Personhood and Bodily Autonomy: aka Who owns the breast? The man or the Baby?

One of the funniest jokes in the whole wide world, and one of the most serious question is … who owns the breast? Man or baby.

Now you might think we are exaggerating but we dare you go to any gathering where alcohol and food is flowing in abundance, and a lady with an amazing posterior, aka breast, passes by, and come back with that claim of exaggeration.

This topic has been discussed for years, accompanied by titters and uncomfortable avoidance of one another’s eyes, but it never loses it’s freshness … who owns the breast?

Ownership is the operative word here.

A sitting senator, Shehu Sanni, last year did a brave thing, something that most Nigerian politicians shy away from. He declared his assets.

This honest and forthright deed broke more than the taboo of asset declaration and Nigerian politicians, it also broke the silence on what an average Nigerian man considers his property.

Senator Sani Jibril
Senator Shehu Sanni – Hero of our democracrazy

Senator Sani Jibril listed his wives and children in the asset declaration form. And instead of being outraged, Nigerian journals praised him for this heroic deed with the blazing headline Meet The Senator That Declared His Wives Among His Assets….Right Or Wrong?

Actually, the headline was clickbait for those nosey feminists and gender rights activists, because the content of the article did not question the rightness or wrongness of his declaration. It simply went on about his ‘bravery’ and ‘heroism’.

Let’s be candid, we know that a lot of Nigerian men consider their wives and children as their property. And post-birth, women are ‘allowed’ by their husbands to ‘breastfeed’ the baby, with the ‘understanding’ that the breasts actually, really, truly belongs to him.

Don’t get us wrong, women also discuss this ‘important’ issue with a lot of tittering.

Wikipedia defines bodily integrity[autonomy] as the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. It considers the violation of bodily integrity as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and possibly criminal.

In simple English, Wikipedia is saying that your body belongs to you, to do with as you like. Bodily autonomy is your right, as backed up by Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

The question is why do Nigerian men believe they OWN a woman’s body?

Culture: They believe that once they pay ‘bride price’ this means they have bought their wives. Actually any man who thinks this way is recognized under the law as a criminal, because in a sense, you’re admitting that you’ve partaken in human trafficking.

Religion: Many clerics, both in Nigeria and other parts of the world are fond of misquoting and taking things stated in their different holy books out of context.

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Sexism: The sexism prevalent in the country, due to the fact that a lot more value has been placed on a male child, gives men the impression that they have the right to the body of any woman they meet. That’s why the boys at Yaba, or any large market, would grab at any girl they see, sexual harassment is rampant in both schools and offices, unchecked. Because men have been taught that women are less, that they are the head, women are … sidekicks.

And why do women take it? Because of the above listed, and a lot of us don’t know that we have the power to sue harassers … and win! Check this out … Former Microsoft Nigeria Employee gets N39m for unlawful Sack after Sexual Harassment and this Supreme Court – Female Child can Inherit Property in Igboland.

Yes we understand how utterly outrageous it is that we are celebrating these victories in 2016! But it’s a start and we know we are not alone, or helpless, or have to submit to dehumanization because culture or religion or the patriarchy says so.

Now back to the question – who owns the breast? Man or the baby?

Please answer the question with the fear of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights… who owns the breast?

…You give away your power the moment you start to believe that you have none…

A brief conversation with Mandy Brown Ojugbana: … we are masterful, spiritual, and all powerful beings…

From the Editor’s Desk: In 1986, around the time Nigeria was reinventing hip-hop and reggae to suit ourselves, the way we have always done, Mandy Brown Ojugbana burst on to the music scene with a remix of Taxi Driver (Taxi Driver – Mandy Brown Ojugbana) – an highlife song originally done by Bobby Benson in the late sixties and turned it into an instant hit that had people of all ages and convictions moving their bodies to its rhythm.

taxi driverBefore the Blackky’s and the Ese Agese’s and Mandators was Mz Ojugbana, a sixteen year old who was rubbing shoulders with the greats like Mike Okri and Majek Fashek.

Ms Ojugbana’s music was a welcome departure from American music which had taken over the airwaves in those days and your party was considered incomplete without a track or two from her first album, Breakthrough.

In 1988, at the age of 18, Ms Ojugbana released her second album and almost in the same breath disappeared from the Nigerian music scene.

In an undated interview with Funmi Iyanda on New Dawn, one of the biggest talk shows in the history of Nigerian television, Mandy Brown Ojugbana talked about her need to spread her wings and find herself (New Dawn Interview with Mandy).

