Bisi Alimi headlines the Diversity and Inclusion conference at the University of the Lagos, and this comes 13 years after the university management said he was ‘morally unfit’ to graduate from the institution because of his sexuality.
Writing on his Instagram yesterday, the LGBT advocate said he was invited to close the plenary, a fulfilling event he never imagined as a possibility.
“Before my presentation, I actually went to the bathroom to cry a little,” he wrote on his page, adding, “No one told me this is a possibility. I also didn’t believe it.”
Recall that 2004 marked a new beginning in Alimi’s life. That year he went on New Dawn national TV show hosted by Funmi Iyanda on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), to reveal that he was a homosexual.
That revelation brought about the end of Iyanda’s very popular breakfast show.
Shortly after, Alimi fled Nigeria for the UK where he began his advocacy, and has won major awards, including a nod for the Vodafone Campaigner of the Year.
In November 2016, Bisi Alimi and his partner Anthony Davis legally became a couple. Now, he is back in Nigeria, headlining a conference at same university that almost shattered his dreams.
See his full note:-
Today I had the honour and privilege of presenting the closing plenary at the first ever 'Diversity and Inclusion' conference at the University of Lagos. Well I think it is important to put this into perspective. 13yrs ago, I graduated from the university of Lagos with second class upper with honours. That graduation happened at one of the most challenging time of my life. During my exams period, I was on set shooting my first ever career break, but I was also facing the pressure to kill a story that was about to out me. Then, I was also facing a disciplinary committee for my sexuality. Few months later in October 2004, I came out and my university came to a conclusion I was not morally fit to graduate. Though I had my certificate many years later, I never attend my graduation. Then 13yrs later, I was invited as a diversity and inclusion expert to give a closing keynote on diversity and inclusion in nigeria. Before my presentation, I actually went to the bathroom to cry a little. No one told me this is a possibility. I also didn't believe it. My life might have been shattered 13years ago, but one thing I left with was my pride, integrity and ego. I agree I am a very misunderstood person and most time I present such image but one thing is clear for me, I don't give up easily. I hardly even know what it means to give up. I am here in the car heading back to my hotel and tears dropping off my eyes. Who would have thought that the boy that was told he was not fit enough to graduate because of his sexuality will go back to the school to talk about why boys and girls like him should not be judged by their sexuality. However, it was also the fact that, I shared the stage with powerful academia from my university. I am humbled #storyofmylife #publicfigure #publicspeaking #lgbt #loveislove #humble #diversity #instagay #instastyle