Sunday, 29 March 2009

Resolved to proceed

I have just been through a period of self-doubt. Its not that I have had any difficulty being who I am, because I am proud to be me. However, being African, as with most other Africans who are like me, living has meant being always in the shadows, being always careful not to offend the sensibilities of those around us. It has even meant denial and self-hate for many others, those who lack the courage and inner strength that is required to stand up and speak out. But it is this latter course that I have resolved to follow. I will speak up because I have a story to tell. I have something to say. And I will say it, on behalf of and for the benefit of every other African person who is like me, regardless of what the consequences are to me personally. And unlike several others who dare to express themselves publicly, I have chosen not to hide behind a mask of anonymity or behind a pseudonym. I am who I am, and I am what I am.

I've been away from this blog for a while. I have even attempted to delete the blog altogether. I must have panicked. A few friends have asked what happened to the blog, and I tried to explain that I felt I was getting carried away, throwing caution to the wind. But what was in fact going through my mind, was a process of self-appraisal. I am a sincere person and I am true to myself. It is for this reason that I will not deny my sexual orientation, or pretend that I am what I am not. What I have decided to do with this blog comes from somewhere deep inside me. It is the truth about who I am. And since I will remain true to myself and have no intention to deceive or mislead, I feel obliged to proceed with the blog in the same vein in which I started it.

It is my desire to express my thoughts as a modern day African man who is gay, but one who is also intelligent, educated, sophisticated and resourceful. This is especially pertinent since I am from a place where people like me are misunderstood and misjudged by those for whom sexual orientation is THE defining factor of a person's character. As I continue with this blog, I resolve to remain steadfast and to hold tight to my ideal of being honest and truthful about the things that matter to me, the things that affect me. And also, to shed some light on what life is like for me and for the many others in a similar position.


Tamaku said...

Thanks bro for finding the courage to open up. I wondered where you went, what happened. It felt like I lost a dear friend.

Anengiyefa said...

I feel a little guilty, having temporarily lost the strength to face up to what I had resolved to do when I started this blog. But I'm back now, and am thankful for the strength and encouragement that I receive from friends like you Tamaku. I am much obliged.

Anonymous said...

Ah, it has been a while, and I was put out to visit this space on the net and to be told the blog could no longer be found. I had been trying every day since then to no avail.

I enjoyed reading your thoughts, they were logical, reasonsed and reasonable and I could identify with them strongly. I'm kind of trying to live up to those ideals you mentioned, but as we all know it isn't easy.

Anengiyefa, I'm gay too, but who cares in this world. As you know, one just has to get on and make the most of our time before we are no more ie dead.

By the way, that picture is a big improvement on the last one. The last one represented many aspects that were wrong with our homeland, not quite at ease with the natural environment and looked out of place and false.

We haven't agreed on everything in the past, I remember you taking verbal swipes at me, because of our disagreement about Nigerians penchant for destroying every living thing around them, and that the place is not fit for tourists in my opinion. No doubt you will still maintain your views on that topic as I do mine, that is not a problem. Nothing wrong with diverging views.

I wouldn't want to be conceited enough to call myself a "friend", but hey I like you and would like to continue to read and learn from your experiences. Who knows, maybe one day I may earn the right to be termed "ore".

Welcome back, and thank you for returning, you were indeed missed.

Anengiyefa said...

Hi CodLiverOil,
Its nice to know that one is among friends. Does the name Anonymaus ring a bell? Hmm, I do recall disagreeing on the amenability of the Nigerian situation to tourism. I have noted too that I haven't seen the said Anonymaus around for a while, and kind of wondered silently...not knowing..

Thanks for your comments. For once, I'm lost for words. Its not often that a gay man receives appreciation for who and what he is and I am deeply moved. I think my post says it all. I was a bit flustered by the fact that I had taken a bold stride, but theres no going back now. I am back and I do apologise for seemingly fleeing the scene of the 'crime', lol.

With friends like you around, we can help to enlighten our people about who we are and what we stand for. They need to understand what a valuable resource they have in people like us. I appreciate your opening up to me on this blog. Its a very bold thing to do. Thanks CodLiverOil.

Anengiyefa said...

@CodLiverOil, by the way, the photo is a beach scene from Sao Tome & Principe

Anonymous said...

About Anonymaus, I decided to abandon that partly because
1) It hadn't crossed my mind as to have an appropriate identity, before taking part on blogs.
2) There were too many anonymouses on Naijablog. I chose anonymaus because of my location. Not sure if anyone picked up on that there, so what.
3) I remember some anonymous (not me I hasten to add), taking a cheap and unnecessary swipe at Jeremy's wife and he cooly and coldy described them as being spineless so and so's.
4) You also let fly with some automatic fire when some anonymous (again not me), took exception to your views on the rights of sexual minorities in Nigeria.

I decided that I will use a an identity I'm comfortable with, "CodLiverOil" came to the fore, I changed it back in 08, and did put some preamble on my some posts on Naijablog, that I formerly posted as anonymaus. That was part of my deciding not to lurk in the shadows, I didn't want to be a spineless person, like it made much difference (yeah right). Though that was not the point, but more like what you said, to be be who you are and all that...

Regardless of your identity, I admired your posts, they made quite an impression on me, and partly restored my diminishing faith in Nigerians. You would have noticed that I have conceded points when I can see reason, ie Mr Igbokwe and his post on reviving Nigeria. So I'm not one of those people, who thinks they can never be wrong, and pride has never been an issue for me.

Anengiyefa, yes, one has to be honest (or at least try). I was encouraged by your courageous step, considering what people can be like (especially Nigerians). Sometimes, one just has to take deep breath and take the plunge.

So you see Anengiyefa, you have made a positive impression without realising it up to now.

Sao Tome & Principe, no wonder the picture is serene.

Oh by the way, no apologies necessary, just glad to have you back.

Quitstorm said...

Welcome back,i checked but when i didn't see it,i ignored the issue,i just thought the internet cafe i was using was weak on connection,anyway,feel our presence too.

Anengiyefa said...

Greetings to you Quitstorm, nice to have you on here.

Anengiyefa said...

@CodLiverOil, since I'm one of those who didn't pick up on Anonymaus and how it relates to your location, are you going to rescue me from my blindness? :)

Anonymous said...

Anengiyefa, sorry, Anonym-aus(tralia). I'm in Australia.

Anengiyefa said...

Ah, now you've resolved for me that knotty problem I've had about working out who in Melbourne was so keen on checking out this blog. Oz is really nice, well at least from what I see on TV. I'm envious :)

Anonymous said...

So now you know, all that I've said, checks out.
Melbourne is a nice enough place, but remember "all that glitters isn't gold". No need to be envious.

C'est moi said...

Really pleased to have you back,man!...i did sorely miss my daily evening read of your blog..

Anengiyefa said...

Hello C'est moi, thanks for stopping by. Its nice when I hear that someone is reading what I put up here. Your name rings bells from a yahoo group. You may not recognise me because I've used a different ID in that group, but I'm pretty certain we've met somewhere before. Anyway, you're welcome. Please feel at home and make yourself comfortable