Dear Bisi Alimi, When You Fight For Equality, You Fight For Everyone

Dear Bisi Alimi, When You Fight For Equality, You Fight For Everyone

My WhatsApp settings is such that whenever photos are shared on the app, they automatically upload into my Media Gallery. And so, that was how I was scrolling through the new photos I’d acquired at the end of my day when a screenshot of a particularly tasteless Facebook post made by esteemed LGBT rights activist, Bisi Alimi, hit me in the face.

It said: “There is an idea floating around that I owe the Nigeria LGBT community something. I don’t know what you all think but I need to make it very clear: “my activism is personal.” I am not doing what I am doing for you. I am doing it for me. if you benefit from it, then good luck to you. I owe you nothing!”

The viciousness of this post startled me so much that my instinctive reaction was to doubt its authenticity. I traced it to the WhatsApp group where it was shared, to find the thread where the group members had talked about it, most of them basically expressing their incredulity at Bisi Alimi’s words.

Still I doubted. Perhaps the words had been photoshopped. Surely Bisi Alimi couldn’t have said these things. And so, I went to Facebook, sought out his profile. And behold, there it was: the words written by a man who claims to fight for LGBT equality.

There are so many things wrong with this update that many on Bisi Alimi’s comments section were hailing as the wisest words ever written since the inception of the Word of God.

And to walk through them, I’m going to direct my attention to you, Bisi Alimi.

First of all, Bisi Alimi, activism is not personal. I looked up the word, and it was defined as an “effort to promote, impede, direct or intervene in social, political, economic or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society.”

Society.

Did you see that, Bisi Alimi? Changes in Society. Not changes in your private life. Not changes in your bedroom. Not changes when you go to the bathroom to observe your toilette.

Changes in society! Activism is not personal; placing those two words together makes that sentence a misnomer. Activism is not a spiritual journey you are taking with your god. It is not your personal belief system. Activism is community. Activism is a people pushing to move from one point of injustice to another point of betterment. Activism requires numbers for it to be activism.

Activism is a fight to establish equality. But when you say your “activism is personal”, Bisi Alimi, what sort of equality is that that you hope to achieve? In all the histories of people who lent their voices to effect social change, is there anyone you heard of who limited his/her outcry to the advancement of his private life? In all the movements that sought to right the inequalities plaguing marginalized groups, from Blacks to Women to LGBT communities, did you ever learn of any voice involved who simply wanted to create change for just himself, hoping that the benefits will reach the others? How can you even say you do what you do for you – and call that activism? How can you think you are fighting for yourself – and believe you are fighting for anything?!

Because if that’s the case, then you are not fighting for anything, Bisi Alimi. The day you started fancying your voice to be about you and you alone is the day you became as problematic as the down-low senator who voted yes to the signage of the SSMPA bill into existence. That is the day you became as toxic as the pastor who spent Saturday night with his nubile male lover, only to emerge on Sunday morning to preach the gospel about how homosexuality is a sin. That is the day you put on the same uniform as the corrupt policeman who will capture “gay suspects” and pick one out that he intends to fuck later on at the back of the station.

Because you and these people began to share something in common: the self-intentioned purpose to be who you are, and not turn the power that comes with your identity into something that primarily benefits others like you.

This of course brings me to the second flaw in your update: your hypocrisy.

From the indignant tone of your Facebook update, it would appear that you were attempting to clarify the rest of us lowly Nigerian LGBT people that you have never represented us; that all along, all this time, we’d been slaving under the disillusionment that you had our best interests at heart. But really you don’t, you are now telling us. You never have. You owe us nothing. All we can hope to get from what you do are the remnants of your very personal activism.

And yet, when the writer Chibuihe Obi was kidnapped on the heels of well-publicized online homophobic agenda targeted at him, yours was the most stringent scream reverberating all over twitter, demanding for justice (while those of us truly invested in Chibuihe Obi’s welfare quietly worked behind the scenes to secure his release. But that’s not an issue for today.)

