Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister, lost Rotimi, his homosexual younger brother to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
This is according to a report by British lifestyle online publication, anothermanmag.org. In a report celebrating the works of Rotimi, a high-profile photographer, the publication wrote that Rotimi died in 1989, aged 34, of an AIDS-related illness. It quoted Rotimi as owning up to his sexual orientation. The publication quoted the deceased photographer as writing: “In matters of sexuality; in terms of geographical and cultural dislocation; and in the sense of not having become the sort of respectably married professional my parents might have hoped for. Such a position gives me a feeling of having very little to lose.”
The publication noted that he left behind an impressive body of work that was decidedly “black, African, and gay, showing a tender, sensuous, fantastical image of masculinity, that was always thoroughly political”.
Fani-Kayode was born in Lagos in 1955 to the family of Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, deputy premier of the defunct Western Region. He moved to Brighton in the United Kingdom in 1966. He later moved to the US where he developed his photography. He returned to the UK in 1983 to live in Brixton, south London, with his lover, Alex Hirst.
One of his most celebrated images is said to be a bronze head buried between the smooth buttocks of a black man
He was quoted to have once said: “I made my pictures homosexual on purpose. Black men from the Third World have not previously revealed either to their own peoples or to the West a certain shocking fact: they can desire each other. It is photography, therefore – black, African, homosexual photography – which I must use not just as an instrument, but as a weapon if I am to resist attacks on my integrity and, indeed, my existence on my own terms.”
Rotimi’s older brother and former minister, Femi, once accused (without evidence) Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, of homosexuality.