Before I go on to post the very scant details of this kito alert, I have to say something first. It’s gotten very disappointing, the kinds of reports that get back to me over the kito experiences gay Nigerians are still having. Just recently, an acquaintance of mine furnished me with pictures of a criminal who had set up his friend. To my stupefaction, these pictures and the information he provided had already been put up here on Kito Diaries as a kito alert. This friend of his had apparently gotten acquainted with someone on Grindr, then they hopped over to WhatsApp, and a couple of picture exchanges later, he was off to meet the stranger in Abule Ado. This guy didn’t take the time to seek more information concerning his potential hook-up or ask around for friends to verify his genuineness. And so he jaunted off to Abule Ado and got set up.
The story that’s prompting this kito alert post apparently went through the same wham-bam acquaintance. A blank-profile-picture Grindr profile, a quick chat on WhatsApp, a photo exchange, and off he went to Ijegun-Ikotun axis for a hook-up that turned into a kito story.
Here’s the thing, my fellow gay Nigerians, we can no longer afford the fast and easy hook-up. The homophobic Nigerian populace that is idle and workshops of the devil have caught on to a foolproof scheme of making money — and that is by targeting the LGBT community.
We are reviled. We are targets. And we have no protection from the law. These are facts, constants, and should surprise no one.
The variable is how you take care of yourself in a hook-up situation. Unless the person you are looking to meet was recommended by your friend, or someone whose identity is already well known in the gay community, you cannot afford to skip off to a hook-up without doing your due diligence. Dennis Macaulay has previously talked about how to stay safe during hook-up situations. (Here’s the entry in case you missed it).
But it has to be reiterated:
Upon getting acquainted with someone online, ask for a number. Whether you two are relocating to BBM or WhatsApp or staying put in Grindr, Manjam or Badoo, insist on the exchange of numbers.
Get personal. Insist on photos. Google the number. Run it through Facebook and True Caller. Look for mutual connections. Involve your friends; seek verification from them. Get personal with him. Push for more information about him, especially if he’s asking you to come see him. Any hesitation or irritation on his part as a result of your query should be a red light to you. You’re the one whose being asked over; it’s your right to demand for information.
And as elitist as this may sound, there are in fact places in every city in Nigeria occupied by a thriving gay community that are no-go areas for hook-ups. Or at least, areas you should be very, very careful before you visit for a hook-up. A KDian once remarked that hook-ups who live in Lagos districts such as Ojo, Okokomaiko, Abule Ado, Alagbado, Abule Egba, Ikotun and Ikorodu are kito-prone. It was a caustic comment and didn’t win him any favours. But there’s a truth to it. And I’ve heard of these sentiments shared of places in Owerri, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Asaba and Onitsha. Areas that are too hardscrabble, too littered with lowlifes for comfort. Places you’d hear and should be very careful before you commit to the decision of visiting a hook-up there.
In the case of this kito alert, the victim was reportedly lured to FIJB hotel in Ijegun-Ikotun axis, where he was set upon in broad daylight by 8 hoodlums. The number he’d interacted with is 08057263833. That is all the information he has of his attackers, which is sad.
Yes, of course there’s no foolproof way of avoiding being set up, if you’re into the hook-up scene. And yes, you may take all your precautions and still fall prey to these unsavoury characters.
But let it be said that you did everything you could to avert danger before it came to you. Let that be your story.