But you owed Chibuihe Obi nothing. So why did you vent on his behalf?

When Grindr increasingly turned into a hunting ground for unscrupulous Nigerians looking to entrap and victimize gay men, you took to the social media to preach your indignation at Grindr powers-that-be, and to let anyone who was paying attention know that you were being besieged by hapless gay Nigerians who were being victimized and had nowhere else to turn to. (Of course, it was TIERs who worked in conjunction with Grindr to put out security alerts about locations gay men in Nigeria should not visit for hookups. But again, not an issue for today.)

But you owed all of us Grindr-hopping gay men nothing. So why did you unleash an outcry on our behalf? It is not like you use Grindr in Nigeria, so it couldn’t possibly be your safety that you were worried about.

Every time we have been plagued with the nefarious targeting of the Nigerian Police, illegal arrests served to our community like it’s a fashion statement, you have always spoken out in condemnation of this peculiar brand of police harassment.

If your activism is personal, Bisi Alimi, why do you bother weighing in? Why do you speak for us at all? When you have elected yourself a spokesperson for the LGBT community in Nigeria, is it any wonder that the community has come to place certain expectations on you? Is it?

And speaking of those expectations… You validated your position as someone the LGBT community in Nigeria should reckon with when you opened your doors to the Bisi Alimi Foundation. Now, I am not familiar with what you do there, but word on the street is that you do essentially what other establishments like TIERs, ICARH, Queer Alliance, the Equality Hub etc. do – which is to represent the fight for the Nigerian LGBT to attain equality.

Now this is where my confusion deepens. Is the Bisi Alimi Foundation engineered to fight for the rights of Bisi Alimi? Or for the rights of the LGBT community? Are all those monies I suppose fund your organisation from western grants sent to better your life? Or the lives of the LGBT community? When your organisation advertised openings for lawyers with the big-picture intention of eventually challenging the SSMPA, was it your intention to instruct the judiciary to repeal the section of the law that says: “A marriage contract or civil union entered into between Bisi Alimi and someone of the same sex is prohibited in Nigeria…”?

Is that it?

And if the Bisi Alimi Foundation is about you, do your donors know? Because I’d be hard-pressed to believe that anyone in the West would donate to the cause of a gay man who is married in the West and is safe from homophobic harm – at least not in any appreciable quantity.

But if the Bisi Alimi Foundation is about the Nigerian LGBT, how dare you let your medulla oblongata guide words through your keypad to the internet that admonishes the community for expecting anything from you? How dare you use the plight of the average LGBT Nigerians, Nigerians like Seun – who in your own words, you disparaged as someone who is not “anywhere close to the ground I walk on, if not for social media and a cheap mobile phone” – to set yourself up, cool as you please, only to turn around and tell us that your “activism is personal” and that if we benefit from it, then that’s our good luck?

Just how dare you?!

Let me tell you something, Bisi Alimi. I may not have come out so spectacularly on national television, a piece of history that you’ll forever like to use to make us believe that you’re the bravest Nigerian gay man. I may not be the face the international community has come to associate with the Nigerian LGBT movement.

But I have compassion. It is the compassion I recognize in all the people I see around me who do what they can selflessly, big or small, to make the life of the next LGBT person safer in this country. It is the compassion that does not seek any self-aggrandizement. It is the compassion that doesn’t waste time pontificating, when it can just quietly do.

It is that kind of compassion that recognizes that when people are starting to take it for granted, are starting to demand too much, interfere too much, reach beyond what it can offer, it would not pick up the phone to type the most callous and insensitive rebuke to the people. Instead, it would understand the desperation that made those people overstep and kindly tell them to back off.

The ability to be this discerning, Bisi Alimi, is what differentiates an activist from an asshole.

Written by Pink Panther

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51 Comments

  1. Mandy
    September 11, 06:58 Reply

    Jeezuz! 😂😂😂 PP went in HARD!!! Then you went there, and then went everywhere. Damn. 😂😂👏👏👏👏 Let me applaud this signed, sealed and delivered enmity with our honorable LGBT activist.

