Let me just come right out and say it: I like Bobrisky. And not in the generic “I like babies; they are cute” way. I do like Bobrisky. Beyond his unenlightened stance on certain issues in the past, he is someone I admire and, dare I say, respect.

A few weeks ago, Bob announced via his Snapchat that he would start charging people a monthly fee of 10,000 naira to view his snaps. Shortly after, Zikoko, a media platform, reported that 300 people had subscribed to his snaps. Do the Math, people. It takes gumption to decide to do what he did, but for people (300 people as at the time Zikoko reported it oh. Who knows the figure now) to actually subscribe is a whole ball game entirely. And this is Bobrisky – The Bobrisky, not some actor/actress, or religious leader. THIS IS BOBRISKY. His jazz must be strong.

This is not a ‘If Bobrisky can do it, why can’t you?’ sermon. It is a reminder that we all have our audience; that beyond all the negative reactions, there are people our individual actions speak to directly. Someone is watching. Someone is listening.

It is not news that a number of LGBTQ people in Nigeria see Bobrisky as simply mediocre and a misrepresentation of the community. Worthy of note is that he has never come out to identify with the community, so I don’t see how he can represent – or misrepresent – it. And regardless of what saint comes out to identify with and represent us, be it Obama or the Dalai Lama, we will still be seen as everything that is wrong with Nigeria.

But that is not the point. The point is:

• Bobrisky (or Onyx Godwin or Denrele Edun) and everything they symbolize to the average uninformed Nigerian is becoming a force to reckon with. Beyond what is termed theatrics or insanity, these guys inspire strength and confidence in a lot of young people, even if they didn’t set out to do so. They emphasize the message of one living their truth. If they can keep at it and continuously be themselves, despite the constant backlash, what is stopping me, an average butch Joe or a flaming queen, from living my truth (within the confines of personal safety that our clime can offer)?

• There is a part of the second season of Sense8 where Capheus, the Kenyan guy in the cluster was running for presidency against a violent and unpopular opponent. At one point in the race, he was being threatened and he asked if he should withdraw. To which the person he’d asked the question replied, “Withdraw now and you’d have done the exact opposite of what you set out to do. Instead of undermining [your opponents] hold and control…your withdrawal would serve to make him invincible.” Essentially, quitting our fight for recognition would only increase the power heterosexual homophobes think they have over us. The point isn’t to win every fight; it is to never stop fighting. If Bob had gone back to obscurity because of the backlash he suffered in the early stages of his infamy, he wouldn’t be who or where he is now. He is being seen and, until there is a law against men putting on makeup, you can’t arrest him (while I’m sure he is doing enough to ensure his personal safety from the average jobless Nigerian hoodlum).

If any of the people that have, through their actions, brought visibility to the community had cowered in the face of recrimination, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Granted we aren’t in the Promised Land of LGBT equality yet, but you have to admit that Pharaoh has heard our request for freedom. We just have to be ready to rain down the plagues.

So keep at it, you who is doing whatever you can to change the public perception of us. Keep educating the ignorant homophobe. Keep living your truth. And little by little, our individual efforts will collectively make a difference. The world will have to adjust.

To those that feel too pristine for, God forbid, parallels to be drawn between them and the likes of Bobrisky, feel free to replace his name with another source of strength and inspiration to you, and draw from that.

PS: This piece does not stand in comparison to the efforts gay rights activists are doing to bring about recognition and equality for the community. Their work is seen and sincerely appreciated by all of us.


Written by The Misfit

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  1. Mandy
    September 05, 06:40 Reply

    Those who decry Bobrisky as a Nigerian LGBT representation are people who will tell us to man up and be respectable, if we want the society to accept us.
    Tsk tsk.

  2. Rehoboth
    September 05, 07:09 Reply

    I love Bobrisky. He was the reason I downloaded snapchat and I’m among the 300 (it’s actually 10k for 2 months). *In Bobrisky’s voice* read my lip, aaters Bobrisky doesn’t give a damn about you. ????. Oshey…barrest*

    • Francis
      September 05, 16:14 Reply

      Still waiting on the celebrity that I will fangirl for to this extent. ???. It could have been Britney but she lost it somewhere down the line ???

