In a society where same-sex relationships are criminalized, the LGBTIQ+ community in Nigeria faces numerous challenges and human rights violations. To address these pressing issues and foster a supportive environment, the establishment of virtual safe spaces has become a critical need. Qtalk, a social and counseling app exclusively developed for the LGBTIQ+ community in Nigeria, has emerged as a solution.
With over 31.6 billion Nigerian citizens actively using social media platforms daily and 122 million active internet users, the role of technology in fostering connections is more apparent than ever. LGBTIQ+ individuals are no exception, as many within this community turn to social media to establish vital connections with like-minded peers. However, the online world is not without its perils, exposing them to hostility, harassment, entrapment, and homophobic attacks in both digital spaces and the physical realm.
Despite the dangers, online platforms remain the primary means for LGBTIQ+ individuals in Nigeria to connect with others who share their experiences, a crucial element for their mental health and overall well-being. To address these challenges, Qtalk has emerged as a secure haven providing support, counseling, and a safe platform for meaningful conversations.
Qtalk, developed by and for the LGBTIQ+ community in Nigeria, currently serves over 2,000 individuals, offering them free psychosocial and legal support from qualified lawyers, doctors, and therapists. Originally launched in 2019 by NoStrings Development Initiatives, an LGBTIQ+-led human rights organization in Nigeria, the app was initially available only on Android. However, due to its positive reception and impact, Qtalk expanded its availability to iOS devices, accomplishing this milestone in September of this year.
Expressing his gratitude and aspirations, Mike Daemon, a Nigerian journalist, podcaster, and Executive Director of NoStrings Development Initiatives, commented on the app’s relaunch with both Android and iOS versions. He stated, “To me, this is more than just an app or an initiative.
We foster inclusion, create safe space for minorities. With the number of successes we have recorded so far since our first launch in 2019, I can freely say that this is truly life-saving. My sincere hope now is that we can build on these successes and continue to provide my community with the support that it sure deserves. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and look forward to collaborating with people who believe in this dream.”