SIX – 14

SIX – 14

Previously on SIX


World Cup season, somewhere in Nigeria…

Jovi urgently needed the documents his business partner, Bankole, should have provided beforehand for the meeting that should have started fifteen minutes ago.

Jovi had sent his secretary to check on Bankole, and she’d come back to report that he was neither in his office nor anywhere within reach. Bankole’s phone numbers weren’t going through. Jovi’s text messages to him were not acknowledged either. And they were both expected to be at the meeting.

Jovi stepped into Bankole’s office, looked around and found his business partner’s personal laptop open on his work table, a screensaver of a smiling Bankole covering the screen. Muttering a quick prayer, he tapped the keyboard and the screensaver disappeared so that Jovi was staring at the pages open on the desktop. He heaved a quick sigh of relief; there’d been no request for a password. Bankole had always had a hard time recollecting his passwords, this Jovi knew. Also fortunately for him, the documents he needed were open on the screen; Bankole must have been going through them in preparation for their meeting.

Where did he then go off to? Jovi thought with renewed ire as he proceeded to print out the documents. Because it was a force of habit, he saved the document and closed the file. He was about to move away from the laptop to the printer when his eyes caught a folder on the desktop. It was the title of the folder that made him pause. It was named “Moyosore and Jovi xxx”.

Jovi’s brows bunched together in bewilderment. He wasn’t sure what to expect, but he proceeded to check out the folder.

There were video files, and with each one he clicked, unedited clips of Moyo’s rape and murder played out on the screen. Jovi was jolted afresh by the brutality which he’d before seen on that blog owned by Eddie Esang, and his instinct was to recoil from the vividness of his lover’s final moments. But he willed himself to keep going as he flipped through the other files in the folder – pictures of him and Moyo making love, pictures of them on the beach, hanging out at bars and in his office. Driven purely by instinct than any real thought, he forwarded the folder to his email, deleted traces of the sent mail from Bankole’s Sent Items folder, and left the office to go meet the directors waiting for him.


Same day, somewhere in Russia…

I was in the stands with Derin, Mundi and Faramade who was two months pregnant. Vaughn was to fly into Russia that evening. Below us, Kareem and the Super Eagles were playing on the field in their new and popular jerseys. The anticipation for the team was high.

The news of Vaughn impregnating Faramade at the dinner hosted for Kareem and I had sort of pulled us all apart for days. It took Kareem stepping in to get everyone talking to each other again before we got back on the same track.

Faramade, Mundi and Vaughn had come up with a plan when her family began clamoring for a grandchild. Initially, before Vaughn came into the picture, the couple hadn’t known what to do with the situation. They hadn’t thought that far ahead when they agreed to get married as a plan to cover up their sexuality and remain on the down-low. Months after they got married, Faramade’s mother started asking for grandchildren. The couple gave the excuse that they were taking their time. Months became two years and they were still taking their time.

Eventually, Mundi confided in Vaughn when he came into the country. Mundi mentioned that he couldn’t get it up for his wife and he had really tried. But clearly, his homosexuality was the type that shrank his libido at the sight of a vagina. Vaughn, being bisexual, decided to step in and help Faramade conceive.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Derin posed the question the evening at the dinner after the whole story had come out. I could read the myriad of expressions that were stark on his face as he asked the question. He was looking at Mundi, but I could tell the question was intended for Vaughn.

“I…” Mundi flailed for an answer.

“And Vaughn” – Derin turned to his boyfriend – “we are partners. You’re my boyfriend. Surely, even if Mundi and Fara couldn’t tell me, you should have told me.”

“Derin –” Vaughn began.

“What, did you think I would have disapproved? That I would have wanted you not to do it? These two are my friends. I know what they are going through. You all should have told me!”

“Derin, please calm down. Okay?” I tried placatingly.

“Did you know too?” He turned on me.

“What?” I recoiled from the accusation in his glare. “No, of course, I didn’t. I too wish they had told us. I really do, but they didn’t. However, what we need to do now is move forward from here. There’s a bundle of joy on the way to us. Let’s celebrate it.” I was trying to be upbeat, but I had a feeling this issue was going to remain irreparable between us. I sighed inwardly. Not only had Derin been lied to by his boyfriend, but two of his best friends hadn’t had enough faith in their friendship with him to confide in him something as crucial as needing procreative services of his lover. They should have trusted him. Like he said, it wasn’t like this was a kind of ask he would’ve said no to.

Derin stood up. “I’ve got to get some air.”

“Derin—” Faramade said, but he shook his head.

