Inside the ‘risky’ life of Bobrisky

Bobrisky’s story is not easy to tell. The first problem is deciding what pronoun to use. By the circumstances of his birth, ‘he’ is the right pronoun, but by what Bobrisky has chosen, ‘she’ is correct.

“Tani bro e? (Who is your bro?). I’m a fine babe,” Bobrisky once replied a commentator who referred to him as a man.

There is also no agreement on whether or not he is a transvestite or just a crossdresser.

Who is Bobrisky?

A primary school mate said he had always behaved like a woman trapped in a  man’s body.

In a video, which was uploaded on YouTube on January 19, 2018, a dark man sporting a white bathrobe on a white t-shirt, is sitting on a brown sofa.

There is a gold chain around his neck and in his right hand is a wad of N1,000 notes and a glass of wine.

He pulls out note after note with his left hand and places it on the waist of a light-skinned dancer in black tight-fitting trousers and a crop top, shaking a slim bottom in his face.

The man kisses the tips of his left palm and touches the dancer’s waist excitedly before the video stops playing.

The video is titled ‘Bobrisky twerking for her sugar daddy’.

The dancer in the 11-second video is popular transvestite, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, his name on the social media platform, Snap Chat.

Idris, from Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State, was born male on August 31, 1992, at Ebute Meta, Lagos Mainland.

He attended secondary school at the prestigious King’s College, Lagos, before bagging a BSc from the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

He was a very good dancer, choreographer and make-up artist at the university. In May 2019, Bobrisky stated on his Instagram profile that his pronouns are “she” and “her”.

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Going viral

It is not clear when Idris became the cross-dressing Bobrisky, but he went viral in October 2016, when President Muhammadu Buhari’s social media aide, Bashir Ahmad, pulled out of appearing with him on a social media panel in Abuja.

“The organizers invited me to speak on the fact that people are talking about Bobrisky,” the then 25-year-old told AFP.

He added: “Withdrawing wasn’t nice. In Nigeria, the majority of people here judge you so fast.”

According to AFP, he often recounted online how his lifestyle was funded by a rich, mystery man he referred to only as “bae.

A few years earlier, a video surfaced of Bobrisky being stripped by the police of the female clothing he was wearing. Two sachets of water – pseudo breasts – were pulled out of the low neck gown.

Controversies

Bobrisky, who turned 28 on Saturday, fled his Lekki, Lagos neighborhood to evade arrest following the deployment of policemen to scuttle his planned birthday celebrations.

He had planned a birthday bash at the Pearls Gardens in Lekki Phase 1 on Saturday and another at the Paradise Boat Club, Victoria Island on Sunday.

But Police Commissioner Zubairu Muazu ordered the deployment of water-tight security to ensure the party did not hold and also arrest Bobrisky and other crossdressers or homosexuals who planned to attend.

The Nation gathered that five suspected members of Bobrisky’s club were arrested for breach of the public peace and indecency.

According to the police, the government would not allow a continuous breach of existing laws, noting that allowing the public display of actions that could corrupt young people was inimical to national consciousness.

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Earlier in the week, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, threatened to go after Bobrisky and others like him, describing the cross-dresser as “a disgrace to the nation.” Bobrisky replied by saying Runsewe was a small fry.

The police had earlier in the year warned all homosexuals to flee the country or be dealt with in accordance with the Anti-Same Sex Marriage Law which prescribes a 14-year jail term for all persons involved in a homosexual relationship.

Former Public Relations Officer of the Zone 2 Police Command, Mrs. Dolapo Badmos, had said: “If you are homosexually inclined, Nigeria is not a place for you. There is a law here that criminalizes homosexual clubs, associations, and organizations with penalties of up to 14 years in jail.

“So, if you are a homosexual in nature, leave the country or face prosecution. But before you say, ‘does this matter?’ Kindly note that anything against the law of the land is criminal and all crimes will be punished accordingly no matter how small you think it is.”

What the law says

The law Badmos is referring to is the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2013. It says a person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organizations, directly or indirectly makes a public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years. Anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years imprisonment.

