In the Global Attitudes survey conducted in 2017, Nigeria was adjudged the most homophobic country of the 45 countries surveyed. It is also known to be one of the most homophobic countries in the world, with a jail sentence of up to 14 years for acts of homosexuality.Despite this strong disapproval for anything even related to homosexuality, there’s a certain self-proclaimed ‘male barbie doll’ known popularly as ‘Bobriskyy’, known virtually all over the country.
Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju, Nigeria’s most decorated crosssdresser, continues to defy all odds by living and thriving quite successfully, as a flamboyant woman.
The question many, as well as us, are asking is, how? How have we come to accept what would otherwise be unthinkable in a clime like ours?
Well, it all started from the popular social media platform, Snapchat. Just a few years ago, videos of Bobriskyy with female clothing, dancing and wining his waste started to trend. Of course it was going to trend – this is Nigeria, nothing of that sort had happened before, and no one thought it could – at least not any time soon. So not surprisingly, Bobriskyy soon became the talk of the town. It didn’t end with the whining; Bobriskyy frequently spoke about a secret ‘bae’, who was supposedly a highly ranked, very wealthy politician, who showered lots of money on him. He also spiced it up with frequent fights with a few celebrities and bloggers, including Tunde Ednut, a popular blogger on Instagram. Bobriskky, who also has a shop in the popular E-Centre in Yaba, Lagos, started to get interviews, appear on red carpets, and get endorsement deals – yes, in Nigeria!
More baffling, just before all this, the Senate had just passed the bill to criminalize homosexuality, yet, here was a Nigerian man, who dressed like a woman, danced like a belly dancer, and boasted about how much he collected from his toasters, and how expensive it was to maintain his lifestyle – it baffled many.
How has Bobriskky defied ALL the odds, and not just survived, but thrived in a country where homosexuals who have so much as hinted at being gay, have been arrested, beaten to a pulp, and some, been forced to seek Asylum overseas. What makes him different? How has Nigeria grown soft for him, or how does one explain this ‘acceptance’?
Could it be that we just find him entertaining and interesting, as many of our Instagram comedians today, do dress up as women? Could it be that he has won our hearts, and we have grown to just accept him? Or, could it be that we are not really all against homosexuality, as studies have shown that the younger generations are more tolerant and liberal?
Whatever it is that has made Bobriskky thrive in such a homophobic environment like ours, we know only one thing for sure, he’s not going away anytime soon!