HIS KITO STORY (EDITION 29)

HIS KITO STORY (EDITION 29)

I was born to a conservative Christian home. Right from about 8 years of age, I knew I was attracted to boys, but I thought I was the only one in the world with these “abnormal feelings”. They made me anxious, and as I got older, I did whatever I could to get rid of the feelings. I fasted, took Holy Communion and did everything religious to set myself free of my attraction for boys. And every time after, the sight of a good looking young man would cause all those feelings to resurface. I felt like I was dying in my own world, which didn’t seem so bad, because then, I would get to heaven and ask God why He put this thing in me.

My first encounter of a gay man speaking his truth was when I watched Bisi Alimi on TV advocating for Nigerian LGBT rights. This was in 2014, around the time of the newly signed antigay law, and I was at first shocked by the audacity of Bisi Alimi, and then relieved that I wasn’t the only one in the world who liked men. It was then I began to come to terms with the reality that I was not possessed by evil spirits that just wouldn’t go away, and that homosexuality is not a mental illness.

After much inner struggle between my faith and my sexuality, one day, I simply let it go. I resolved within me that the firebrand, tongues-speaking, evangelistic Brother John is gay. Coming to terms with this gave me inner peace. However, because I was fully aware of the virulent homophobia in Nigeria, I kept my desires for the men that caught my fancy safely locked away inside my heart. I stared and I yearned, but I did nothing about it.

Then one day, during a Google search, I accidentally discovered Grindr. Out of curiosity, I downloaded the app and discovered that it was even customized for the Nigerian gay community. It had a quick chat feature where one could connect and hook up. And then, I cautiously stepped out of my comfort zone and into the world of online interactions. I’d fought my feelings for so long, for so many years, and getting on Grindr provided a reprieve.

And it was one that set me down a path of regret when I became a victim in an ill-fated Ikotun-Ijegun experience.

A certain blank-faced profile chatted me up. The person on the other end seemed very nice. I asked for a video call on WhatsApp, and he gave me his number but said that a video call would not be convenient at the moment, that we should hold off till evening time. He went on to say that if I doubted his authenticity, I should go through his Facebook profile. He gave me a name, and a quick search and glance through the Facebook account revealed a well-to-do-looking man who was dressed well.

‘What do you do for a living?’ I texted him when I moved to WhatsApp.

‘I am a private banker for HSBC,’ he replied. ‘How about you, what do you do?’

‘I work part-time with a small auditing firm and I’m also running my Masters programme,’ I typed back.

‘Really? And just two days back, we had a vacancy for a trainee job,’ he responded. ‘Mind coming to see me tonight and come with your CV?’

Upon seeing that message about a possible employment opportunity, I felt a rise in my hopes. I’d been thinking of how I was going to run my MSc and start a family with Ruth, the woman I was seeing, on my meager salary as a part-time auditor. And here came this fulfiller of dreams who could potentially be an answer to my prayers for financial upliftment. He’d also said he was married to a white woman, and so, I imagined in all my naiveté that we would meet, hit it off, start a relationship, one married man to another potentially married man, and our desires would stay our secret forever.

I explained to him that I couldn’t come that evening to see him, that I had a class at the university. We later agreed to meet in the morning of the following day, Saturday, at his apartment in Ago Palace Way. He said his wife and kids were out of the country and that he was alone.

Just like that, someone I’d just met had promised me a job. He must be really nice, I thought to myself. Throughout that evening he kept on calling to tell me how he loves and misses me, and that he would love to meet with me. We sexted and exchanged nudes, and I found myself feeling an incredibly strong connection. I also forgot to remind him of the video call.

On Saturday morning, he called me. He urged me to start coming at once, that he was missing me. I reminded him that when I come over, he’d have to be gentle with me. I was after all virgin to these things.

He typed directions to his place to me, and I was startled by what I read:

From Igando, enter Ikotun, then take keke going to Sule Banks. When you drop there, call me.

I called him and told him that I thought he stayed at Ago Palace Way. He explained that he had lots of houses all over Lagos, and that the Ago Palace Way house was just one of his properties. That he wanted us to see at the place he owned in Ikotun.

