Africa / Commentary

A surprise: This Nigerian drama portrays gay love positively

Scene from "With or Without"

Scene from “With or Without”

Amidst great hostility toward homosexuals, a new mainstream Nigerian online video series dares to portray love between two men.

Scene from "With or Without"

Scene from “With or Without”

The videos have been published on YouTube under the series title “With or Without.” The 46-minute episodes are labeled as Seasons 1 through 4 of the “Latest 2017 Nigerian Nollywood Movie”:

The drama shows how two men in a homosexual relationship deeply love each other and find it difficult to hide what they feel.

Dave Ogbeni plays David

If the story line followed the pattern of most Nigerian films, it would not present a positive portrayal of homosexuality, but so far the story seems to be heading in that unexpected direction.

Ibiwari Etuk plays Mabel

Though the videos are far from perfect, their creators deserve credit for attempting to put the reality of gay men on screen.

Still, the characters are mostly exaggerated and poorly acted. The actors don’t seem to have done any proper research about gay reality before portraying the characters on screen.

Chigozie Okafor plays Henry

Synopsis:

The film tells the story of David [Dave Ogbeni] and Henry [Chigozie Okafor] who appear as best friends who are deeply in love with each other.

David is a bisexual man who is currently in a relationship with Mabel [Ibiwari Etuk].

But everything changes when Henry visits. David and Henry try to keep their relationship flourishing while David battles to maintain the status quo.

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