It started when she was eight. For the next 28 years, Miss Funmi Ayotade lived as a lesbian. It was a journey that took her to the high and mighty. It also left her with permanent scars. In this interview, shares her heart-rending escapades in the world of lesbianism.
How did the journey into lesbianism start for you?
I can remember faintly that when I was four, I started noticing a strange feeling for fellow girls like me. We were in Blackburn, United Kingdom then where I was born. I knew something was just wrong with
me. I wasn�t acting like my playmates. I can remember I was always scared of so many things. I was nervous of toys and very afraid whenever they tried to take my picture. I snapped at every little
thing. I was even afraid of flash of lights. Those were elements of lesbianism that they didn�t notice. I never loved boys. I related with them but I was more passionate when dealing with same-sex friends. I
was sharing my stuffs with girls more readily. I never liked making my hair; I always preferred to be on low-cuts. I liked biking and masculine chores. In most of my pictures, I will raise my legs and my
father will snap away.
When we came to Nigeria in 1981, I found myself in another preserved environment. Marital violence was the order of the day. My parents were staying in my father�s family house and that was a terrible experience for me. My father had to serve in Zaria when we came back and my mother got a job with First Bank, Apapa in Lagos. I remember one incident; we had just come back from Pedro in Bariga one Sunday
where we spent the weekend with my maternal family. My mother remembered she had not washed my uniform and needed to get ready for work on Monday. She backed my younger sister, Bukky, who was very
sickly as a child. I just remember that an uncle of mine, a distant relation, just bounced on her as she washed my cloth, not minding she was backing a baby. I was just shouting �leave my mummy alone�. He threw the baby to the pavement and I ran out. I was told that I would have been run down by an approaching vehicle. As I speak with you, that incident is still a pain to me. Also, my uncles came with different girls and maltreated them. I saw all of these and started forming an opinion about the opposite sex. Even my father, as
enlightened as he was, was also part of the attitude. He was always beating my mother. When we came to Shasha in the 80s, it was the late Baale Oguntade that talked to him to stop the battery. So, you can imagine a child growing in that environment. All the abuses meted to my mother made me form an aversion for the opposite sex.
So, all of these were there within me. I never had an opportunity to express it until we came to Shasha and hired a house help. She came from Saki in Oyo State when she was 16. I was around eight. She never
liked watching TV and was a recluse. She developed a special likeness for me, being the eldest of the three children. At a point, she started calling me �my husband�. She would even give me a peck, so I
was wondering where she learnt all of that since she was not a media freak. So, it started with kissing and pecking. We lived in a three-bedroom apartment. We had a room to ourselves and we were made
to sleep on the mat because we were still bedwetting. But she always asked me to come to the bed besides her. One night, she started moving my hands to sensitive parts of her body. I began to think �could it be
this lady is feeling the same way I have been feeling?�
When she came to do those things, I felt welcome into her life and developed a special interest in her. Anytime she fought with my mother, I always felt for her. I would apologise on behalf of my
mother and even pecked her. My father was working with Nigeria Textile Mills (NTM) and running shifts. Mummy was always coming home late. She worked on the Island (in Lagos) and we lived in Shasha. So, the maid locked me in, Unclad herself and asked me to suck her bosom. I did because I already had Intimate feeling for her.
Then, she began to tell me how she used to do it while in Saki with different partners. She told me how she always had an affair with her madam in her former place of work. She told me all the ladies in our
neighbourhood did it. I remember seeing letters she wrote to a particular girl in Saki. Those letters were so romantic though they were written in Yoruba. It was through her I knew she had lured other
ladies around us to the act. I got closer to those aunties, wanting to explore. So, she became jealous.
All of these at eight?
Yes, at eight. I became curious and started relating with them. When she saw me with them, she became jealous. So, we started having problems. Fortunately, she had to leave at that time because my
parents had a fight. When I was in Shasha Primary School, I noticed there was a girl always dotting over me. I was only playing with girls, though it was a mixed school. When I was in primary four, she
became my sitting mate. She told me about her family�s troubles. How her parents had separated and how only her dad was talking care of them alone. Whenever she wanted to talk, she would lean on my
shoulder. I was a succour sort of and I shared my stuffs with her. One day, she said she wanted me to marry her and I said I would. I started taking her to our house at Oguntade during break times because I had
the keys to the house, being the eldest child. We did the acts many times. When I was transferred to St. Mary Convent School on Campos Street, Lagos, it continued. I found that homosexuality was the
in-thing there despite the high moral disciplines. It was a day school, yet there were many lesbians there.