  2. Babyfwesh
    September 11, 07:29 Reply

    I think this Bisi guy is just ignorant. That’s it

  3. Keredim
    September 11, 07:30 Reply

    There is really nothing more to add.
    🚶🏾‍♂️🚶🏾‍♂️🚶🏾‍♂️

  4. Drew
    September 11, 07:45 Reply

    Pink Panther, please teach me how to write…

  5. Bryann
    September 11, 08:56 Reply

    Q.E.D………..He has become silly of late. This is my personal diagnosis though. I said it for me, not for the community.

  6. Kambilinudo
    September 11, 09:08 Reply

    I think that finally, people are beginning to see Bisi for who he is : Egocentric, selfish, ignorant, and a chameleonic clown.

    He needs Jesus in his life. EOD!

  7. Lizzy
    September 11, 09:24 Reply

    Ah thank you ooo. A man can be gay but still be an asshole and that is the case for Bisi Alimi. I have never ever believed in Bisi Alimi activism because it’s more of a claim to fame for him. Ge just want fame, he’s desperately want to be a hero but don’t want to stay to do work of hero. I hope those people around him lying to him can tell him the truth instead of being a YES man to all that he does because dude doesn’t care about anyone but himself

  8. Deadly Darius
    September 11, 09:40 Reply

    I mean, I saw the comments yesterday and was disheartened. A Facebook friend of mine asked honest questions about the post….he was not rude or uncouth. This friend is not from the richest of homes, he was outed to his parents, is bullied and harassed by family and people because he is effeminate.

    In short, he’s a poster boy of the people Mr Alimi claims to be fighting for.

    And the response was crude and vile. To demean and mock and insult and engage in personal attacks. Power truly corrupts.

    At this point I want to take him at his word….yes ‘personal activism’ is a misnomer but let it be the way forward. He feels its about him? Fine. Let him stop using the plight of downtrodden Nigerians to live large and boost his ego and lifestyle. Let him stop misleading donors by claiming on his website things that are not true – his response to the SSAMPA law repealing effort I and a friend asked on KD months ago is still unanswered. Let it be about his story; just his story (and maybe that of his husband). Let him stop using what we here pass through to score points and pounds via social media. Then and ONLY then, can he say that his activism is for himself and himself alone.

    Fin.

    • Lizzy
      September 11, 10:23 Reply

      You said it all. How can you claim you working to repeal SSMPA law and yet say it’s for you. Let it just be known he is not even working on any law repeal. He lies a lot, just want fame and want to be a hero for work not done. Bisi uses the struggle of us local to gain fame, he will be the first to shout but do nothing and there are many examples as PP mentioned above. He make noise using us to stay in the news. He want to be famous and it okay but stay off our struggle. Bisi Alimi Foundation is a joke and no work there. He collects fund from donor in Nigeria and then return to London to enjoy himself. Bisi has never been what he presented to be, he has an asshole using LGBT to gain fame and because he is one of us shouldn’t keep us mute. Some gay men are asshole too and bisi is one of those.

  9. Colossus
    September 11, 09:51 Reply

    There really is nothing more to add. This was properly articulated. 👏👏👏👏

  10. Seun
    September 11, 10:56 Reply

    Thank you for helping me call him out broader. Thank you!

    • Pink Panther
      September 11, 13:44 Reply

      No, thank you for speaking up on a post where most everyone else were being sycophants.

      • Francis
        September 11, 14:15 Reply

        Those comments had me wondering if they were just ass kissing, blind to the ugly implications of his writeup or if na inside joke things (asin they get what he’s implying but he delivered it in an awful manner). I’m still waiting for some of him foundation members to react to the post in one way or the other.

        • Keredim
          September 11, 16:12 Reply

          “I’m still waiting for some of him foundation members to react to the post in one way or the other.”

