Founder and CEO of Bold Network Africa, Makena Njeri, has come out to reveal she no longer goes to church.
In an interview with Sauti Sol’s Bien-Aimé Baraza, Makena stated that immediately she came out as gay she felt judged and unwanted in the Holy place.
“I have said this so many times, I am a Christian, I love going to church, but I stopped going to church the moment I came out. Because Immediately I walked into church and I did not feel safe anymore. From the priest, to the women, to the choir, the people seated next to me, they were just like, ‘what are you doing in church and we watched your Ted Talk two days ago?’” she said.
According to the former BBC journalist, growing up, she had been taught that the church was a safe haven where she could run to and seek protection and love but in her own words, that unfortunately turned out to be false.
“Growing up we were told church is a safe place but it changes immediately you start living your truth. I would comfortably still be going to church if there was no judgement. But religion has been used to weaponize completely,” she added.
Sometime in March 2021, Makena opened up on her sexuality while appearing as a guest speaker on TEDx Talks and revealed she was gay, a revelation she admits took some weight off her shoulder.
“I remember for the first time in my life after very many years, I looked in a mirror and said to myself, ‘I am gay, I am unique, and this is my truth. This was a victory for me, but what I didn’t know was just this was the beginning of my journey to boldness,” she said.
The social media influencer now runs an organization that aims to educate Kenyans on LGBTQ to curb discrimination.
Weighing in on the recent brutal killing of Sheila Lumumba, 24-year-old who identified as queer, Makena who is an advocate of LGBTQ rights assured that she will proudly continue to give a voice to the LGBTQ.
“We will forever have bold conversations! That’s one thing we have in common with my brother @bienaimesol Thank you for having me. A dedication to our fallen family Sheila. #justiceforsheilalumumba #protectkenyanqueers
The murder of Sheila sparked outrage among Kenyans who started a hashtag #JusticeForSheila to demand justice for her death.
According to her parents; Mr John Lumumba and Mrs Milisens Oloo, their daughter was a loving, kind and determined person who didn’t deserve what was done to her.
Sheila’s father demanded that the killers of his daughter be apprehended and brought to book. “I want to see the people who killed my daughter, I would appreciate to just see them, and make sure action is taken,” he said in an interview with BBC.