Activists Are Saving The World, But Who Is Saving Them?

Saving the world is not just an emotional-draining job, it is also a full-time and often low or no-paying job. I know this all too well.

I am a passionate workaholic. I graduated from university with a second class upper division in theatre, but my career shifted away from acting in 2004 when I came out as gay on national television in Nigeria. Since then, for the past 14 years, I have worked in HIV and LGBT rights. I received my master’s degree in politics and public policy from Birkbeck College. I have worked with organizations such as Naz project LondonHIV I-base and Kaleidoscope Trust

Until February of 2016, I was a lecturer at Humboldt University in Berlin. My students regularly told me how my class has opened their world views beyond the Western narrative lens they were so used to seeing the world through.

But I also devote countless unpaid hours writing articles, giving lectures and media interviews, and offering one-on-one help to people who reach out to me.

To put things into perceptive, I receive on average 10 Facebook messages per week from LGBT people around Africa desperate for help. Many are at their most vulnerable state; their house broken into, their families are about to force them into marriage, they have been arrested by the police or have just escaped a mob lynching and needed a place to hide. Their stories haunt me in my sleep. It often feels like for every one person I help, there are four more waiting in line.

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