Learning this new information about his affluence hiked my joy even further, and I quickly dashed for my CV and files, dressed up and took the next available bus to Igando. At Igando, I asked a driver where I would get a keke going to Sule Banks. He told me it was Sule Street not Sule Banks, and that it was at Ijegun. I called my Grindr dream man to confirm this new bit of information, and he shocked me when he exploded on the phone, berating me for not following his directions, and then calmed long enough to tell me to just be coming anyway.

I got to Sule Street and called him. He gave me another number and told me the call I would get from the new number would be from his brother, whom he had sent to pick me up. In the background, I could hear the murmur of people’s voices, and somebody saying hastily, “No, no, talk say na driver.”

Upon hearing this, I instantly got this sick feeling inside of me, a feeling like something wasn’t right. Still on the phone, I asked him if everything was OK and he said yes. I started to suspect something. But then, I pushed my suspicions aside when I remembered the images of the man whose pictures I saw on Facebook. He had to be real. (I’d never heard about kito experiences or of Kito Diaries, and so I had no reason to panic.)

After about fifteen minutes, the “brother” showed up on a bike. He looked hungry and emaciated. He noticed me and beckoned to me, saying his brother had sent him to pick me. As I got on the bike, I was upset by the sight of his brother’s unseemly appearance. How could someone whose family holidayed abroad and who owned several properties in Lagos be so neglectful of his own brother? I was cross and had every intention of bringing this up with him when I saw him.

On the way, three things got me puzzled.

First was the way most people we passed along the way cheered at us with chants of “Keep my share oh!”

Secondly was the fact that this “brother” who was seated behind me on the bike seemed to be growing an erection.

And lastly – well that didn’t puzzle me, it stunned me – was the sight of unkempt, vicious-looking fellows who swarmed around us when we dropped at what turned out to be the kito den.

Everything seemed to be happening very fast from the moment I got down from the bike. Slaps and punches welcomed me, and two of the guys were already fighting to take possession of my suit and trousers. My shoes were yanked off my feet in exchange for slippers. They went through my bank email notifications to verify how much I had in my bank account, which wasn’t much, before they stated how much I’d have to give them before I would be released. I was forced to make a call to my father who was at home, asking him to come to a bus stop close to my house with my ATM card and that he was to give the card to the two guys who would call him with my number. Those assigned with the task left and soon returned with my ATM card. I had two bank accounts, and the one whose ATM card they got from my father wasn’t the one where I had my life savings, which was a substantial amount of money. The ATM card they brought was for the account without much in it. And so they forced me to start making calls to my contacts to send me money.

While I was making the calls, my dad called back and asked if I was in trouble. I was with the phone, and swiftly replied in the affirmative, telling him to get help. I paid for that audacity. The guys snatched the phone from me and promptly descended on me with a torrent of beating.

After the beating, one of them put a call through to who I assumed was their gang leader. “Hello, oga! I’m calling from Ikotun branch. Please send reinforcements to us now. There is trouble.”

One of the guys suggested that I be taken to their headquarters. Another objected, saying no, that my father may already have the police on their trail. As this was going on, one of them, the one who was with my phone, was standing apart from us, watching something on my phone. From the erection that was visible through his dirty trousers, I knew he was watching the gay porn in my phone. After a while, he began asking me stupid questions like: “What does it feel like to be fucked? Do you suck dick?” And all this while, he was doing a good job of both acting disgusted and looking interestedly at me.

“Fine boy like you, wetin you dey find for homo? And you no even resemble one sef,” another one interjected.

“He get girlfriend wey he wan marry. And na pastor wey him be,” another one said.

I got a resounding slap at this point. Apparently, one of them had been going through my chats and seen a crusade poster with my picture on it as a ministering pastor.

I was starting to feel a new kind of panic eating away at me at this point. What if they discovered that I was a nominated pastor of a 1000-member branch of one of the most popular evangelical denominations in Nigeria? And they had my nudes! I could just imagine them turning this into blackmail. I just quietly closed my eyes and silently prayed to God to forgive me and please intervene in this situation.

The gang leader finally arrived, and took over my phone. He placed a call to my dad, all the while pointing a gun at me. He told my dad that I was gay, that I was in trouble and that if my family doesn’t send the requested amount of money or if my dad should involve the police, I would be shot dead.

