Who We Are

Staff

Selly Thiam

Executive Director

Selly Thiam is a Senegalese- American  journalist, filmmaker, radio producer and writer. She started her career reporting for National Public Radio in Chicago – this led to her producing for the Storycorps Oral history project in New York City and then becoming lead producer on the Storycorps Griot Initiative , an Initiative which in partnership with National Public Radio broadcast the stories of African-Americans from across the United States. Selly went on to work for PBS and the New York Times and was a Carnegie Fellow with the ABC News Investigative Unit.

After the murder of prominent Sierra Leonean LGBT activist Fanny Ann Eddy in 2004,  Selly decided to dedicate her work to amplifying the voices and visibility of African queer voices.  In 2006, she founded None on Record: Stories of Queer Africa, which collected and archived over 1000 first person narratives of LGBT Africans on the Continent and the Diaspora. Since then, None on Record has grown into an Africa-wide LGBT digital media organization with offices in Nairobi and Johannesburg. Through her work at None on Record, Selly and her team have trained hundreds of LGBT activists across the African continent on digital media and documentation. They have also produced numerous documentary series, most recently an African LGBT campaign in partnership with the United Nations. None on Record has held numerous panels and film screenings that focus on and discuss LGBT issues in cities across the African Continent.

Selly is the Executive Producer of AfroQueer, an award winning podcast produced by None on Record.  She is a 2018 #Africanofilter Fellow, a Ford Foundation fellowship that supports individuals working to create new narratives about Africa and the African continent.

Aida Mbowa

Arts and Culture Director

Aida Mbowa is an East African cultural producer and a multidisciplinary performance artist who joins None on Record to spearhead the Tamasha arts and culture program and festival. Prior to this, she was an Outreach Director for the BRITDOC Foundation in London;  an Outreach Director for Docubox: The East African Documentary Film Fund; and the Artistic Director of Maisha Garden in Uganda. As a theater artist, she trained with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts; she has represented Uganda with the Sundance Institute; and holds a dual PhD in Drama and Humanities from Stanford University in California. A lover of the arts, Aida seeks to build partnerships and support meaningful, impact-driven creative work.

Rachel Wamoto

Training Manager

Rachel Wamoto is an audiovisual practitioner by day and professional DJ by night. Primarily interested in documentary film-making she worked with AFRA- Kenya and Hot Sun Film Foundation to document their programs. Her short film Kuchu Storyscreened at the BFI London LGBT Film Festival, Race, Privilege & Identity Gathering Bristol and Pink Apple Festival Zurich. Rachel is None On Record’s Training Manager and enjoys learning from great minds.In addition , she connects people on dance floors all over the world and plans to keep on doing that, forever. Rachel has an M.A in Radio, Television and Film Arts from the Communication University of China.

Maeve Frances

Producer

Maeve Frances is a producer on the AfroQueer podcast. She is an International Women’s Media Foundation connect fellow.

Previously she covered  migration and conflict in the Middle East and South East Asia for outlets like BBC, ABC, PRI, CBC among others.

Maïmouna Jallow

Associate Producer

Maïmouna is a Nairobi-based storyteller, writer, producer and theatre director.  With a background in radio journalism, she joins the AfroQueer team for Season 2. Prior to this, she worked as a producer and reporter for the BBC World Service. In 2015 she co-founded Positively African, an organisation that brings together a Pan-African network of artists, activists and academics working at the intersection between art, education and social justice. Most recently, Maïmouna has curated a series called Re-Imagined, editing an anthology of 12 African folktales by writers from across Africa and the Diaspora and recording audio books of the tales. Maïmouna has also adapted novels by African women for the stage, including Lola Shoneyin’s acclaimed novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, which she has performed in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Sweden, UK, Egypt, Scotland, Nigeria, Chile, Poland and Singapore. Her work has featured in the NYT, BBC, Forbes Africa Woman amongst others. She holds an MA in African Literature (SOAS).

Mercy Githaiga

Administrator

Mercy Githaiga is a self-driven and diverse individual with experience in research, casework and administration. She has a degree from Kenyatta University -Kenya under the school of Humanities and Social Sciences with a double major in Economics and Sociology. Mercy previously worked for CWS/RSC Africa as a Caseworker where she got to transverse Sub-Saharan Africa conducting resettlement interviews for refugees based in Africa. She is passionate about human rights, humanitarian services, and organizations that focus on service delivery to the minorities and less fortunate. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Project Planning and Management at the University of Nairobi.

