The 2020 Freedom Awards Honour LGBTQ & Feminist Advocates

Olumide Makanjuola, Matthew Blaise, Mariam Sule, Zikoko Magazine, and State of Emergency GBV Movement named winners by TIERS.
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The activist Matthew Blaise at a WHER Initiative event. Credit to @rakelphotography1 on Instagram

The activist Matthew Blaise at a WHER Initiative event. Credit: @rakelphotography1 on Instagram.

Last year, The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS), a Nigerian human rights group advocating for the empowerment and safety of sexual minorities, created The Freedom Awards. Through public nomination, outstanding Nigerian activists and advocates who work to create an equal society are selected and recognized in different categories.

The winners last year included the broadcast journalist Kiki Mordi, for Freedom Fighter of the Year; the culture journalist Vincent Desmond, for The Young Activist Award; and the writer Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, for SOGIESC Rights Activist of the Year.

Here are the 2020 winners.

Women’s Rights of the Year:


The Trailblazer Award:


The Young Activist Award:


SOGIESC Rights Activist of the Year:


The Allyship Award:


Open Country congratulates the winners.

Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is the founder and editor-in-chief of Open Country Mag. He is a writer, culture journalist, curator, and media consultant. Until recently, he was editor of Folio Nigeria, CNN’s exclusive media affiliate in Africa, where he profiled innovators in over 20 fields, including art, music, film, tech, sports, cuisine, fashion, beauty, linguistics, health, and activism. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories and a novel manuscript. In 2019, he received the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. Website:
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