Uche Maduagwu, a rising star in Nollywood and a social media prankster, revealed Monday (19 April) that he lied about being gay.
The Nigerian actor said earlier year that he was “proudly gay“. At the time, he urged his nearly 89,000 followers to live their truths while calling on US president Joe Biden to challenge Nigeria’s “inhuman laws against law-abiding homosexuals”.
“Appreciate others and share only love,” he said in the since-deleted post.
Three months later, Maduagwu rowed back in a candid Instagram post. He stressed that he is “not gay” but wanted to use his “celebrity status [to fight] for this beautiful community”.
But in the fallout of coming out, his girlfriend left him and movie studios have severed ties from him – losing acting gigs and endorsement deals as a result, he claimed.
Uche Maduagwu lost movie roles after claiming he was gay
“Dear Fans, I am not gay,” he wrote.
“I lost movies roles, endorsements and my girlfriend fighting for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria.
“[Oh, my God], even my girlfriend left me despite knowing I was fighting for LGBT right in Naija but I no regret using my celebrity status to fighting for this beautiful community.”
On Tuesday (20 April), Maduagwu added in a follow-up post that since his partner left him, he has felt like “jumping in a lagoon” and is “100 per cent depressed”.
“My girlfriend left me when I needed her the most,” he wrote, before adding that he has long struggled to connect with someone not drawn to him purely for his “celebrity” status.
In Nigeria, queer locals spar with the looming threat of 14 years imprisonment and the death penalty, with human rights charity bosses that say homosexuality “is an inch higher” than incest and with police units that brutally molested and tortured them.
The country is among the most dangerous countries in the world for LGBT+ people, according to top monitoring groups.