Season Four: Episode 4

SHIVANAH’S STORY

In 2019, a young lesbian singer-songwriter from Uganda was struggling financially after breaking up with her partner of 6 years. With a child to support, Shivanah was desperate to make ends meet. And so when a former backup dancer told her that an agent could get her work performing in a club in Dubai, she jumped at the chance. This is truly a story of survival. A warning: in some parts, the details are graphic and troubling.

Thank you to Shivanah for sharing her story and music, Sophie Otiende for the role played by her and everyone at Azadi in helping Shivanah escape the traffickers and reintegrate into society.

Azadi is a survivor-led organization that offers long-term support and capacity development to survivors of human trafficking. To learn more about the Azadi, click here.

This episode was produced by Penny Dale and Selly Thiam. Written by Penny Dale. Sound editing by Mercy Barno and Tevin Sudi. Rachel Wamoto is our social media manager.  AfroQueer is executive produced by Selly Thiam and is a production of AQ Studios.

Our theme song is Pawa by Maia and the big sky.

AfroQueer is supported by The Wellspring Philanthropic fund and The Ford Foundation.

Listen to Shivanah’s story below

Being Bebe AfroQueer

About 20 years ago, Marshall Ngwa moved from Cameroon to the US. He followed his instincts and became one of the country’s hottest drag artists, BeBe Zahara Benet.  BeBe’s first-ever performance was with Cyndi Lauper and in 2009 he won the first-ever RuPaul’s Drag Race. His extraordinary journey to that point and beyond has been captured in a documentary called ‘Being BeBe’. It was made by Emily Branham and filmed over 15 years.  In this episode, AfroQueer host Selly Thiam sits down in conversation with BeBe, to explore his childhood in Cameroon, becoming the first RuPaul’s Drag Race champion, and the film Being BeBe.  You can watch Being BeBe on Apple and Amazon Prime – broadcast premiere June 21st on Fuse. Also go to the film website beingbebemovie.com/ to find out where else you can watch it wherever you are in the world. This episode was written and produced by Penny Dale. Sound editing by Tevin Sudi.  AfroQueer is executive produced by me, Selly Thiam. AfroQueer is a production of AQ Studios. Our theme song is Pawa by Maia and the big sky. AfroQueer is supported by The Wellspring Philanthropic fund and The Ford Foundation. You can follow us on all social media platforms @AfroQueer Podcast and listen to all our episodes on our website,.afroqueerpodcast.com or anywhere you get your podcasts.  
  1. Being Bebe
  2. My Ghost
  3. AfroQueer Presents: S***hole Country – 1 Corinthians 10:23
  4. Shivanah‘s Story
  5. Fighting For A Happy Ending

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