Gbenga Aborowa is a charmer, a charismatic braodcast journalist with a barritone voice that catches attention. He is very passionate about social justice and equality. In 2018, Gbenga became a fellow of the Bisi Alimi Foundation’s Media Justice Fellow.
In this new edition of our monthly blogpost on “Fellow of the month”, we caught up with Gbenga and he let us into his life a little bit more.
We hope you will enjoy reading this.
1- Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Anything about you that you would like us to know
Hmm, there is so much about me, that I am not sure it can fit into this interview, but I will try my best. I am Gbenga Aborowa, was born and raised in Lagos, I love suits, history, fast cars, I’m a Pan African and I support a Club called Newcastle United.
I wanted to be a Soldier when I was younger, I spent two years at the Nigerian military school Zaria, they were tough years and all those experiences have helped to shape my personality. my personal heroes are Ayrton Senna the late Brazilian Formula 1 driver and Thomas Sankara revolutionary former president of Burkina Faso
2- What industry do you work in and as what?
I am a Broadcast Journalist with over 8 years experience in Radio and Television. I currently work as a News Anchor, Presenter and Deputy Editor (Politics) at News Central TV a 24-hour news station whose mission is to bring Africa to the world by telling the African Story. I also Compere and host corporate gigs and events. in my spare time I blog about international relations and geopolitics at www.gbengaaborowa.wordpress.com
3- What interest you to apply for the Media Justice fellowship?
I am always in pursuit of knowledge and understanding and when I saw the opportunity to apply to the Media Justice fellowship, I jumped on it. As a media practitioner it is important for me to speak from an informed point of view on all subjects and the Media Justice fellowship provided that platform to learn about LGBT issues in relation to media storytelling, legal representation and support
4- Before the training, how will you rate your understanding of LGBT issues in Nigeria on a scale of I know a lot to I have no clue.
I will rate my understanding as average before the training, I have always been one to root for the underdogs because I believe injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere. love is the greatest commandment of God, it’s a beautiful thing, I never understood why anyone will criminalize love based on sexual orientation.
5- To what extent would you say the fellowship programme changed your perception about sexual orientation, gender identity and LGBT people?
I wouldn’t say it changed my perception much because I have always been an ally of the LGBT community, what the training did for me was to strengthen my knowledge and understanding on LGBT subjects and, networks with other participants at the fellowship, the quality of the trainers was top notch and I enjoyed the exercises and course work, it was also enlightening to hear first-hand cases and people share their experiences.
6- How has the fellowship changed your life personally?
I will always have fond memories of my time at the Media Justice fellowship, it was an enriching and eye-opening experience that will stay with me forever.
7- What part of the fellowship would improve if you have the power?
I believe the organizers did an excellent job with the quality of the facilitation, ambiance, refreshments, everything was top-notch, if I had the power to change anything it will be to increase the number of participants, more Nigerians need to be educated about LGBT issues and by doing so accelerate the social acceptance for the rights and dignity of LGBT people in Nigeria.
8- With over 80% of Nigerians in support of the SSMPA, if you are the president of Nigeria, how will you change the law?
not all laws are right. There was a time in history when it was legal to own slaves, memories of Apartheid South Africa isn’t so far away, the fact that 80% of Nigerians support the SSMPA doesn’t make them right. Much of Africa seems to be riding on a homophobic wave that is being billed as an African resistance to Western attempts to force homosexuality on Africa. However, this Africanisation of homophobia is based on false premises. Pre-colonial Africa entertained a diverse set of ways in which non-heterosexuality and non-heteronormativity were expressed and it was colonialism that introduced the now widespread religious and legal norms that policed sexuality and gender.
Using this premise, I’ll Change the law based on universal human rights, the SSMPA violates the freedom of Assembly, right to personal liberty, association and many more it is therefore illegal on that note.
9- Are you more of a cat or a dog? Explain
I’ll like to say I’m a wolf ? I know it doesn’t answer your question but it’s an animal that reminds me of myself. I’m a pretty solitary person, however when I do communicate with others my communication skills are great. Not to toot my horn I am also a pretty knowledgeable lesson which is useful.
10- If you have luxury holiday ticket to an isolated island and you can only take 5 people, who will they be and why?
This question can get me in trouble with my friends because everyone will want to be selected. I have an interesting bunch of friends; it will be a mixture of my work colleagues (They are an awesome bunch) and my high school mates. It’s never a dull moment with the group
11- If you are to be a drag queen, what will be your drag name and why?
Duchess Bernadette Von PissyPants ? this is what the Drag Queen generator came up with, I’m actually rolling on the floor. Sounds like European Royalty ?.