I’m crazy about you & I want the world to know: President's daughter in homosexuality storm


The daughter of Cameroon's long-serving president, Paul Biya, has ignited a firestorm of controversy in the deeply conservative nation after sharing a picture of herself kissing another woman on social media. The image, posted by 26-year-old Brenda Biya on Instagram, has sparked a heated debate about LGBTQ+ rights in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised and carry a potential prison sentence of up to five years.

The picture, which shows Biya embracing Brazilian model Layyons Valença, was accompanied by the caption: "I’m crazy about you & I want the world to know," followed by a love heart emoji. While Biya, a musician based abroad who goes by the stage name King Nasty, did not explicitly declare her sexuality, the image left little room for interpretation.

Soon after the post went viral, Biya shared an article from French newspaper Le Monde, which reported that she had "come out". She also re-shared messages of support from individuals, including transgender Cameroonian activist Shakiro, who lauded Biya's bold move, calling it a "turning point for the LGBTQ+ community in Cameroon".

"Biya is now positioning herself as a voice for social change in a country where taboos are deeply rooted," said Shakiro, who currently resides in Belgium after seeking asylum there following a conviction for "attempted homosexuality" in Cameroon.

However, Biya's post was met with a barrage of homophobic comments from several social media users in Cameroon. Some questioned whether Biya's actions were a calculated move to generate publicity, given her penchant for controversial social media posts. Others questioned the privilege of coming out in a country where LGBTQ+ individuals face severe discrimination and persecution.

"I love this for Cameroon’s First Daughter," LGBT activist Bandy Kiki wrote on Facebook. "However, it highlights a harsh reality: Anti-LGBT laws in Cameroon disproportionately target the poor. Wealth and connections create a shield for some, while others face severe consequences."

The debate surrounding Biya's post has brought to the forefront the stark reality of LGBTQ+ rights in Cameroon. Human rights groups have repeatedly condemned the country's strict laws against members of the LGBT community, highlighting the systemic discrimination and violence they face. In 2022, Human Rights Watch urged Cameroon to "take urgent action to revoke this discriminatory law and to ensure that the human rights of all Cameroonians, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics, are upheld".

Renowned human rights lawyer Alice Nkom, who defends LGBT people in Cameroon, praised Biya's courage, stating that she is "sending an important universal message of love".

Despite the widespread discussion on social media, most media outlets in Cameroon have remained silent on the story, a testament to the powerful grip of censorship and the fear of repercussions from the media regulatory body, known to sanction publications and broadcasters for depicting homosexuality.

The government, including President Biya himself, has maintained a deafening silence on the issue. The BBC has reached out to Ms Biya for comment but has yet to receive a response.

Latest Gossip News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Latest Gossip News via email.