The final story in the Turning 18 series is by Chukwunwikezarramu, who turned 18 in Nigeria. In his story, he discusses traditional gender roles in Nigerian society, describing 18 as a ‘magic number’, an age where men and women ‘arrive’ into the world. He then recounts how, as a gay man, turning eighteen instigated an inner struggle, balancing the need to fit in whilst privately unravelling his identity. He likens the end of his struggle to that of a caged bird that is finally freed.
Chukwunwikezarramu fled Nigeria in 2007, where homosexual activity is illegal and can carry a punishment of up to 14 years in prison, or death by stoning. Today he is an active LGBT rights campaigner and has received refugee status in the UK.