          Odiegwu… You wan put sand sand for dia garri and block the small light at the end of the abroad tunnel?

          They are just as self serving. 😏

          • Francis
            September 11, 20:11 Reply

            You’re just a mess 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  11. Houston Scholar
    September 11, 12:52 Reply

    This article is deep. I can’t help but give a standing ovation to Pink Panther. I can only hope that Bisi Alimi would take this article as a constructive feedback from another hero of the community, Pink Panther. I have personally benefited from this platform than the “activism” I often hear about in this community.

  12. Francis
    September 11, 12:52 Reply

    It’s just quite unfortunate he just doesn’t get it

  13. Not Bisi's Lawyer But
    September 11, 13:08 Reply

    See ehn, there’s nuance in what Bisi said about personal activism. I know we live in a post nuance, post truth age. But if you’re ready to think beyond the oppressed herd we tend to be, where everyone is called cattle but some are oxen, others are even warthog…and yet one cow has to go to the slaughter for them all, you might admit we are not even a herd yet…one day we will get our Cow Jesus who will die for us all. It might not be Bisi. But Bisi’s place in the herd should not be discountanced because he said he’s not Jesus. He may be John the Baptist. Or Anna, Simeon…even an Old Testament Cow. And those are in the salvation story too 🤷🏽‍♂️

    • DeadlyDarius
      September 11, 13:35 Reply

      Nobody is dragging for him to be Jesus. He’s an educated adult who can speak and type English….let’s stop trying to make excuses for what he said and his subsequent digging in.

      Like I said, since his activism is for himself he should stop using the travails of the Nigerian LGBT he’s peeing all over to make waves.

    • Pink Panther
      September 11, 13:44 Reply

      I don’t understand this biblical analogy you are attaching to this. This has never been about Bisi Alimi being Jesus or not. Personally, I have never taken him to be the be-all of Nigerian LGBT activism. To me, he’s another face in the crowd fighting to secure our equality — that is, until he decided to post a straightforward post denouncing any perception anyone may have had of him doing anything selflessly. There was no nuance. He made a categorical statement. Let’s stop excusing him.

  14. Nonso chuckwu
    September 11, 13:30 Reply

    I never really believed in his activism. It was always for the spotlight and it was very obvious, we were just too desperate to have someone speak for us that we didn’t notice it.
    Karma would hit him, very hard this time.

  15. Jo
    September 11, 14:07 Reply

    Isn’t this just so sad? So niggur had his personal agenda long time ago?

  16. trystham
    September 11, 14:30 Reply

    I would disagree with you on this one. When Rosa Parks refused to stand up for any white idiot on the bus, I sure as hell know she wasn’t thinking to be an activist. She wanted to rest her tired, old bones. It WAS personal. The end result might be activism, but the initial IS personal. He wasn’t being an activist when he went on New Dawn to share his private life’s affairs and status. His actions might serve to push forward the gay rights agenda and its visibility, but in the end they are his choice to decide to act. Perhaps he should remove the label of ‘activist’ from his numerous titles, unfortunately there isn’t anything he’s gonna do/not do that is not going to be tagged to the LGBT cause. I really believe this your umbrage is sorely misdirected.

    • Francis
      September 11, 17:26 Reply

      Guy abeg like PP talk, if he’s fighting for his own agenda why is he using the plights of gay men in Nigeria to push it? It just doesn’t make sense. It is not hard to see why anyone would say he’s making money off the backs of Nigerian gay men because of this statement.

    • AnonLIB
      September 12, 00:33 Reply

      It makes absolutely sense.

      He felt humiliated by his treatment and experiences of homophobia, and he was determined to prove himself, by all means possible, regardless whomever he stepped on along the way.

      Bisi perhaps suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder, and I’ve particularly observed and commented on LIB on his need and ability to turn any issue involving any LGBT individual or topic, into an opportunity to draw attention onto himself.