And that was exactly what she did.

She attended London Academy of Film and TV, worked with Channel 4 TV in the UK and then returned to Nigeria and worked on Radio and Television for some time.

She presently lives in the United Kingdom and is constantly reinventing herself and changing things around her.

9jafeminista: How did you cope with the patriarchal structure of the Music Industry while you were the queen of pop?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: There was no perceived structure of that nature, I was completely focused on the work at hand which was touring and creating.

9jafeminista:  Why did you drop off the radar andwhat have you been up to?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: I started in the music business quite early and was signed up to a record company called Otto Records at 15 or 16. I was working with them when Faze 2 records brought me in to work on another record. .I had been working constantly and needed time to discover myself and explore other avenues. This led me into the world of media . I went on to work in TV and Radio which I thoroughly enjoyed.

9jafeminista:  Were you friends with Tina Onwudiwe?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: Tina Onwudiwe was more of a big sister mentor figure . I looked up to her and admired her work both in music and fashion. She also used to design outfits for my shows .

9jafeminista:  How did it feel like being a superstar?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: I don’t think I ever once felt like a superstar, I was living in the moment and doing the work .I have always loved to be in a creative process be it song writing , creating new dance routines . Researching and creating programming for radio and TV.

9jafeminista:  Are there any changes in the way women were treated in the past and now? Any better any worse?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: Women have always had to fight harder and be smarter for their voices to be heard. I think men are beginning to get the message . We are a powerful force that cannot be quieted.

9jafeminista:  In which ways do you feel all powerful as a Nigerian woman?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: Nigeria has made me who I am today , being raised in a “can do” mindysociety has given me the tenacity, drive, and confidence to believe in myself and the power I wield as a woman . Even though it appears we live in a male driven society when we look through African history there have always been strong black women, Amina queen of Zaria in the 15 th century , Makeda Queen of Sheba 960BC and Candace Empress of Ethiopia . These were strong warrior queens, military tacticians. We need to remind ourselves as women never to sell ourselves short, we are masterful spiritual and all powerful beings responsible for bringing life into the world. I remind myself as I wake to walk in the light of powerful women both past and present ,in them and there successes lies my strength . Lies our strength . We as women need to band together as a sisterhood stemming our petty quarrels the world is for the taking and we are the takers!

 

What if Hillary Clinton was a Nigerian Presidential Candidate… Aishatu Ella John

If Hillary Clinton was a Nigerian woman and APC Presidential Candidate this is how her interview will go:

Nigerian Journalist: You have been a First Lady and Senator even the Secretary of State in all this how did your husband cope?

Hillary: I thank God for my husband he is very good and supportive, in fact as I was making his breakfast this morning he was happy (shows pictures of herself making breakfast for Bill)

Nigerian Journalist: You mean with all your campaign and busy schedule you still find time to cook for your husband

Hillary: Ah yes oh, that is my primary duty, I cook for him and wash his boxers no one can do that while I am alive. In fact if I have to travel for meetings when I was Secretary of State I will cook and send it through private jet hot and fresh. Immediately I return home I will rush to hand washing boxers.

Nigerian Journalist: Wow madam you are a real humble African Queen, how did you handle the cheating Scandal with Monica, I mean why did your husband have to cheat, were you too busy to satisfy him? And how are you sure that if you become President now you won’t be too busy and push him into the hands of other strange women!?

Hillary: Hmmmmmm, you know as a woman everything is prayer, one has to be steadfast, when my husband cheated I realised it was because my hair was too long since then I cut my hair and to the glory of God no more cheating since then, in fact even as President if my husband wants me no matter who I am meeting with I will excuse myself and go and meet him, you know the home is in the hands of we women. Men are babies.

Hillary Clinton
“You must be kidding me!”

In fact there is this movie War Room, I advise every woman whose home is being threatened by a STRANGE woman to buy and watch, don’t let STRANGE women ruin your home be prayerful

Nigerian Journalist: You have only one child and you have not given your husband a son are you not worried?

Hilary: It is well God that did it for Sarah will do it for me.

Nigerian Journalist: What is your advise to young women, you know many young women this days are saying they want to be equal to men they want to be like men, the divorce rate is so high because of that.

Hillary: Young ladies should be humble, they should stoop to conquer and talk to their husbands with small voice.

Nigerian Journalist: Finally, your daughter just had another baby how will you cope with campaign and omugwo?

Hillary: aah leave campaign first I am on my way to Omugwo, election can wait this is my duty.

