Born in Luwero, Abdu Wahab Shakira is a 22 year old transman who has been through a number terrifying real life experiences.
Wahab told Kuchu Times that he was raised biologically female but as time went on, like most LGBTI persons, he began a journey of self-discovery. He says that as he grew up, he was so feminine but as years went by, he started realizing that he found more comfort in living as a man.
One of the hardest moments in his life was when his step brother, whom he used to stay with, tortured and simultaneously raped him night after night. Wahab explains that his brother was addicted to drugs like the majority of jobless youth in slums. To stop the rape, Wahab decided to seek shelter from various night clubs/pubs in Bwaise where he would spend the night only to return home at day break.
Later, he decided to start a new life and he has since been footing his own bills by doing odd jobs here and there.
In 2010, Wahab was introduced to Youth on Rock Foundation (YRF), an organization that advocates for the rights of sexual minorities in Kampala slums. Through this organization, Wahab joined the greater Ugandan LGBTI community. He started taking part in YRF’S community services such as cleaning drainage systems in the area, helping the elderly, attending crafts workshops, mobilizing colleagues to go for health counseling and testing services and many more.
One fateful night while returning from a night out, Wahab was raped by a gang of thugs; a rapethat ended in pregnancy and the birth of a baby boy.
Tears rolled down Wahab’s face as he talked about his son.” I am his mother and father; and sometimes I can’t even afford to pay school fees for my own child, this breaks my heart,” he narrates. He however explains that he has a Congolese friend who has took him in and thanks God for this miracle. The lady has been a stronghold for Wahab and has also taken on helping his (Wahab’s) son whenever she can.
He also says another friend has taken in his son and pledged to pay half his tuition while he continues to provide his basic needs. Sometimes, when Wahab is not in position to send his son’s monthly upkeep or complete his tuition, activists like Franco have stepped in and offered a helping hand.
He affirms that although such waves of hardship have swept through his life, his friends have been there for him and he knows there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.