Sebyala Brian (Nature)

Personal Assistant for the Executive Director

Nature is a Ugandan Refugee living in Nairobi. He has been actively involved in advocating for LGBT persons since 2011 when working in Makerere University as a Research Assistant at Makerere Institute of Social Research and a former Fieldwork Officer at Makerere University Faculty of Law in Law Gender and Sexuality. He has volunteered as a Peer Educator at Mulago Hospital for the Key Populations in Uganda. He is a member of the Nature Network which is an LGBT refugee led Community Based Organization which focuses on empowering the community through positive and transformative information sharing through music, drama and dance.

Board of Directors

Bisi Alimi

Bisi Alimi is public speaker, storyteller, television pundit, campaigner, actor and Vlogger. He achieved notoriety when he became the first Nigerian to come out of the closet on television. His expertise on Social Justice ranges from Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Race and Race Relations, Feminism, Education and Poverty Alleviation. He has written many influential opinion pieces including; “Men cant be Feminist”, “I am no longer talking to Black Africans about Race”and “The Development Cost of Homophobia” which was translated into over 15 languages globally. He is a fellow of Salzburg Global LGBT Forum and New Voices at the Aspen Institute. He is the founder and Director of Bisi Alimi Foundation, The Initiative for Equal Rights and is a founding member of Kaleidoscope Trust in the UK.

Godiva Akullo

Godiva Akullo is a feminist lawyer and activist with a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Makerere University, a Masters in Law from Harvard Law School and a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre. She is a lecturer on law and a legal consultant with special interest in sexuality, gender and the law as well as womyn’s human rights. She is currently the Deputy Director of Chapter Four Uganda, a civil liberties organization working to the promote human rights for all Ugandans. She can be contacted at gakullo@chapterfouruganda.com and @amgodiva on Twitter.

Isabella Matambanadzo (Ms.)

Isabella Matambanadzo (Ms.) is a Zimbabwean feminist. Born in 1973, she was raised with a deep awareness of her country’s struggles for liberation and self-determination, which has influenced her life’s path. Her love for the arts won her a prestigious Reuters Foundation scholarship to study Journalism, Literature and Theatre Studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. In addition to working on the campus newspaper, serving on the founding team of the Cue TV, the Grahamstown Arts Festival television channel, and broadcasting on the campus radio station RMR, she supported herself by working as a waitress and reading audio books at a centre for the blind. She graduated with triple majors, Summa cum Laude and achieved Dean’s List recognition and Academic Colours in 1999. Isabella enjoys reading, writing, painting, gardening and making jewelry. She was published in Writing Free (2011).

Neela Ghoshal

Neela Ghoshal is Senior Researcher in the LGBT Rights program at Human Rights Watch. She has worked with Human Rights Watch for ten years: first in the Africa Division, where she focused on political repression, police abuse, justice sector reform, and transitional justice in Burundi and Kenya, and then, since 2012, in the LGBT rights program, where she documents and conducts advocacy on human rights violations related to sexual orientation and gender identity in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Ghoshal worked on access to justice for genocide survivors in Guatemala and on education and criminal justice in New York City. Ghoshal holds a bachelor’s in social justice studies from the University of Michigan and a master’s in international relations from Yale University.

Roger Ross Williams

Roger Ross Williams directed and produced Music by Prudence winner of the 2010 Academy Award for documentary short subject. He is the first African American to win an Academy Award for directing and producing a film. He has produced and directed dozens of hours of non-fiction programming for major television networks and cable channels. Williams’ current documentary film God Loves Uganda premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and has won numerous awards. The film examines American Fundamentalist Evangelicals efforts to spread Christianity and to promote the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which includes penalties of death for gays and lesbians.

Ryan Ubuntu Olsen

Ryan Ubuntu Olson has served as the board chair of None on Record for the past four years and is a strong advocate for the organizations incredible work. Olson has over a decade of experience in domestic and international policy advocacy related to human rights, health and gender & sexual diversity (GSD). Olson has worked at the local, national, regional and global levels advocating for the rights of gender and sexual minorities everywhere. Olson seeks to tackle issues at the intersections of society, culture, policy and social change. Olson has been recognized on numerous occasions for his thought leadership including being named as a “Future Gay Hero” by Advocate Magazine, being given the “Making a Difference” award by the Matthew Shepard Foundation or named to the Clinton Foundation’s CGI U Honor Roll for his international LGBTI advocacy. Olson’s motto in life is “What you do in life, echoes in eternity