  3. Mitch
    September 05, 08:27 Reply

    Does make a lot of sense.
    Doesn’t still mean I like him.
    I think he should go and get some enlightenment then he’d be able to better represent himself and what he stands for

  4. trystham
    September 05, 09:30 Reply

    I can cope with almost anything, but ppl who bleach…NAH!!! It will always get in the way of his message. How does someone knowingly destroy flawless skin? The person wey get head no get cap sha

    • The Misfit
      September 05, 13:23 Reply

      You forgot to add the “I hate the sin but not the sinner” line as you were paraphrasing from the “Heterosexual Homophobe Guide to Excusing Homophobia”

      How do you knowingly sleep with fellow men (WITH YOUR OWN BODY) against the laws of nature. It will get in the way of your message (whatever that is).

      PS: He isn’t even trying to pass any message across that his bleaching is supposedly “getting in the way of”.

      In all getting, get comprehension.

      • trystham
        September 05, 19:50 Reply

        You prolly av to redefine nature’s law because if nature didn’t want me existing, no Jupiter would say otherwise. Na ITK dem dem seem to want to be mouth pieces for ‘nature’. So perhaps u wanna think another argument. You do not hear/see me castigate Denrele or Bayo. Those are ICONS of choice

        • Foxydevil
          September 05, 21:52 Reply

          If you were abiding the rules of nature, you should be out in the cave, with your body unwashed, picking fruits from trees, with your hair uncombed and hunting wild animals you will eat raw.
          But here you are talking about nature, typing away with your cheap Android phone and saying we should pick nature.
          You have nothing upstairs clearly,the greatest slight to nature is and will always be technology.And anyone enjoying it and saying people should stick to nature is clearly a fool. People that want to bleach their skin should freaking bleach it, you like your skin dark, all well and good but you don’t get to feel superior because you left your skin dark and someone else didn’t. I don’t even know you but I do know bobrisky is ten times the man you are. He is proud and strong enough to be himself and live his life ,you on the other hand hide away in anonymity at kito diaries… And you dare to criticize someone else’s choice of life. You are sad, pathetic and disgusting.

          • trystham
            September 06, 18:28 Reply

            #sigh U rattled that cranium and this gibberish was all u cud think up? Oya let us school u small. The reason I’m not foraging, and using this ‘cheap’ android is simply EVOLUTION. Homo erectus to Homo sapiens??? Good.
            Loool. So bobrisky is an oyibo in Nigerian skin abi? Yeye!!! Even Uncle Ruckus with all his thinking as a white man n re-vitiligo sef didn’t go bleaching. Why? Because he has sense.
            ASSIGNMENT: Start writing out ppl who have made giant strides and more impact with piss-poor grammar without damage to their skin.

            • Francis
              September 06, 20:33 Reply

              @Trystham Please stop engaging! JUST STOP!

    • Foxydevil
      September 05, 17:49 Reply

      Says a gay man?
      You want people to accept you for who you are, but you hate others for choosing to be who they want?
      The hypocrisy reeking from this post is on another level.
      How does one knowingly destroy flawless skin?
      What a dumb question from a very dumb person!
      Infact your stupidity is on another level.
      I’m exhilarated to know the kind of person you are, I figured you out pretty easily.
      Imagine if you weren’t a gay man, you’d most likely a homophobe, calling for the castigation and obliteration of homosexuals.. But now you’ve found yourself here, your intolerance and is still taking precedence, because a leopard can never lose its spot.
      This page was built on acceptance and love, a place where people of alternative lifestyles can come together, reason and feel like we are normal .You have no right whatsoever to judge anyone here or question the choices they make…. when half the society already see you as degenerate.

      • trystham
        September 05, 19:56 Reply

        Werin u dey talk/type wey dey pepper person for eye? Do u even ask urself “what is this rubbish that cometh from my cranium?” Guy, I recommend solitude for sober reflection.

        • Foxydevil
          September 05, 21:43 Reply

          You are very stupid for asking me such nonsense. Maybe you can’t read or you have taken leave of the little sense you have but I’m sure you understood me well. If we are to preach that gay is something natural and should be accepted, then it is equally OK for a human to pick the colour he or she wants for themselves. You don’t get to pick one and discard the other simply because you are not guilty of that one. If that is the kind of person you are, then you are not only stupid but a hypocrite as well.