We wrote love letters to each other and always played the roles of a man. I always bought things for my sitting partner. Our teachers encouraged us to exchange gifts during Valentine and we saw it as a
further proof to continue. The teachers never winked at it despite the fact that we spoon-fed each other and exchanged amorous looks. We all felt good about it all.
In 1989 during the Ibrahim Babangida-must-go riot, I remember I was stuck in school. My mother was on leave. I always followed her staff� bus to school. Because of the riot, I could not go back home. We had a
Reverend Sister teaching Moral Instructions who saw me and said I should follow her to the mission house. I ended up sleeping there since my mother could not reach me. I slept off and late in the night,
the sister started caressing me. She had the act with me. Since then, I always wanted to be in her class. I was closely related to her and started fantasising with her.
So, you were actively lesbian by the time you left primary school?
Yes, I was.
What happened during your secondary school years?
That was at Girls High School, Agege. It was another world. It is an all-girls� school. So, we were only with fellow girls. We shared our troubles together and related sexually. It was very prominent there
too. Only those with strong sexuality survived. When I was in JSS3, one of the teachers showed interest in me. She would always call me and send me to her house.
One day, she said I had to go to one Hajia around Danjuma area. When I got there, the woman took me to her house and said I should suck her bosom. I was scared. She then said �that was why your teacher sent
you�. So, I did and we had the act. She gave me a note to my teacher. My teacher now said many ladies did it and if I wanted to be okay, I had better continue to do it. I remember she bought me my first set of
brassier from the first outing. So, it became a tradition. We call it �hot jobs�, anyway. After school hours and during break times, she would give up. We went to several big women around Agege and Agbotikuyo for the acts. We formed a clique among the students. The school authorities didn�t know about it but many teachers were behind it. We made money that they shared with us. But we couldn�t flaunt the money anyway. We must finish everything in school. They were peanuts that appeared big to us then. Our teachers got contracts and
businesses from the rich women in exchange for our illicit affairs. This went on for about three sessions or so.
I remember getting home late one day to meet my father. I couldn�t convince him where I was coming from, so he beat me so mercilessly. He thought I was following guys, not knowing I was doing much worse. The
next day, he followed me to school and the teacher denied she sent me out. I was penalised again and couldn�t take it any longer. I found somewhere behind the class and attempted suicide.
The whole school was in uproar when they found me. I hung my neck with my school�s belt. It took them much effort to disengage me. They concluded it was a spiritual attack after they called my parents. But that experience toughened and hardened me.
By the time I left secondary school, I had gone so deep in it. I started meeting with female clerics. I graduated into meeting pastors� wives across denominational divide. I was a member of Cherubim and
Seraphim Church, Ayo Ni O Movement. It happened there too, but it was a background lifestyle though we knew one another.
When I was in SS2, I met a pentecostal pastor�s wife who said she wanted to be my godmother. I started going out with her to meet several women. I realised there was a fellowship of homosexuals then.
They call it True Christian Fellowship for Nigerian Gay and Lesbians. It was co-founded by an American Bishop and two Nigerian preachers. One was orthodox, the other pentecostal. It was for ministers who were
lesbians and homosexuals. By the time I finished secondary school, I had all the time in the world because I was awaiting results. My parents were busy with work and I was trying to make up my O�Level
results. I would follow her and I would return later in the day. There we had a bi-monthly retreat that I could not attend. But at a time, she came to ask my parents for permission to attend the fellowship. Since they didn�t know what she was doing to me, they accepted.
That marked my first time at the retreat. I met big and prominent people and was shocked. They were celebrities and people from the arts and entertainment industry. I met old musicians and that was when I
knew the weight of the fellowship. They had something they call the Gay Bible and talk about your rights as homosexuals. When I started meeting those important Nigerians, I felt I wanted to be like them. I told her about that goal and she used her influence to get me registered though I was not a minister. One of the registration requirements is that you must be gay or gay affirmed. They call their initiation baptismal initiation and you will be taken through the gay culture.
When was all this?