Nigerian Journalist: Thank you Ma, you are very humble

Aishatu Ella John

 

 

 

 

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf on Bey’s Lemonade and bell hooks’ critique

bibi
Bibi

Just finished reading bell hooks analysis of Bey’s Lemonade and I am struggling to understand what the attack on her is all about. Even though I have been the subject of a public attack by bell hooks in my mid-20s, I always appreciate her theorising.

In relation to Lemonade, hooks has provided a necessary critique that builds on and expands the scope of the film’s narrative arc beyond just the naming of: black sisterhood of pain and trauma, our power of self-objectification and naming, our continued investment and participation in both the white scopic regime and our excavating of a repressed and liberating Africanity.

hooks’ critique is an invitation to enjoy Lemonade without completely losing ourselves in the saccharine and slick celebration of freedom and black female empowerment. It is very easy to be seduced by the self-styling, the gorgeous presentation of the black female body in pain and in exquisite defiance and camaraderie; and we must be allowed that therapeutic moment of total absorption and sheer pleasure in watching black/female ownership of the means of production, naming of pain and its transcendence.

Lemonade is mellifluous, a sensuous and mesmerizing visual feast. We should enjoy it, without apology. Yet, so that we don’t completely fall, we need to be vigilant about the global status of women who do not have the economic freedom that Bey has or the ability to always participate in the very sensuous commodified fetishsation of the black female body that assures Bey’s own economic freedom and defiance.

Yes, I do think she glamorises violence. But I also believe that there is a space

bell hooks
Bell

fortherapeutic violence. Bey’s anger and glamorisation of violence was just not excessive enough, it is too demotic and sugary. The only excess was the sugar in her lemonade which tamed the tartiness of the lemons (lesbians).

It would have been a more empowering and radical gesture had she performed an artistic death on the cheating man. Abeg, where else can we go if not to the imaginative or the thought murder of our minds to exert bone crushing revenge that would not land us in jail?

Instead, with all her performativity violence and righteous anger, she simply returned to the cosy embrace of the Cheat, an act no different from the demotic.

For me, she therefore lost an opportunity to be truly radical or transformative. At the end of the day, both patriarchy and the heterosexual script remained intact and unworked. Had Bey killed the Cheat, I am sure hooks would have been on her side because she would have read it as defiance against patriarchy and the ‘straight mind’.

I like artistic or literary deaths as an unwillingness to accept or continue with norms; it is an opportunity to really jam the convention and ensure that all subjugating powers always sleep with one eye wide open. With Lemonade, the power structure is unprovoked and remained unshaken. This, is at the core of bell hooks’ critique, I believe. This is one of the reasons why I think a mother killing her own child in Morrison’s ‘Beloved’, is such a stunning and painful moment in literature, but a revolutionary act, that threatened the core of white plantocracy.

bey
Bey

Bey should have gone all the way jor. And not doing so made the whole thing ultimately unsatisfying for me.

Personally, I believe Bey’s presentation of her autobiographical moment and bell hooks critique of it should be consumed side by side; they are both a reminder that there is still much work to be done in dismantling patriarchal domination and destructive hetero-normativity which Lemonade rightly names and then reconstituted in the family romance at the end.

We need both Beyonce and bell hook’s brand of feminism to continually interact and intersect, this is the only way each can refine and strengthen their position. I am grateful that they both exist.

 

17 Nigerian Women Slaying

 

There seems to be this image of a typical Nigerian woman as being a money-grubbing, marriage mad, religious freak. As most stereotypes go… it’s basically untrue, and today we present to you Nigerian Women who are slaying in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, women who do not fit into that mold of a typical Nigerian woman. We present our WCWs…

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Dr. Bibi Bakare-Yusuf – Publisher/Feminist
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Funmi Iyanda – Activist/On-Air Personality
Nnedi
Nnedi Okorafor – Lecturer/Writer
Unoma
Unoma Azuah – Lecturer/Human Rights Activist/Writer
Susan
Susan Obehioye – Make-up Artist
pamela
Pamela Adie – Human Rights Activist
Nkiru
Nkiru Njoku – Movie Producer/Feminist
weird
Weird MC – Musician
chimamanda
Chimamanda Adichie – Writer/Feminist
Adunni
Abimbola Adelakun – Writer/Journalist/Feminist
Akudo
Akudo Oguaghamba – Human Rights Activist
Asa
Asa – Musician
Chinelo
Chinelo Onwualu – Writer/Feminist
ayo
Ayodele Morocco-Clarke – Lawyer
Bisi Fayemi
Bisi Fayemi – Writer/Feminist
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Lola Shoneyin – Writer/Convener Ake Festival
miss-saharra1
Miss Sahara – First openly transgender Nigerian, Male to Female

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma – through the eyes of a feminist

In three hundred and one pages, Chigozie Obioma weaves a tale about a family, the family of Eme Agwu, a Banker, who leaves his family in Akure because his employer, the Central Bank of Nigeria, transferred him to Yola.