Upon hearing the cold precision of this man’s words, I peed on myself.

Clearly, he communicated the same deadly intent to my father, because it wasn’t long before the money was sent to my account, after which they withdrew it via an ATM. I was stripped off my clothes and given a singlet, a three-quarter shorts, and 500 naira to take me back home. They also warned me that if I tried to trace them, they would post my nudes in my church WhatsApp group.

Feeling desolate and destroyed, I made my way to where I would get a bike to the main junction. The first three bike men I gestured at wouldn’t stop to pick me. It was the fourth who stopped for me. Somehow, he knew my ordeal without me saying anything, and he told me to file a report at the police station around Igando if I really want the perpetrators to be brought to book. He dropped me at my destination and didn’t take a dime from me. He allowed me to use his phone to call my dad. I assured my family that I was fine. From them, I found out that a formal report had already been filed to the police and that they were already on the case. A woman had seen the ones who went to the junction close to my house to fetch my ATM card and had recognised one of them as a face she’d seen at a no-good hangout at a popular bus stop close to my place.

Eventually, I got home. Several minutes later, my girlfriend came home. Clearly, these guys weren’t finished with me. They must have recognised her as someone special to me from our WhatsApp chats and had sent her a WhatsApp message outing me as a gay man, together with my nudes. Realizing the danger of them having access to my line, I quickly called my network provider and had them block my line. I did my best to convince her that I’d been a victim of One Chance and that the naked pictures she got weren’t mine. She believed me.

My immediate family was understanding, surprisingly so. They encouraged me to stick to the story of me being a victim of One Chance, keeping the part about me being gay buried because of the threat it posed to my reputation. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t put through the third degree regarding my sexuality. My father was disappointed and made me swear that I would never do this again. They believed I wasn’t gay, that I’d just been a victim of bad influence.

I tried to get past what happened, and day after day, I gradually recovered.

A month later, after getting a new phone and connecting it to my Google cloud, I got across to Peter (not real name), a friend I made on Grindr. I narrated my ordeal to him. He commiserated, and then he said he suspected something was a-foul when he supposedly got a message from me on Grindr, telling him to come to Ikotun-Ijegun for a hookup. He told me he’d laughed when he got the message, because he already knew what I didn’t know: that that area was blacklisted as a kito area. He then introduced me to Kito Diaries. Upon catching up on the kito alerts, I saw that the WhatsApp number I chatted with that led me to my kito experience was blacklisted on the site against the picture of Emmanuel Gozie Ben, who wasn’t even present at the over-20-man kito setup I suffered that day.

However, I am pleased to say that the guy who was in charge of my setup is currently in SARS Cell 3. This is thanks to the efforts of my family and other former victims of the same scheme. It was through the concerted efforts of a former victim of his and SARS that he was caught.

Written by Brother John

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17 Comments

  1. Dr Sim
    July 03, 06:53 Reply

    SARS, I hope it those though ones I read about. Finally may he reap evil he has shown unto others Amen.

  2. Rehoboth
    July 03, 07:23 Reply

    Pinky said to them, “Go into all Nigeria and preach the gospel (of kitodiaries) to all Nigerian LGBT”

  3. Yazz Soltana
    July 03, 08:15 Reply

    Oo the naivete!!! even sansa isn’t that naive..ooo
    anyways All is well that ends well

  4. Recovery
    July 03, 23:38 Reply

    All I have to say is that u really are naive about these things. Everything u narrated in ur story are kitoed. I’m very sorry for what u passed through.

  5. Yazz Soltana
    July 04, 01:13 Reply

    the gozie sef is a very ugly thing….
    I trust sars to put him thru fire and brimstone. and he isn’t even a proper Yahoo boy so all the chicken change from kitoeing cannot bail him from their hand….

  6. Edna La'Hoe
    July 04, 08:18 Reply

    I hope they butt-rape the fucker in prison sans lube….#good riddance to bad rubbish

  7. Bee
    July 04, 14:20 Reply

    This is a man who pastors over a thousand.

