauchi is so unfair and wrong. No single pastor speak out against Sharia erroneous undemocratic laws, why?”

In the since-deleted post, Maduagwu had penned a passionate open letter imploring president Joe Biden to place sanctions on Nigeria for their flagrant disregard of human rights.

He wrote: “Dear President Joe Biden, we need the US government to sanction President Buhari and his top advisers over ignoring the Fundamental Human rights of #LGBT in Nigeria, just few days ago, a Sharia court sentence #Gay men to be STONED, is this our country a Democracy or #Banana Republic?>

“Yet, our President and his CORRUPT ministers kept quiet, he keeps traveling to different developed countries like KUNU Mosquito, yet he never borrow wisdom from these countries RESPECT for Human Right.

“The same set of people who gives judgement for Gay people to be STONED are the same that takes laws into their hands all in the name of Christian blasphemy on Mohammed, when will this madness stop?”

In another since-deleted Instagram post, Uche Maduagwu claimed he was arrested “by security personnel because I came out as gay”.

The since deleted post from Uche Maduagwu.

 

This post was surprising to fans as Maduagwu had ‘jokingly’ come out in 2021 and said he was “proudly gay“ – but then revealed that he had lied in order to support the community.

Maduagwu had then stressed that he is “not gay” but wanted to use his “celebrity status [to fight] for this beautiful community”.

In the fallout, movie studios severed ties with him and his girlfriend left him. He also lost acting gigs and endorsement deals as a result.

At the time he said: “[Oh, my God], even my girlfriend left me despite knowing I was fighting for LGBT right in Naija but I no regret using my celebrity status to fighting for this beautiful community.”

Nigeria continues to be a notoriously homophobic and dangerous country for many members of the LGBTQ+ community with people facing severe punishment and sentencing just for loving who they love.

Homosexuality is illegal in all of Nigeria regardless and life is difficult for many of the brave people who come out. People who are charged with homosexuality can face up to 14 years in prison and execution.

LGBTQ+ nightclub operators or even organisations can also face up to decade for advocating for the queer community.

More: Nigeria

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