Saturday, 31 October 2015

DSTV Bans Transgender Show In Nigeria- Why Are Some Of Us Surprised?

It is true that we live in a society of free will- the ability for one to make his own life choices, which is a fundamental human right. Within this definition, one could say Nigeria, which has had its fair share of dictatorship government, is slowly enjoying this freedom. But one aspect I believe Nigeria will always stay rigid and affirming (at least for a long time) is on issues relating to homosexuality- which includes same sex marriage and sex alterations.

So earlier this week, NBC (National Broadcast Commission) urged DSTV (a cable company in Africa) to ban a show called "I Am Jazz" from airing, and they immediately obliged. It is basically a show about the life of a transgender girl called "Jazz".
Some people reacted to the ban as if it was a surprise while others rejoiced over curtailing a possible negative societal influence.

For those who were surprised, I ask........why?

I ask this question because i believe by now Nigeria's stand on homosexuality and anything relating to it should be clear by now- NIGERIA IS STRONGLY AGAINST IT. Right from our independence in 1960, Nigeria has never celebrated or even acknowledged a gay person locally or internationally. In fact, the nation has publicly declared that it does not recognize LGBT rights (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and in 2014, it became an offense to have a same sex partner, when former president Goodluck Jonathan passed the anti-gay bill, punishable by at least 14 years of jail time. 

Most might say Nigeria is prejudice against the gay community and has become homophobic. In truth i feel we are and we have, only because it never existed in the days of our fore fathers (as far as we know) and we are usually not open minded when it comes to our beliefs.

Majority of those who are willing to have an open mind on LGBT rights are immediately restrained from doing so because of their strong spiritual beliefs. In Nigeria, we use religion to make decisions and stay in line with what is considered as the norm, and Nigeria is a country virtually composed of Christians and Muslims- which both already have strict laws on courtship with the opposite sex. Imagine where they stand on homosexuality.... 

For those of us staging protests and movements in the believe that Nigeria's stand on homosexuality will change after a few more protests and call for awareness, this should give you an idea on the amount of effort you will have to put into changing our mind and predisposition- When the anti-gay bill was put into law in 2014, our Nigerians leaders stood solidly behind it in the midst of local protests and backlash from the international community. It got to the point where the U.S, U.K and U.N were threatening to cut ties with Nigeria. Yet despite these pressures, Nigeria stood affirming. It was the first time in a long time that we saw unity in the Nigerian government, regardless of political and personal differences.....I think its ironic that in the midst of a fight to maintain social stability, Nigeria found unity.

In a survey carried out earlier this year, 87% of Nigerians believed "homosexuality is way of life that society should not accept". If the government's message was not clear, this message from its citizens definitely cannot go unheard.

If there is one thing Nigerians can agree upon, it is that they will not tolerate homosexuality and what it relates to. #Lobatan

DISCLAIMER: This article does not reflect my personal views on homosexuality...Just an observation of the society i live in.

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