Nollywood And A Whiff Of Homosexuality | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Box Office, LIFE

Nollywood And A Whiff Of Homosexuality

Posted: Jul 11, 2015 at 12:07 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Hazeez Balogun –  Lagos


Last weekend, Box Office got a message from an upcoming actor, Hyginus Nwadike who hails from Isu L.G.A of Imo State. He also plies his trade from that part of the country. In the mail, he says he is trying to clear the air about rumours flying about that he is gay. He said he was “paid heavily to act a gay role in a movie and ever since, people thinks I am a gay but I am not gay.” This is not the first time Nigerian actors have been trying to clear their name of these allegations. 



We could still remember just some weeks ago when Yule Edochie, son of Nollywood icon, Pete Edochie lamented about a gay stalker who has been professing love to him. He said the man whose name is Steven Ugochukwu, had not only been asking for love but also stalking him. Steve himself quickly responded saying that there is in fact a homosexual relationship between him and Yule. Steve even claims he has a voice recordings of his conversations with the actor in which the two were having a lovers spat. He is yet to produce such recordings till date.

“We were in a relationship, had issues caused by him. Warned him not to play silly games with me or I use all I have to soil his name. He didn’t know I was recording all our discussions including the ones he called me and the ones I called,” Steven said. Yule has since been quiet about the issue.

There are over twenty of such cases involving actors and actresses in the movie industry. But most times they end up being false claims and tagged as rumours in the end. There are however some people who could swear that homosexuality is rife in Nollywood. Proof? Well, how can one prove an act that is done in secrecy? Besides, the act is still illegal in the country and any disclosure with proof, will mean imprisonment for someone. Even if you catch them in the act, it is still a he-said-she-said case without proof. They say there is no smoke without fire. With all these rumours flying around, there is bound to be an element of truth in some of them.

Also, if you talk to some in the industry who are truthful, they will tell you homosexuality is very present. John Okafor, popularly known as Mr, Ibu confirms there are indeed queers in his industry. The Enugu State born thespian says, “One idiot came toasting me o, that is true as funny as it would sound. Something is happening in this Nollywood. These up and coming actors are being used by some of the established producers who are gays. If you want to get a job as an up and coming actor, you must sleep with them. You must be sexed to get a job. We are no longer in the era of the female actresses suffering from sexual harassment, it is now man to man. Abomination! God has a lot of things to judge. Why not put your penis in the right place. There is something spiritual in that thing…”

Despite all these talks, there are some who are innocent of the act but continue to be seen as gay. This is common with actors who have played the part of a gay man or lady in a movie and some at home cannot shake the thought of them being with the same sex out of their head. One of such actor is Frank Artus. He says, “I played the role of a gay in a movie with Tonto Dikeh entitled Under. The reason I played that role is because when you are just coming up as an artist, you have to do a lot of things for you to get recognition. From there you become more marketable. I actually begged the director that it would not be nice to kiss a guy.” Since then Artus has been labeled gay by some.

Another actor, Augustine Okoye, also cried out to homosexuals in the country to let him be. The actor explained that since he played gay in a movie, he has been having sleepless nights. “For the fact that I recently played a role in a gay movie does not make me one. I am straight, I took the role because I want to prove to directors and producers that I can take any role and give my best in it. Please, gays should stop harassing me because I am not a gay,” he begged

For actor, Enyina Nwigwe he is happy with the attention the gay label he has received is getting him. “It doesn’t get to me. Yes, I got a couple of funny hints from the community that I must be one of them. I don’t have a problem with that. I was just interpreting a role. But it’s only natural that if the gay community finds you attractive, they would come after you. Having said this, I have not stigmatised whatsoever.”

Asides from this crop of actors, the leaning of the others accused still remain a mystery. It is very questionable for people to just label someone gay for no good reason. The case of Ik Ogbonna is one of such mysteries. The fast rising actor says he is fed up with the rumours that he is homosexual. IK’s sexuality has been questioned over time, with people considering his relationship with male friends as intimate and his dress sense rather unmanly.

In a recent interview Ogbonna once again dispels these claims on him. “I am tired of the gay rumours trailing me. You can never pick out any man with whom I have had an affair in the past, but you can link me to some of the ladies I have dated. It is funny because I am sometimes called a ladies’ man and at times rumoured to be a gigolo. That I have chosen to adopt the UK style of dressing, which typically comprises tight pants, should not make me gay,” he said.

There are also some, who have been called gay so much that they have developed thick skin. One of such is Denrele Edun also called ‘Werele’. Denrele started his career in television as a child on NTA. As an adult, he moved to Soundcity, and today, he is a presenter with South African Music Channel, Channel O. He also acts movies. Denrele has been called gay so many times that he is now used to it. In fact he fuels the stories by putting on female apparels wearing high heels, and making his hair. He once wore a dress to an award. Is Denrele really gay? That is the question only he can answer.

Others accused of being gay include, Charlie Boy, Benson Okonkwo, Uti Nwachukwu Alexx Ekubo,  Kcee, Flavour, Banky W amongst many others. Despite all the stories going around it is possible that none of them is gay, or the other was round. But if you sniff closer Nollywood, you would get a whiff of Homosexuality, just a whiff.