      Unfortunately, whatever contribution he made, including uploading inappropriate photographs or “dragging” up, just by the mere fact that he was involved, people would get triggered. So I consistently had to attempt to do damage control, by dissociating his erratic behavior, from being used to negatively generalise LGBT people.

      Bisi is uneducated, unappealing and very self unaware/ self-centred, which makes him an easy candidate to use to negatively hinder, any form of progress. It is be a challenge to normalise and deweaponize him, and pushing to get images of him “sanitised” on LIB, and him eventually being given a platform to speak in an interview, with his husband, which I refuse to listen to, might have helped placate him, to this particular juncture, where 1) He feels he’s arrived, 2) He feels he doesn’t need the Nigerian LGBT community anymore….

      He wanted his foundation, his name praised and he wanted recognition, and that’s all well and good, but no one should be surprised. Let him go, he’s played his part. We can only wish him well.

    • Lizzy
      September 12, 13:04 Reply

      Next time do some reading more about Rosa Park. If you don’t know, you don’t know.

      • trystham
        September 12, 23:04 Reply

        And I imagine you want to school me on Rosa Parks?😕

        • Lizzy
          September 13, 07:49 Reply

          I don’t need to because you have Internet, please use it and stop following the mind of someone who think everyone is below him. A perfect example of the oppressed becoming an oppressor.

    • Kayla
      September 14, 08:27 Reply

      Actually Rosa didn’t just sit because she was tired lol. That is just the myth we were taught.

      Her move was very calculated in fact it was an activism strategy she had planned in advance with other civil rights leaders who selected her to do this because she was considered more respectable as she was married and so could be the face of this cause.

      And she wasn’t the first to do this either. Google Elizabeth Jennings graham, who did the same much earlier but the civil rights leaders chose not to use her beside she was a single mom and back then there wasI chore discrimination against single moms. So you see trystam, activism had always been strategy and taking steps to better all of us not just personal.

  17. OMG! It's JIK
    September 11, 15:42 Reply

    Oh my goodness, PP just nailed it🙈 I hope this gets to him and he takes it in good faith🤣

    He needs to work on himself…..

  18. Delle
    September 11, 17:52 Reply

    This is what happens when a TB is given undue attention and in extension, power.

    Bisi needs to be schooled. Proper education on the fundamental tenets of activism. I’m pretty sure a lot that was written in this post would not be understood by him. He needs to be taught that being the first gay man to come out in a country doesn’t automatically make you an activist (that’s just crass).

    He should take several seats and let people with actual brains, people with defined directions and above all, those that understand what activism truly means take the mantle.

    He does not deserve to be heard anymore. Enough already! After I read his rebuttals on the comments on that post, it’s so sad that we associate him with anything LGBT.

    Let’s know where our problems are emanating from biko.

  19. Black Coffee
    September 11, 19:59 Reply

    Don’t I just love you already PP. The last two paragraphs are deep.

    I pray I get the courage to share my stories on this platform. Seriously KD it is for me.

    Sorry momma I’m addicted!!!

    • Pink Panther
      September 12, 02:31 Reply

      LMAO. Your addiction is very welcome. Now start emailing us your stories.

  20. Lizzy
    September 11, 21:50 Reply

    I got off the phone with a friends and am even more vexed because this bisi guy is a fool who ride on LGBT Nigeria to gain fame. He has been using this community for years and we gave him too much power to be some hero. If your activism is personal, can you explain the below?

    The funding you got from Australian embassy $60,000
    The funding you got from Canada Embassy $40,000
    The funding you got from other embassies and people in Nigeria and outside Nigeria, is that what you use for yourself? You open a foundation to pay your bill because you have been jobless for years?

