WHAT IS KITO?

WHAT IS KITO?

In light of the outrage following the publication of the most recent kito alert, I feel like this is an important issue to bring to light.

When Kito Diaries came into operation, its primary objective was to contribute to the safety and security of the members of the Nigerian queer community. The identity of LGBT+ Nigerians had just been criminalised and weaponized by an irresponsible and inconsiderate government pandering to a homophobic society, and Kito Diaries, among other things, had a purpose to enlighten the LGBT+ community on the dangers that lurk, to advise queer Nigerians on preventative measures they can arm themselves with to avoid situations that will harass them because of who they are.

In the beginning, this focus was on the dangers represented by those on the outside. The unscrupulous Average Joes who lie in wait in the hookup apps and sites. The corrupt police. The circumstances that can out, embarrass and prove fatal to the queer Nigerian. The dangers were on the outside.

But this objective evolved as it became apparent that these dangers have representation within the community as well. The gay people who use their familiarity with community members to lure them into harm’s way. Those who are career criminals invested in using the threat of outing to harass fellow community members into giving in to their felonious demands. The blackmailers. And the thieves.

These are circumstances which, in an ideal world – heck! In a world provided by Western societies – should get reported to the police, and be pursued by the law until redress is granted the victim and/or the culprit is made to pay.

But the law in Nigeria scorns the queer identity and does not hold itself responsible for our woes. So, the preventative objective of Kito Diaries evolved to embrace the exposure of these dangers posed by those within the community. Especially, after suffering through a personal experience of a gay man coming into my space and violating the trust assured by who he was by taking what was not his to take. You never really understand the grievousness of being the victim of theft, blackmail and extortion from a community member until you have gone through it yourself. You never really comprehend the pain of being put through hell by someone whose queer identity automatically means he had those who can vouch for him, until you experience it. You will never see how similar the person who has used the acquaintanceship and intimacy you have shared with him to violate your personal space – how similar such a person is with the bad guys who have invaded Grindr and Badoo with the aim of victimizing gay people until you live through it. And you will never understand the hopelessness of knowing these crimes perpetuated by your own kind are not what you can simply walk into a police station to report without posing some risk to yourself until you have been put in that position.

So yes, to the question posed by those who are outraged that community members are getting tarred by the same brush as those Grindr criminals and corrupt policemen, for those who are asking for a definition of what it means to be exposed as kito: this is it! Any circumstance that violates the existence of a queer Nigerian who simply wants to live, negative circumstances which he cannot be upfront to the police about – that circumstance is kito and will be exposed as such.

Granted, it has not escaped our understanding that there will be of course those in the community who will attempt to bastardize this objective and callously attempt to use it as a means to get vindictive against those who they have personal issues with, issues that have no business being labelled kito. We know this. And we shall always proceed with even more caution than have been accorded to cases like this. We shall be more deliberative on these allegements involving members of the community – and in that light, we ask that those who have cases to report regarding those in the community who have violated them should endeavour to back up their reports with more affirming proof. That has always been the case in the past, but a few complainants have tried to get away with just their tales of woe. In such cases, we usually make a post reiterating the crime without identifying anyone. For instance, the cases where people report how they sent money to potential hookups who took the money and refused to honour the meet, we sound out the risks of this without naming the alleged culprits.

In conclusion, there should be no mistake about this: that gay man or woman who is your friend, whose “integrity” you can vouch for, is very capable of being very evil and wicked toward someone else in the community. This is a fact of our existence and of life we should come to understand.

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10 Comments

  1. Sinnex
    December 22, 05:05 Reply

    Rightly said.

    We just have to be extra careful. Nobody is beyond kito. Just because it hasn’t happened to you, doesn’t mean you are better than the person that experienced it. Infact, one needs to be wary of those who are closest to them ‘cos they are capable of doing more harm. However, is stealing really kito? I’d prefer to be stolen from than to be set up…whatever that means. I think when someone steals and then blackmails the victim, then it becomes kito, but if someone just steals from you, that isn’t really kito, you were just stolen from. People steal every single time and it isn’t limited to one’s sexuality.

    So, I don’t think it is wise to upload the pictures and details of thieves. You could contact them to at least hear their sides of the story and inform them that you are going to publish a story. I think it would be better to actually hear from the accused some times. What if there was an agreement before sex and the victim didn’t fulfill his part of the bargain? The culprit would have no other choice than to steal.

    Now, I am not supporting theft, but someone stealing 1k or 2k shouldn’t warrant them being outted or termed ‘kito’. A serial thief on the other hand…

    • Francis
      December 22, 06:55 Reply

      Dem say na from clap dance dey start. Na from steal and run successfully dem dey graduate to slaughter and empty the house without hindrance 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️.

      Personally I don’t PLAY with my property especially my gadgets as that na wetin dey chop most of my money so for you to come into my space and steal them Na like equivalent of chopping beating and getting robbed.

      Kito is simply “one chance” for gay men. How the one chance plays out is left to ya God. 🤷‍♂️

    • Opal
      December 22, 06:58 Reply

      I think this post has explained a lot. The truth is that someone who steals 1k or 2k is capable of doing worse if given the opportunity. Let’s call a spade, a spade. I totally agree with hearing the other side of the story before publishing but if someone takes my trust for granted and steals from me. Knows I can’t report to the authorities what he has done, and refuses to return the items… he should be outed.

      Looking at the stories that were put up… I don’t see any justification for their actions. Breaking burglaries, stealing phones, etc. And you say that’s not kito? What’s the difference? The LGBT folks that do these things should even be dealt a greater blow than others.

      My view

    • Francis
      December 22, 08:25 Reply

      There’s a special thunder for people that buy sex and don’t pay up when the do has finished.

  2. trystham
    December 22, 05:53 Reply

    Do people actually read to comprehend? Thassau one was commenting on IG how he had gone visiting one of them thrice and had not experienced their stealing tendencies. THEY WAIT FOR YOU TO LET DOWN YOUR FUCKING GUARD. May prick not let u forget sense o.

  3. Mario
    December 22, 07:44 Reply

    Yes, thanks for the update. This is much better.
    I second Sinnex too

  4. Jay Armstrong
    December 22, 12:12 Reply

    How I define Kito, not to different from how it is described in this article, is a person who deliberately attacks, harasses, extorts, steals, blackmails an LGBTIQ for the sake of their sexuality, regardless of whether they themselves are members of the community or not. If you harm any member of the LGBTIQ community because of who they are, YOU ARE A KITO.

    That should answer the questions and doubts that a community member cannot be a kito.

    • Nnanna
      December 29, 18:25 Reply

      Exactly. They stole from you because they know you cannot report to the police as you don’t want disgrace. That’s the same way Kito happens. When you’re kitoed, as I have been several times, not all of them beat you up. Some threaten you and then take your phone and money. So what’s the difference here? Because they stole and ran off it doesn’t count? Until he breaks a bottle on your head it’s not Kito abi? Kmt

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