That was in 1996-98.
Before homosexuality became a big issue?
Yes, you see it has always been with us. But it was in the background. Homosexuality has always been a large community. It is a world on its own. These people wanted to help me get admission but my father
insisted I must make up for my deficiency in Mathematics. In 2001, I gained admission into Yaba College of Technology to study Accounting. I then had all the freedom in this world and was a living act. I was
around 22, 23 years then and people started noticing I had no boyfriend. One guy even approached me that he suspected I was lesbian. I told my godmother and she said, �you too should look for somebody to marry so that they will not suspect you�. So, I followed her counsel. I asked her what if I don�t have feelings for that man? She said, �it does not matter because it is the man that should love�.
So, I started hunting for guys. So, from those of them that came around me I picked one. I met him in LASU Epe where he was a student when I went to write my GCE exams. He said he liked me when we met because I was a tomboy. He said, �I will marry you� and I asked him why. So, that guy appealed to me. He kept checking me when I finished the exams and showed commitment. Even when my father was not welcoming him, he never cared. So, I told my godmother about him, she approved of him. They met and she liked him.
She encouraged me to go ahead and said since he was cool-headed, he could help me to get out of it. At that time, I was fed up with being a lesbian. I wanted to live normal life like other ladies. So, we
started discussing marriage and by 2002, we had the introduction. After then, that was the first time I Were Intimate with a man. It was so horrible and the experience was disgusting. I then reasoned I would
get along with time. Each time, we wanted to relate sexually, I had to visualise the picture of one of my female partners to enjoy it. I was also pretending I was enjoying the act when it was not so.
After we married, I realised his eldest sister was also a lesbian. That became very tough for me. She was doting on me and supported me all the way against the family. I liked her and made out time to be with her. I stayed with her many nights to have the acts. She was the pillow queen, the submissive, the feminine. She was also a deaconess in the church, very sanctimonious. My husband and I were at Raji Razak
Estate but she started influencing me to tell him to get an accommodation in Aboru so that we could be closer.
After much pressure and pleadings, I yielded. But I had other lesbian partners and she became jealous. She was like how could I be bringing women into her brother�s house? She said I was exposing my brother to
dangers. I was livid and felt she could not control my life. So, we started having troubles. I then said I was going to quit the marriage if she kept pestering me.
One day, I called the mother and told her I was not interested in the marriage again. I opened up that her daughter was lesbian. To my surprise, she said there was no big deal. That didn�t I know that her daughter loved me so much and would always fight my cause? She was like was that how I would repay her? I just walked out on her.
I became pregnant and felt sick but they didn�t bother to look after me. They didn�t show up even when I was hospitalised. It was my second pregnancy. So, my father was angry and said I must not return to them
again. When the guy came around begging, I said I needed to round off my HND programme and everything just crashed. It degenerated into a war.
You had two babies for him?
Yes, but I lost them. The first one died in 2008 and the second died in March 2004 immediately I had him. He couldn�t survive it he immediately came out. So, I was living with my parents and resumed my full lesbianism. I was working and had all the time. I lost my dad in 2005 and became completely free. I even moved out of the house and started living with female partners. There was even a pastor�s wife
that rented a four-bedroom apartment for me in Orelope, Egbeda. I was all to myself whenever she could not come because she was married. In her absence, I brought other ladies in.
So, at what point did you turn a new leaf?
I will say it all started in 2009. Before then, I ventured into a heterogeneous illicit affair with a guy. I told him I was lesbian yet he said he was going to marry me. He is a lecturer at Yaba Tech now.
He said he wouldn�t mind marrying me. He said I could even be living my lesbian life and be married to him. So, I realised he was encouraging me to go online to get lesbian partners that we made money off. This was despite the fact that he was an instrumentalist in the church. I felt repulsed with what he was using me for and decided I was not going to marry him. I told him so one day and he became mad.
He even slapped me. I said that was it. I was pregnant for him then but said it was not for him. I packed his belongings one day and gave all of them out to Mallam for free. That made him know I meant business. He gave up on me completely.
How did you lose your daughter?