Back in Akure, his first four boys break free and do the things boys do and more, while under their mother’s watch. An apocalyptic prophecy followed this freedom tumbling the family into a seemingly endless tale of horror.

When you pick a copy of The Fishermen, sit down, and make sure you get a bottle of chilled beer. It will help in the digestion of all the well-manicured sentences in the book, as the book is an intelligent book that says what it intends to say and doles out words, unsparingly, like a generous mother.

While you’re reading it, you will discover that this resplendent book is about the women that waited on their husbands to survive. Women who watched their empire fall apart because of the absence of their husbands, because they have been raised to be nothing but women; primed to depend on men for their survival. And if, per chance, the man of the house leaves, these women wear the gait of a wet mouse and murmur about being left alone with growing boys, and in the case of death, they become petty traders, hawking groundnuts, and raising malnourished sons, having a sea of endless wants and telling tales, running around their houses naked till their almost insane son rapes them, and kills their other son, and finally run mad.

When you encounter the numerous tragedies that are splattered on almost every page of the book, close your eyes to how it pulverizes and pummels the female characters, and simply shrug, after all, they are women; another name for ‘the insignificant other’.

It is horrendous to break a tear for them, and please do not even sniffle like them because it is very womanly to shed a tear.

Real men don’t cry.

Be a REAL man.

Always bear in mind that The Fishermen is a book about a ‘head honcho’ of a father who leaves his home in Akure because his employer prefers him to be in Yola. As he leaves, he leaves his six children with his insignificant other who is ‘only fully realised in presence, the woman whose maternal vigilance falls apart with her husband’s momentary absence’.

It is, therefore, natural that while she carries her children in the earthenware pot she carries on her head, while focussing on the other things in her hands, her four boys break the pot and run free. Bouncing around with their ball to hit the disabled, shatter glass windows, and then when the ball becomes what it shouldn’t be, they become fishermen, fishing in Omi-Ala, that dreadful river where even adults dread to go.

And so, in there, they fish out the madman who utters an ugly prophecy that will fiberize the four fishermen.

And these women, when they weren’t able to bear a child for their dead husbands, wouldn’t mind seeking solace in the loins of a ‘mad’ man, after all, a mad man is also a man. A mad man is better than a drunken husband who comes home naked and couldn’t bring money for his sick child, a man who visits violence on his family when asked to perform his fatherly duties.

Such a man is better off killed with a chair.

Obioma’s The Fishermen depicts the consequences of pushing women to the margin of the society. And even when Eme Agwu sketched a pattern for the future of his children, the functionality of gender, as it stands today, isn’t thrown aside. Ikenna was to be a pilot, Boja was to be a lawyer, Obembe the family’s doctor, Benjamin a Professor, David an engineer, and Nkem… a woman.

This can be an immediate indoctrination for the female child to believe that she is a second class citizen, the one who functions like the vassal conditioned to serve the suzerains, and who in likewise manner, favour their hard deeds in a superior way. In similar vein, the women are expected to serve the men in their lives, and then depend on them for their survival; a system which readily showcases an imbalance of power.

The first sentence shows the boys’ new career as fishermen and the event that sparked up this choice: ‘…father moved out of Akure.’ And the realization of this news created a new mother for the Agwu family. ‘Mother emerged a different being. She had acquired the gait of a wet mouse, averting her eyes as she went about…(9)’ She also missed the church because she was busy priming her primary duty as a woman: taking care of her husband. The news, that her husband would be leaving their six children and the home with her, shook her. She says all she could to dissuade Eme as he drives out of the life they know, but Eme is almost sure that his wife could do it, that she could run the home without him.  Eme, just as the many men who are not aware of the gender problem in Africa, wasn’t aware that in his absence, mother isn’t human enough to keep her boys together because the society had socialized her to shrink herself, to silence herself, to always wait on the man. She is a falconer, who sees all, she staves off all ills from the hills where she stands, however, she couldn’t see that her young birds were fishing curses from the cursed river, Omi-Ala, and she still would not have seen it if her neighbour, Iya Iyabo, did not burst the boys secret.

