Shivanah‘s Story

November 29, 2021

In 2019, a young lesbian singer-songwriter from Uganda was struggling financially after breaking up with her partner of 6 years. With a child to support, Shivanah was desperate to make ends meet. And so when a former backup dancer told her that an agent could get her work performing in a club in Dubai, she jumped at the chance. This is truly a story of survival. A warning: in some parts, the details are graphic and troubling.

Thank you to Shivanah for sharing her story and music, Sophie Otiende for the role played by her and everyone at Azadi in helping Shivanah escape the traffickers and reintegrate into society.

Azadi is a survivor-led organization that offers long-term support and capacity development to survivors of human trafficking. To learn more about the Azadi, click here.


This episode was produced by Penny Dale and Selly Thiam. Written by Penny Dale. Sound editing by Mercy Barno and Tevin Sudi. Rachel Wamoto is our social media manager.  AfroQueer is executive produced by Selly Thiam and is a production of AQ Studios.

Our theme song is Pawa by Maia and the big sky.

AfroQueer is supported by The Wellspring Philanthropic fund and The Ford Foundation.

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