It Takes A Village…..

“It takes a village to raise a child”

Villlage children

I love this African saying and its practice in the community has huge benefits to a child’s formative years and indeed all the way into adulthood. But like everything in life there are disadvantages.

Everyone in the community contributes in whatever way they can to the child’s upbringing, from looking after the child for a few hours while the parents are away; Collective admonishment when the child misbehaves, then pleading for the child when punishment (flogging) is about to be meted out by its parent; To giving advice on and approving choice of schools and career path and so on.

However there is payback. Read More »

Hell or High Water – A Short Film

A few days ago, a friend sent me a YouTube link to this Nigerian gay-themed short film titled, Hell or High water  presented by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs), a Nigeria based NGO.

Though the film is only 30 minutes long and void of the usual Nigerian gay stereotype characterisation, it is quite incisive, emotional and audacious in addressing a topic considered very taboo in Nigeria. It was also brave of the Nigerian actors who did a stellar job in delivering the various emotions in the film, knowing only too well the assumptions most viewers would make regarding their sexuality and the impact it may have on their respective careers.

It is a long road to stamping out legalised homophobia in Nigeria. But like TIERs, I hope this short film kick starts the journey by instigating intelligent conversation (albeit initially laden with vitriolic homophobia) about recognising and accepting homosexuality across in Nigeria.

Please enjoy and catch the moment the Pastor’s wife alludes to wanting to get fellated.

Conversation With The Barber III

Previous hair cuts – Conversation I & Conversation II

Tired of looking like I was auditioning for the title role in the sequel of Django and also tired of my mother thinking I was heading to Turkey to cross the border into Syria, the other week, I decided to have a long overdue haircut and a beard trim.

The following conversation took place with my barber, Emenike. As usual it was in Igbo language.Read More »

The Prayer

So its my last day in my village, near Owerri, Nigeria. After four days, no kinsman or woman has asked me the dreaded marriage question. 

I thought I had a lucky escape, until I popped into an Aunt’s shop to tell her I would be leaving the tomorrow morning and to give her some money.
She thanked me profusely for the cash. Then blessed me. She then got on her knees and said, “Please, please find a wife. Please I am begging you in the name of God, please.”

I replied, “Please Aunty, get up. I have heard you. I will see what I can do.”

She got up.

“Oh are you looking for one over there in England? She seemed to ask with disdain in her voice.

“Ah, ah Aunty, does it matter where she comes from?”

“That’s true but It is better if she hails from these parts”

I wanted to say “Seriously? You have been asking me to get married, for the last 20 years to no avail, and now you are suggesting where the wife should come from?! You don’t ask for much do you? And they say beggers can’t be choosers” But I kept my peace.

Instead I said, “But aunty at my age, I don’t think I want to get married any more”

“Eh?!” She screamed. Her face looked like someone had stabbed her in the heart. “Don’t say that. There is a 70 year old man in the next kindred, who is looking for a young wife. You are a man. You can even marry at 70”

“I have been praying for you. I prayed for you this morning that a good woman will come your way, In Jesus Name”

As if on cue, like the ram that appeared to Abraham when God decided ,Abraham’s son Isaac, wouldn’t taste as good as a free range ram, a lean muscular guy in his early twenties wearing a pair of Hawaiian shorts and a singlet,showing off his sinewy arms, walked into the shop. He had the kind of musculature you don’t get from going to the gym; rather from good old fashioned hard labour on the farm or a building site.

Sigh. Behold the “Good woman”.

I was about to say, “Hallelujah, God has answered your prayer, Aunty” when I  noticed he was wearing eyeliner and when he spoke it was with a very high pitch voice. 

No way Ms Thang!!!

Technically, God did answer my aunt’s prayer, just not the sexuality she was expecting. 

I smiled. 
I think God was having a laugh. 
🚶🏿🚶🏿🚶🏿🚶🏿

Conversation With The Barber II

The last time I mentioned my barber was in January, it is now August. That doesn’t mean that I have been running around looking like I am auditioning for a part in a Blaxploitation movie. Quite the opposite. I have been to see him and been having my hair cut, just that we haven’t had any gay related conversations, until yesterday when I paid him a visit him.

50-Cent-Afro-Hairstyle-30494

The following ensued and like the last time, which you can catch up on here the conversation was in Igbo.

Me: How now? How is the family? (He is married with two daughters)

Emenike (Em): I am fine my brother. We thank God. How is work?

Me: Its going well, thank you. I have a big presentation on Monday; please give me a nice haircut – I need to show them that I haven’t come to sell groundnuts.

Em: Don’t worry I will take care of you, he laughed

He prepared me for the haircut and as he draped the barber’s cloth over me, he stopped mid-flight as a rather voluptuous lady walked by the shop window and attracted his attention. The other barbers and customers in the shop teased him about being happily married man and shouldn’t be gawking at other women.

Me: How is that your townsman you were telling me about?Read More »