For Akin: Funmi Iyanda helps another Nigerian man come out as gay
Famed for granting the T.V interview where popular gay rights activist, Bisi Alimi, became the first Nigerian to publicly come out as gay, media personality, Funmi Iyanda is at it again.
This time, she helped her friend, Akin Akintayo, 51, come out, through a piece “For Akin” she wrote about him. Here is an excerpt: “You see, in 2009, Akin had been diagnosed with cancer at the height of his career and life.
He lived in a penthouse by Amsterdam’s beautiful Ijhaven harbor from where he travelled widely and entertained often. He was an affluent Eurocentric Anglicized Nigerian, one of those shiny examples of diaspora success.
He had been HIV positive since 2002. Soon after his cancer diagnosis, he also developed full-blown AIDS. Without any family in the Netherlands he spent weeks in hospital and months of chemotherapy on his own.
He once wrote that his motto through life, cancer and AIDS was to thrive. In his words “I will never live as if I’m dying, l do not intend to start doing that now. I live to live well”. A year and a half later his cancer had gone into remission and his HIV viral load fallen to undetectable. His doctors thought it was a miraculous recovery.
Oh yes, my friend Akin is gay, has been all his life. He didn’t leave Nigeria because he was gay, he’s middle class, to be poor is the only real crime, he left because he wanted to become more than was on offer in 1990.
He left a high paying job and a company he was part owner of to start over in London then he moved to Amsterdam. He hasn’t been home in 26 years but my meddlesome determination is that he must come home to visit his family.
We were talking about this on Christmas Day when the news of George Michael’s death broke, suddenly he turned to me and said, Funmi l want to come out, and I want you to be the one to do this for me, I want people to know I’m gay.
I have never consciously hidden it but l want to state it now and make it open. I asked why, he said, its time, l asked if he was sure. He said yes. So l wrote this story. For my friend Broda Akin, Uncle ilu oyinbo.”