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Several Cultural Figures Sign Petition Supporting Ghana's LGBT Community

Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, Edward Enninful and several others have signed a petition calling on Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo to support and protect the LGBT community which is under continued targeting.

Several celebrities, cultural figures and allies, both on the continent and abroad, have signed a petition in support of Ghana's LGBT community. The petition comes after the country's first and only LGBT centre was shut down last week after a raid by security forces which was reportedly prompted by politicians and religious leaders calling for the closure of the centre barely a month after it opened its doors.


READ: The World Congress of Families is Expanding its Homophobic Agenda into West Africa

Under the online banner of #GhanaSupportsEquality, the LGBT community in Ghana is gaining both local and international support. The likes of supermodel Naomi Campbell, actresses Yvonne Orji and Gabourey Sidibe, photographer Joshua Kissi, actor and musician Idris Elba along with his wife Sabrina Elba and British Vogue's Edward Enninful have all signed the petition which calls on President Nana Akufo-Addo to "reach out and engage in a meaningful and purposeful dialogue with the LGBTQIA+ community leaders to create a pathway for allyship, protection and support." The petition has also been backed by UK Black Pride.

The petition also addresses the LGBT community directly with words of encouragement saying, "Even though at present you might be feeling alone and cornered, we want to assure you that we are here." The petition adds, "We are watching and listening and we will use our collective power to shield and raise you up."

Homosexuality remains illegal in Ghana as is the case in several other African countries. While there have been very few instances of prosecution and imprisonment, members of the LGBT community continue to face targeted harassment, assault and marginalisation.

Read the rest of the petition below:

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

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Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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