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Pronouns controversy

Following the police’s raid, Nigerians on social media were divided over the use of the pronoun he to refer to Bobrisky.

Bisi Alimi, a gay man and advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights cautioned that the right pronoun for Bobrisky is ‘she’ and ‘her’.

“Dear #Nigeria allies, the correct pronoun for #Bobrisky is “She/Her”. Using this will help reduce stigma and show that you really care. You can’t use a wrong pronoun and say you are an ally,” he tweeted.

“Just In: Bobrisky on the run as Police Storms. Shutdown venue if his 27th birthday celebration in Lekki, chase away everyone,” Iselaiye tweeted to which Ogunmuyiwa replied, “HER!!! Her pronouns are she/her!!! And this us transmisogynistic violence.”

Another user, @whoislateef, mockingly asked, “So which cell will they put Bobrisky Female cell: Naaaah Male cell: Honeymoon.”

What does the future hold for the like of Bobrisky?

A 2017 survey by NOI Polls compared attitudes towards LGBT people in Nigeria against a 2015 poll.

It found a seven percent increase in acceptance of LGBT people, and a nine percent rise to 39 percent of those surveyed who think that LGBT people should be allowed equal access to public services, such as healthcare, education, and housing.

However, the poll showed a four percent increase to 90 percent of Nigerians who support the criminalization of same-sex relationships, and no change in the proportion of Nigerians who believe that the country would be a better place with no LGBT people, also 90 percent.

Will Nigerian society ever accept cross-dressing and other LGBT lifestyles, such as Bobrisky’s? Only time will tell.

Updated: September 3, 2019 — 7:52 am

24 Comments

  1. Nigerians should wakeup from our slumber, we know what is right but we’re lazy implementing it. If we can’t handle a citizen subject to the law, how then can this nation handle terrorist group like boko haram?

  2. Will Nigerian society ever accept cross-dressing and other LGBT lifestyles, such as Bobrisky’s? Only time will tell or maybe it’s won’t happen

  3. it will be better if government see to this issue before it got out of hands.

  4. Thank you for making us to know about him the government should do something about it seriously

  5. Bobrisky is a disgrace to our nation and I think he needs to be corrected because what his doing is not normal.

  6. you guys are making him look famous..biko there are other social vices that needs to be tackled other than this

  7. i dont still understand the meaning of the scenario concerning bob-risky on what he has chosen to teach Nigerian youths about his lifestyle ,if only this issue will be taking so far to stop all this attitude .

  8. That guy is a disgrace to manhood, he need all the strong men of God to deliver him

  9. It unfortunate that bobrisky has allowed the devil to posses him, too bad…………

  10. Thanks you so much for the information admin i like the update please keep it up and bobrisky should becareful .

  11. Let him be doing their stuffs noting do am na senior man him be na

  12. All I look forward to is a great and better Nigeria where Nigerians will be proud of been called Nigerians.

  13. But to be sincere bobrisky his an ungrateful soul trying to change what create in his own way

  14. Everything about the guy irritates me, I wonder if he even think of the future

  15. No one forced him to live a risky life.
    He should be ashamed of himself for choosing such life.

  16. what kind of a nastick somebody may God help him or her to change to a new leave

  17. Bobrisky is a national disgrace as stated,trying to change who God made you to be,that is another way of telling God he don’t know what he was doing

  18. I love this mrs badmos of a woman
    Nigerians don’t tolerate gays lesbians transgender and crossdressers cos it’s ill and against our culture

    1. That girl is a disgrace to the society and country… They should just arrest him

  19. you guys are making her famous..biko there are other social vices that needs to be tackled.

  20. The organizers invited me to speak on the fact that people are talking about Bobrisky,” the then 25-year-old told AFP.

    He added: “Withdrawing wasn’t nice. In Nigeria, the majority of people here judge you so fast.”

  21. Thanks for the information admin keep it up …………………………………

  22. Police officers should stop chasing Bobrisky and go after Bokoharam and Fulani herdsmen.
    Bobrisky is not the problem of Nigeria rather, Bokoharam, herdsmen and corrupt politicians are.

  23. This is very interesting story,the story has made the whole world to know about him.

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