Popular Nollywood actor, Uche Maduagwu who recently revealed he is gay speaks with Muhaimin Olowoporoku about his sexual orientation, his comments that 12 Nigerian governors and many legislators are gay and his political ambition to become the next governor of Anambra State.
When and how did you know you are gay?
Well, being gay is something you are born with, you don’t just discover it. You are created like that. So when people ask, when one discovers it, I don’t think that is the word. It sounds like when did you realize you are who you are?
It is what you are from birth. But sometimes, because of the society we are in Nigeria so many people are scared to come out.
Being gay, it means you won’t be with a woman sexually, how do you intend to reproduce and father children?
Well, there are so many ways someone can choose to father a child. You can adopt and it depends on what you want. I can’t speak for other people; I can only speak for myself. So the most important is that you know who you are and whichever way you feel, you want to get children.It is left for the individual to decide.
After revealing your sexual orientation, how has your relationship been with other actors and filmmakers? What change have you noticed?
What I would first say is that there are many hypocrites in the industry because as I speak to you, in Nollywood, over 95 percent of successful male actors are gay. But what I find very confusing is that the same people who know who they are, are first to criticise others who come out as gay. Sometimes I think it is a psychological problem. I mean, you know that you are this thing, so why criticize it? Most of these so-called actors who claim they are making so much money from in this industry that we know there is no money inside, we know what they do. We know how they get their money.
What I always tell them is that if you don’t want to come out, it is worst you are criticising it. So, my relationship with many of them has not been good because I am somebody that will always tell you the truth. If you don’t want to believe the truth, you and I cannot roll.
I don’t want to mention names but there are so many of them. Some don’t hide it anymore that they are gay but they have not come out to disclose their orientation.
Tell us more about your allegations that 12 Nigerian governors are gay and several senators.
I won’t call it an allegation, I would call it a fact. So many people have asked me this question and I ask that if what I said is false, governors would have come out to say he is telling a lie. They have a governor’s forum. So one of them should have come out and say he is telling a lie. But for the fact that nobody has come out to deny it, it shows that it is correct. That is like a silent answer.
It is why I tell people that the worst president in the history of Nigeria is not actually Buhari but Goodluck Jonathan. The same man who signed that nonsense anti-gay bill. He is the worst president Nigeria ever had because you can say Buhari is bad this and that but he didn’t sign that law.
The man who signed that law is a Christian and claims he is educated, I heard he is a lecturer, so he is educated and for someone to be that educated and sign that bill, he should be sanctioned. The US and UK must not allow him to enter their countries.
So, back to your question, it is what it is, people are who they are, only that in this part of the world it has been made a criminal thing and it is not.
The government should not tell individuals how to live their lives I find it difficult to understand. The role of the government is to protect people and property and ensure people live well, not tell me how to live my life. It is why I keep saying Jonathan is the worst president in Nigeria.
What is your reaction to Joe Biden’s sanction that Buhari reverse the Anti-gay bill after urging him to do so?
What I would say is that it was not magic but a simple thing. I called on Joe Biden to sanction Nigeria and he did it. It is not magic, it is the reality because the truth is I have so many powerful friends in the US and these are things we discuss almost on a daily basis. So what I did is I made sure I reached out to Joe Biden and he listened to my voice and he saw the thing and that is it.
The Buhari government has no choice but to take away that law. Right now as we speak so many things the Nigerian government is asking from the US, and what I hear is that they are giving Nigeria a condition that if you want us to help you especially in terrorism fight and insecurity, take away that law. That is what is on ground but the Nigerian government would not tell us, because they don’t want us to know the truth. If that law is not taken out the American government would not do anything for us here.
Also, all those who are in a position to reverse that law are being pressured right now, even their political career is on the line because if you don’t do it, the US would not support their political career. That is what is on ground. So they have no choice but to answer the international community.
And also, previously people who were talking are not celebrities, so now that I came on board, it is a game-changer and I say it is not just about me but people who are out there. Some people have been taken to church and get flogged because they want to cast out a demon. I don’t understand.
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I also say one of the biggest problems in the country are religious leaders because I don’t know how you take someone to church and start flogging the person saying you are doing deliverance. Deliverance for what? People should be left alone. They are who they are.
What spurred your interest in campaigning to become the next governor of Anambra, as a Nollywood star, why politics?
I have always said it before that the only sensible governor we had in Anambra State is Peter Obi and every other governor has just been playing around and Peter Obi is a family friend.
He comes to my family house. He is somebody I know very well. So he is the only person I know, who has done something that no other governor has done. So, I looked at all the guys coming out now and can say categorically that 80 percent of those coming out to contest are bisexual.
So I decided to contest because I feel the government has been too far from the people. If you go to Anambra today and you have been there years back, you will weep. You now begin to wonder a state so small and doesn’t have a large landmass and there is no obvious development. So you begin questioning what the governor has been doing.
The current governor is a talkative governor. His development is talk. Go to Onitsha, go to Nnewi, these are places that have contributed to the growth of Nigeria. Look at the roads that link Onitsha to major roads and Nnewi. It is when you visit these places you find out the governor is a talkative governor.
I can say Obiano is the worst governor in Anambra State and I thought when he came in, being an experienced banker he would use his influence to get the World Bank, African Development Bank to influence Anambra for good but to my surprise, it is almost eight years and nothing is happening. He is always just talking and does nothing.
It would just be wrong for me to sit back and allow Anambra State be in darkness and remain in the hands of a talkative governor.
Under what Political Party are you running?
I am still doing consultation and a lot of people have been reaching out to me.But I want people to know I am ready to work with any political party. It is not just about me you know, I have to decide which party with my kinsmen and a lot of people have been wooing me. I tell them when it comes to party I have to carry people along and people of substance who I need to carry along.
The only thing is I will never join APGA, because the party is a talkative party.