She was sick for just a week and I lost her on May 25th, 2009. But I believe it was a blessing in disguise. I never breastfed her but when she was three, I noticed she started touching and sucking my bosom. My mother told me to allow her but I thought it was not normal. If she didn�t accept bosom as a baby, why coming for it at three? I had my suspicion until the passover night of 2009. We all met in church for the service. Then, one person caught her kissing a fellow lady. I saw it myself. That got me alarmed that my daughter was also in the act. I was alarmed. I started praying to God to save my daughter from that
life. So, I embarked on fasting and vigil. I was praying God should take away anything that will stop me from making heaven. On the 18th of May, I was told the sickness started. She died on a Sunday in my
hands. What came to my mind was that God answered my prayers. After that incident, I was more remorseful. I was staying in a friend�s house in Abesan Estate. She was the one I had the longest affair with
as a lesbian. She was married and based in Katsina but came to Lagos when she heard I was in her apartment. So I gave birth to the third pregnancy and lost it too. At that point, I was fed up. I just wanted
So, what was the turning point?
My mother and my sister in the United Kingdom sent messages that I was going to die. They said God was angry and I might die if I didn�t change. Each time I made the decision, I kept falling back. By October, I developed drowsiness and was placed on medications. Nothing worked for me. I was almost dead; I saw my spirit leaving my body. I was battling with death. I had to rush to the hospital the next day. I
was practically dead for three days. I only came around the fourth day, after the doctors had given up on me. So, I started looking for a church for deliverance. I attended a church on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
for the session. Unfortunately, I stayed in a room at the camp with a lady who happened to be a lesbian. I had to run out of the place again.
In 2010, I met a female wrestler called Chinonye. She stayed in Abesan Estate and was more into lesbian prostitution. When I met her, I insisted she must stop smoking and drinking. She did and her mother
was happy to have me move in. She was also married and lost a child like me. Her family never knew she or I was a lesbian. I started staying with them in February 2010. We had a room to ourselves and were deep into the act again.
I slept one night and had a dream. I saw myself in a narrow way on a street with a bungalow building. The gate was dented but the fence was not too high. I went into the building and realised someone invited me
to look in. I saw pierced hands when a beam of light appeared. A man was dancing and singing. He was singing if I would be ready when the Lord comes. When I woke up, I was drenched in sweat. She wanted me to sleep with her again and I said no.
She was busy caressing me but I insisted I must pray. I told her I was done with the act. When she tempted me for seven days and I didn�t budge, she knew I was damn serious. I had to leave her house after many weeks. I underwent many deliverance and rehabilitation sessions in different churches.
What signals should one look for to recognise homosexuals?
They are very simple. It doesn�t take up to one minute to know. One, they cannot look straight into the eyes of the same-sex because they are very shy and the issue of attraction. Two, they are never
interested in issues of heterogeneous relationships. Thirdly, they are too busy with religious, academic and professional issues. They don�t give out time for leisure. These are the simple signals to look out
for. They are extremely shy towards same-sex. They can look at opposite sex without issues. But homosexuals cannot look straight into members of the same-sex. They isolate themselves and feel odd most
Are government�s legislations against same-sex helpful?
They are not the solutions but they are measures to check the insanity in the society. We are in a situation where it is now alarming. People no longer hide it; they are brazen. You see guys wearing carrot
trousers. Because of western voice sounding higher, we need legislations to checkmate it. There are deviants that the legislation will help. But there are many homosexuals that are not happy with it. These legislations do not address them. So, how do homosexuals under threat get help? But government needs to do much more. We have to really go into the roots of family life in this country. The family is where to fight this battle. If families are well-founded and traditional roles are emphasised, it will help a lot. Mothers should
assume the roles of trainers and not try to be breadwinners, taking the place of the fathers. They should not seek to equate themselves with men. So, we need something to regenerate traditional family values.
Would you still want to remarry?
Yes, I do. I am beginning to appreciate males and respecting them now. I now long for marriage and I can say I am mature to handle a marital relationship.
Do you believe homosexuality is never a western culture?
It is never. We have recorded history in the Bible. There was a Sodom and Gomorrah. The tribe of Benjamites was heavily into it. In the New Testament, Apostle Paul spoke against it. So, intimate disorder is an age-long thing. It has been with us in Africa but we only pretend about it. Some cultures permit it in Africa. In the northern parts of Nigeria, it is believed that wealth is in the anus. It is not an alien culture but a problem associated with man irrespective of tribes and racial divides.
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