Joël Gustave Nana Ngongang (1982-2015) known as Joel Nana, was a leading African LGBT human rights advocate and HIV/AIDS activist. His career as a human rights advocate spanned numerous African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, in addition to his native Cameroon. In the late 90s/early 00s, he worked with a gay association, AGALES based in Cameroon and then went to work in Nigeria. On later returning to Cameroon, he set up Alternatives-Cameroun, a human rights organisation supporting LGBT people.
He was the founding Executive Director of African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), an African led coalition of LGBT/MSM organisations working to address the vulnerability of MSM to HIV. Joël worked in various national and international organisations, including the Africa Research and Policy Associate at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and as a Fellow at Behind the Mask, a Johannesburg-based non-profit media organisation publishing a news website concerning gay and lesbian affairs in Africa. He also wrote on numerous topics in the area of African LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues and was a frequent media commentator.
Joël passed away in late 2015 following a brief illness.
Originally published at Vada Magazine. Republished with permission.