Meet the Man
Bisi Alimi is an ENGAGING, PASSIONATE, CONTROVERSIAL, and POWERFUL internationally renowned public speaker, storyteller, television pundit, actor, and activist with expertise in sexual health, human and LGBT rights.
Bisi’s expertise on social justice ranges from Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Race and Race Relations, Feminism, Education and Poverty Alleviation.
Bisi went from being an anti-gay prosthelytize, preaching hell fire and damnation to those who strayed, into becoming the first Nigerian to come out on national TV and a world-renowned AIDS activist. Now based in London, he consults with the World Bank, writes for outlets like The Guardian and Project Syndicate, and has appeared on shows like Tell Me More with Michele Martins, Christiana Amanpour, and BBC World Service. He is also the co-founder of Rainbow Intersection, a dialogue about race, culture and sexuality in Britain and the Executive Director of Bisi Alimi Foundation.
Bisi won the first London Moth Grand Slam and spoke at the London Moth Main Stage. He spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival. His TEDxBerlin talk received a rousing standing ovation. Bisi is an edge-of-the-seat storyteller with multiple lifetimes’ worth of material. He brings an actor’s eloquence with an activist’s wisdom to any gathering, speaking to one of the most contested issues of our time.
Alimi was the first Nigerian to openly declare his sexuality on national television in 2004 and this led to threats to his life and his resulting move to the United Kingdom where he was a refugee until December 2014 when he was granted British citizenship. He has engaged with the media for social change ever since, including the following:
Interviews: He has appeared on many international television stations as a social and political pundit, including, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and CCTV, and outlets like NPR and the Washington Post have profiled him.
Speaking: His TEDx talk, “There should never be another Ibrahim” has been listed as one of the 14 noteworthy LGBT talks from around the world. He won the first London Moth slam, was a storyteller at the London Moth MainStage and his talk at the Aspen Ideas festival left the audience asking for more. Alimi gave the closing speech at a Daily Beast event hosted at the New York Public Library titled, “I am Bisi Alimi and I am not a victim.”
Writing: “The Development Cost of Homophobia” is his most successful article that was translated into over 15 languages globally. In May 2014, to mark 10 years of his HIV diagnosis, Alimi wrote a moving piece for the Huffington Post “My 10 Years of Living With HIV”. He has also written many articles including his Daily Beast piece to mark World AIDS day 2014 and his second Project Syndicate campaign for a more proactive policy on PrEP for gay men in homophobic countries.
His contribution to Black and Gay in the UK (A Black Gay anthology) “The Boy from Mushin” is an except from his forthcoming memoir which documents his life and relationship with his parents. The book also featured one of his poem titled “I Told A Tale” which has been described as “gripping” “powerful” and “a tale of victory”
Alimi has many laurels for his work globally. He is a consultant with the World Bank on the
Economic impact of Homophobia and serves on the World Bank advisory board on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. He was a 2014 New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute. He has been listed four years in a row on the UK LGBT list and was named 77 on the World Pride Power List 2014.