          • Lotanna
            September 06, 00:44 Reply

            Language Foxy.The insults are not necessary.

    • Delle
      September 05, 22:52 Reply

      Trystham, very disappointing what you typed up there. Hugely so.

      • trystham
        September 06, 20:31 Reply

        That I do not like insecure ppl who have nothing wrong with their skin but choose to ‘lighten up’ (i.e subject themselves to chemicals) to pass for attractive and acceptable? Okay.

      September 06, 18:30 Reply

      I can cope with almost anything, but ppl who bleach…NAH!!! It will always get in the way of his message. Lmaoooo ?? that got me there

  5. Delle
    September 05, 09:47 Reply

    I don’t think I had ever outrightly hated Bobrisky. I guess, at a point, I was confused on what he was or what he stood for. I let my bias against terrible English speakers cloud my sense of reasoning but I’m seeing his efforts and the things he has done that English hasn’t achieved for me (no slight to fluent English speakers ?).

    I’m saying, in essence, that I am amongst those who recently began to enjoy the projection Bobrisky’s bringing with his bright life (pun intended).

    He’s cool. So yeah, I agree with the post.

  6. Foxydevil
    September 05, 11:33 Reply

    I think passing him off as an LGTB advocate or role model is a bit of a stretch seeing as he has never admitted to being gay or sleeping with men… The legendary bae is still very much to my knowledge “anonymous ” OR maybe you are the one?
    But I love everything he embodies, the way he markets his business, Keeps himself relevant and stay on the lips of Nigerians. He is a savvy business man ,who encapsulates all the qualities required to be built for the long haul under a very slippery spotlight.
    I wouldn’t call him a role model for gays because I’ve never had sex with him or place any man he’s had sex with, but I do know one thing for sure, bobrisky will go down in history as an icon for people with alternative lifestyles in Nigeria. Because he is resilient, strong willed and very ambitious. He knows what sells for him and he is maximising it to the best of his ability. So you are right, he is indeed very significant. Bad English and all, bad skin and all, he is more known than all the self acclaimed modern Shakespeares and denzel Washington wannabes ,now isn’t that ironic???????

  7. CHUCK
    September 05, 12:36 Reply

    I don’t know about icon. The guy is using cheap sensationalism to sell bleaching cream. It’s not hard if you’re willing to bleach and be a big girl like he is. Did you see him trade insults with Toyin Lawani recently?

    On another note, it’s always a good idea to identify those who think their jand English makes them better than everyone else – those ones are more interested in showing off than in meeting people, and I treat them accordingly.
    The class markers in Nigeria are warped.

  8. Omiete
    September 05, 15:21 Reply

    I really like him but not enough to pay 10k however when he stood in support of the Ssmpa I developed a certain hatred, even if he is straight of every body to call out gay people it’s HIM????????? Anyways I don’t know if it’s the plenty money but I feel he looks way better than he did before.

  9. Gaia
    September 05, 20:50 Reply

    Biko does he still have a dick?

    • Delle
      September 05, 22:49 Reply

      How is this relevant? Do you know the subtle transphobia hinging on this statement? You guys are just petty. Petty and annoying.

    • Mandy
      September 06, 01:28 Reply

      What kind of stupid question is this? Perhaps you should wonder first if you have a brain before asking if he has a dick.

  10. quinn
    September 06, 01:21 Reply

    Always liked Bobrisky after that interview with Adesuwa Onyenokwe, I listened to him and he made sense, he’s just being himself, if you say he is not enlightened that one na your own! And P.S he’s helping the community by being visible.

    September 06, 18:55 Reply

    Personally, I’d agree that he’s indeed a good businessman as earlier stated seeing he has used his brand to financially empower himself. However, as regards being a role model, well for me it’s a no. I feel he has refused to develop himself despite the money and fame. I feel he should improve on what he has already; notably his grammar. His packaging is obviously improved cos he looks much better going all out with the Ghana weaving and all what not but biko we would all like to not be irked when he speaks. As regards the correlation between accepting his bleached skin since we crave acceptance due to our sexuality, I’d quickly like to point out that bleaching is a choice characterised by alot of conscious effort as opposed to sexuality which is innate. So in all, we are a reflection of our choices (excluding sexuality which is not a choice) and changing skin color to be accepted, despite all the health implications is not something I would encourage. My two cents

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