    From my information gathering, Bisi has not even worked in years in London, so what does he really do beyond being a gay man. He makes money of being a spokesman for the community and he comes out to say this rubbish? Enough of this rubbish, and someone using us all to gain money and fame when they don’t even stay here or know what we go through. What is rather sad is that most people are sycophants and they are unable to tell Bisi that he is trash and useless. He creates more trouble for the community than solve. He granted an interview with same Linda he once called evil, Bisi will do anything for fame. NO, don’t believe that lie he told you people about new breaking and people finding out he was in town, Bisi does everything and anything to be in the news. FUCK YOU BISI

  21. Higwe
    September 12, 00:44 Reply

    Always knew he was a fraud when he shot a porn video involving under aged kids.
    Thank you Pinky for this article.
    Activism can never be personal, don’t use the plight of many to fuel your personal agenda rather draw inferences from your personal interactions ,so we will know you’re solely fighting for yourself.

  22. KingBey
    September 12, 05:27 Reply

    He’s always been a selfish dick. Nothing new here. Him and that other one that owns a church.

  23. Gaia
    September 12, 12:23 Reply

    I feel so weak right now about Bisi’s post. Such an heartbreak and betrayal of the love and respect I have for him.

    God Bless you PP for this article. You’ve spoken our minds.

    Now that it is clear that Bisi Alimi has been using our struggles in Nigeria to extort his donors, is there anything we can do to stop him? I’m worried.

  24. Mark
    September 12, 13:19 Reply

    When Bisi Alimi graced the screen of New Dawn on October 8, 2004 (I personally watched that edition) and began answering several questions on a topic that many never dared to talk about in Nigeria, he never said anything like “my activism is personal.” I wasn’t in the “circle” at the time, so I knew full well that Bisi is the face of Nigerian gays. What a long journey since then.

    Over the years, he has gained respectability, fame and access to elite social circles – and yes, he laughs to the bank – because of his story (which seem to keep getting more sensational each year). Without minimising his horrible experiences, I would say, Bisi has metamorphosed into a typical bad-mannered African. He climbed the ladder to the top using the Nigerian LGBT and when he reached there, he burnt the ladder and threw its ashes on the heads of those who held up the ladder.

    Sometime this year, a follower of his called him out for using the LGBT cause to get a green card, after all, he (allegedly) had a son with a woman. Again, I must ask, why do most Nigerians with strong ties to the West have a string of flyblown sycophants following them on social media, even when they are empty figures?

    Bisi is voyeur, plain and simple. The act of situating yourself in the victim place to momentarily experience their pain and separating yourself from the encounter, back to the life of privileges you enjoy, is voyeurism.

  25. […] thriving online Nigerian LGBT media platform KitoDiaries condemned Alimi’s comments, and reminded him of his place and allegiance to the Nigerian LGBT community from whose struggles […]

  26. Mafiaso
    September 17, 05:13 Reply

    Thank God Bisi has declared his stand, we now know he is not a friend to the Nigeria LGBT ,rather a fiend . I have always believed that whatever will be ,will be ,with Bisi Alimi or not. Pinky Panther thanks for your good works, your reward is definitely starting here on earth and will extend to heaven. I have had cause to refer a lot of people to kitodiaries .Remain blessed .

  27. Sleek Creamy
    September 17, 15:19 Reply

    Congratulations to you PP 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏😘😘😘😘😘😘😘,

    For the records PP you are our new Bisi Alimi,
    At some points i was hardly thinking that that bad bitch asshole was always speaking for us right from 2003,i never knew that the bitch is just on the same level with buhari,

    Bisi Alimi foundation all in the name of getting free money from Global fund and other donors……

    Bisi Alimi or bad bitch asshole, whatever u call yourself, u are in same classification as our nigeria police officer, always out to lynch their fellow citizens…

    Bisi alimi i hated u right from the day i set my beautiful eyes on u back then in unilag, thank God i never had the course to use glasses when i sight my eyes on u…
    PP 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘

  28. Yazz Soltana
    September 17, 20:00 Reply

    Well Bisi Alimi fell into the trap of someone here playing victim…
    He said what he said out of anger at some comments on Twitter…
    But he was wrong…tho
    Some Nigerians can be really annoying and entitled…
    Anyways some people criticizing him now are doing it because of an inmate jealousy and bitchiness not because of
    They care for what is right….

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