    Brother John,

    Please can you put in your two cents; make subtle efforts to educate the members of your congregation? Can you, at least, urge them to be religiously tolerant? Or do you feel comfortable with the standard of living LGBT Nigerians have been secluded into? Will you simply elude a couple million people who are persistently vulnerable to the victimization you suffered, progressing with your demon-casting ministry and deriving self-justification from your own personal acceptance?

    Now that you have met the ugliness of the Nigerian LGBT scene, please try to make changes within your own space. Try to aid the movement in whatever little way you can. It will make a difference.

    Thanks

  8. Sleek Creamy
    July 06, 21:55 Reply

    Lets not forget that the current situation in nigeria now is that, if those guys give bribe to those SAR officials ,they can actually be set free, cuz i have seen a case where a PURE TB had to bribe a police man to lynch another TB just to extort from the guy. But the thunder wey go dey follow those hungry miscreants for the rest of their lives ,chai e no go get duplicate.

    • Luke
      July 08, 12:33 Reply

      those boys that are starving, that steals shoes and shirts. which money will they have to bribe SARS.

  9. NaijaTgal
    July 10, 21:03 Reply

    All fine and good… You got the creature detained… Me I still want a certain kind of justice not available in the courts…
    Still not over the attack that happened to me last year at Ojo.

    I want them ruined… Nothing else. If God exists at all as we are told and if we aren’t just fooling ourselves on this shitty earth with blind faith, then they will get what’s coming to them.

    Their mothers and supporters will cry over them for decades to come…they haven’t seen misfortune like the ones I kneel down to cast on them.

    If they have praying mothers, all their prayers will converted to excrement for them.

    Those boys in Ojo, even if I die, my spirit will not rest till they are ruined and stomped on by society…also to anybody associated with them.

    This is from my heart to the universe…We shall all hear some news soon.

  10. Victor
    July 30, 17:48 Reply

    Of all the Kito stories I’ve read on this platform, Brother John’s experience struck me the most. I literally felt a wave of fear rush over me as I read this and images swept through my mind in rapid succession (I’m claircognisant to a degree).

    Brother John, I can relate with your story because we seem to have a similar background. Though I’m not a pastor and I’ve never fallen victim of kito, I can put myself in your shoes and understand your struggles. The rage of homophobia in Nigeria is so hideous, sick and terrible evil that if it were to take on a visage to appear in our streets, it will so scare the living daylights out of many that they will run into their houses and from there into holes in the soil and cover themselves with gravel in pure terror.

    That’s why in my own sphere of influence, I have been working to change people’s orientation about human sexuality. I have stopped feeling ashamed and guilty and I’ve come to accept that my responsibility is to help wean Nigerian Christians from the scourge of ignorance, hate and intolerance they are labouring under.

    I send my peace and healing to you, dear brother John.

    I am so happy for this platform and I want to thank you Pink Panther for this intelligent idea. Blessed be.

  11. information
    August 04, 19:07 Reply

    for those interested, the name of Emmanuel Ben is chidebere Michael okpara. his current Facebook id is ebere much fundz. anyone who has been kitoed and wants to turn them in to law enforcement should first use their sister or an anonymous facebook id to add their girlfriends on facebook to get lots of information on them. Google SARS Lagos number who will use their girlfriends to lure them and get him arrested. it has proven to be very very effective.
    the Facebook of Emmanuel Bens girlfriend is love anabel in the Facebook friends list, you will see the I’d of two other setups; emmy banks and Sammy banks.
    please post and rebroadcast to all gay social media accounts

  12. read
    August 21, 10:40 Reply

    I just got word now that chidebere Michael opara aka Emmanuel ben is back on grindr with new numbers and different grindr account. just that the bait is the same ( the facebook account of Felix emeka obasi). the address is slightly different formerly at sule street Ikotun Ijegun, but now at Ikotun bustop behind the brt Lane. there are currently preying on unsuspecting users this sallah. please ignore any hookup from a Facebook user in the name of Felix obasi emeka (whose picture has been blacklisted in this site).
    should anyone be set up by the picture of the Facebook users of; emmy banks, Sammy banks, ebere much fundz( Emmanuel bens Facebook) or Felix obasi emeka. please call SARS and anti- kidnapping Enugu. to get them arrested use their girlfriends; love anabel. use your sisters account to add them on Facebook and then get them arrested through the police. a word is enough for the wise.

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