“See you guys later,” he said brightly, too brightly, and left the room.

Vaughn got up to go after him.

Derin ended things with him that night. Shortly after that, Vaughn left the country again. Of course, Derin was glad his two best friends were going to have a baby, but his happiness for them was tarred by the circumstances that led to the news. It rankled especially because he was the one who brought Vaughn into the fold.

I was now dating Kareem. And he had decided to take us all to Russia to watch him play at the World Cup, private jet and all. He had also sent his jet to bring Vaughn to Russia; the two of us were hoping this trip would help get the estranged couple back together.

My personal crew from the radio station were somewhere in a row behind us in the WAGs box, filming the match and my commentaries on the match for my radio station’s podcast and footages on our Instagram page. Because of Kareem’s ambassadorship with the station, I had overwhelming privileges to film the football star and also report more scoops that weren’t available to the other media.

My man was on the pitch, playing his heart out. I was still livid about a foul a player on the other team had carried out which the referee conveniently overlooked. I was venting at Mundi when the unexpected happened. The roar of the crowd distracted me. Mundi and I looked up, to see me on the giant screens.

About five of me!

Except that the pictures looked odd, because I seemed to be a paper doll with five different outfits on. Women’s outfits – female jumpsuits, miniskirts, boob dangling.

“Oh my God, what’s this…” I heard Fara say in whispered horror beside me.

I felt a small trickle of sweat form near my temple. I realized it was a doctored poster from a TV series, as the headline below read “THE FOOTBALLER’S GIRLFRIEND”. The camera panned out, and I realized a large number of the people in a group on the other side of the stadium were holding up the posters. I scanned the crowd and I could make out quite a number of similar-looking posters scattered within it.

I was not sure what I was seeing.

“What’s going on?” I rasped, asking no one in particular.

And just then, the camera focused on Kareem’s distraught face out in the pitch.

Then it dawned on me.

We had been outed!

In a homophobic country!

On a world scale!

As if that wasn’t enough, a silhouette of Kareem and me came up on the big screens again. I immediately knew it was a shot from the night our show was launched back in Nigeria. From the angle of the shot, it was obvious whoever had taken the photo had been backstage with us. In a quick flash, I remembered warning Kareem to keep to himself that night. I remembered moving away from the heat of his closeness every time he came up next to me. For a brief moment, I felt a rush of resentment, his eyes flying to the pitch, seeking him out to stab him with my accusation.

This is your fault! I wanted my eyes to say to him.

And then the moment passed, and the resentment was doused with a rush of misery. Even though the backstage photo could not positively identify us, I knew it was us. My friends knew it too.

“Oh no, Peka…” I heard Derin say with the same horror-stricken tone I’d heard in Fara’s voice earlier, seconds before I felt his hand enclosing my shoulder protectively.

There was a growing uproar in the stands as several football lovers began looking at me. I wasn’t looking at them, but I could feel the avalanche of fury stabbing at me from outraged stares. Some people had started throwing popcorn kennels at us. All of this was playing out on the big screens. Derin’s arms tightened around me.

But I felt alone. I felt lost. I was numb.

I was in trouble both home and away.

Written by Vhar

Previous Gbenro Ajibade makes an instagram post with a rainbow amid marriage crisis rumours, and unleashes speculation about his sexuality
Next Confessions Of The Night…To The Woman I Love

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  1. Yazz Soltana
    October 30, 17:30 Reply

    Wow ,wow ,wow..
    I’ve always imagined what it would be like if a footballer was outed…
    And Everytime I imagine Kareem with Iwobi’s face.

  2. bambino
    October 30, 20:39 Reply

    no wayyyyy! I have been waiting for SIX for God knows how long
    thanks vhar

  3. Patrick
    October 31, 03:38 Reply

    I am a football lover. I love the English Premier League. And how wonderful it would be if a premier league star comes out as gay. Think about it: the vast premier league fan base in Nigeria having to watch an idolized player, who is also gay, every week. How it would shatter misconceptions and stereotypes…

    There was rumour last season that at least one English player, who had come out to family and friends, was ready to come out, but apparently he was advised against it. People are saying that the Premier League is not yet ready for a gay footballer.

    I think the reason is that European football is very heteronormative. Most footballers are expected to have wives or girfriends. Gay footballers are pressured into remaining in the closet. It’s easier to come out when you play an individual sport, but in a team sport, you have the extra burden of dealing with teammates.

    Y’all should read the story of Justin Fashanu! I think he was Nigerian and the first player to come out as gay in England

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