In fact it is ignorable and forgivable.

The Fishermen does nothing to challenge the society.

The book is a perfect example of why we need to re-evaluate our postures on women and their place in the society. It shows a need for us to reign in our impulse to stereotype the Nigerian woman especially in this day and age and particularly in works of literature.

A society will be safer if it glories in the functionality of its women rather than in their passivity.

*Published by Cassava Republic in 2015, Obioma’s debut novel, TheFishermen, was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize.

Ada Chioma Ezeano

 

On Abortion – Bunmi Tella

I was asked where I stood on abortion in Africa….here’s my response…..

I’m definitely pro-choice and hate to see men legislating on matters which they know nothing about.

Just a couple of months ago the Sierra Leonean government tried to pass a bill legalizing first term terminations and it was vetoed by male religious leaders on the basis that it’s a sin. Meanwhile that country has the highest rate of maternal deaths in Africa and since the war a steady increase in incest and rape.

It is unfair that men get to decide such matters without much consideration for the mother – who is essentially then victimized twice.

The uncomfortable truth is that even if it’s not rape or incest, a woman should have the option to say ‘I’m not ready – I cannot handle this’.

A woman having unwanted babies is the fastest path to poverty and misery.

The other day I saw a video of 2 men “fishing” a baby out of a river. It had been abandoned by its mother.

When we force people, who are not ready to be mothers, into motherhood we sentence the child to a lifetime of neglect at best and outright abuse at worse.

Its unwanted children that become victims of sexual, physical, emotional and psychological abuse. Its unwanted children that become thieves, murderers and rapists.

During the first term, the fetus is barely a fetus and if i was a fetus I’d rather be terminated than condemned to a life of misery.

There is a reason China had its one child policy and African governments should be embracing terminations en masse to stop poverty if nothing else.

I don’t understand how you can care so much about some cells the size of a grape in a woman’s body but you can’t bring yourself to care about the abject poverty and the miserable life a huge chunk of your population is condemned to.

 

Funmi Iyanda on the Scarcity of Men…

From the Editor’s Desk: Okay ladies, we know that one of the sentences we’ve heard said from childhood, in the over 500 languages spoken in Nigeria, is that ‘men are scarce’… and this is in face of the fact that the Nigerian Population Council busted this myth in the last census carried out  whereby the male population made up 54.9% of the population.

So, really, there are more men than women in Nigeria.

But just yesterday, the amazing Ms. Funmi Iyanda, in about three to four tweets, finally put this ‘scarcity of men’ myth  where it deserved to be, 6 feet underground.

Listen to her…

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“Women are socialized (to be) too invested in men’s fidelity. Spending a lifetime trying to find or keep a man. It’s exhausting, tedious and boring.”

Do men know that women cheat?

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“Men know that women cheat but are not as invested because they are not socialized to define themselves by scarcity of women.”

If men are not scarce then what is?

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“Men are not scarce. A meaningful life is scarce. Pain is part of finding meaning. No one cheats anyone. We own no one but ourselves.

Live!”

…Oh and a final one on being ‘singus pringus’

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“I’m a woman, I’m unmarried.  I’m not a “single lady”.  I’ve companionship. My high status needs no justification…”

No. More. Words.

Stereotyping Nigerian men: A guide to eating your cake and having it!

There seems to be a growing dilemma in the ranks of our educated multitudes. This question has been discussed intensely on social media for a long, long time and at the end of the day it always ends up in sorrow, tears … tearing of bras and payints. Insults have been hurled, memes trended, hashtags … hashtagged.

We sometimes have had to beg Master Jesus that these ‘interactions’ shouldn’t move beyond the confines of the internet, because it might lead to bloodshed… and we don’t want our nice Loubutins (oh wait we are trying to #buynaija now because exchange rate is high) strike that out, we don’t want our Made in Aba shoes blood-stained.

We know you know what this question of great economic and political significance is (and we are dead serious) but without intending to overstate the obvious (which we’ll now proceed to do) we will ask this question again (no it’s not what would Jesus do?) This deeply meaningful question is … how much should a boyfriend give his girlfriend to buy Brazilian hair monthly?

This oh-so-important question is based on the assumption that this so-called boyfriend has a job, and he earns above 20k per month. We are a little worried because would this question also apply to same-sex or queer couples in Nigeria? (Damn we forgot they are sinners and criminals) – strike the last question out.

Anyway, as your friendly neighbourhood aprokos aka people who don’t mind their darn businesses. We’ve come up with other stereotypes that will further enhance the present state of women in Nigerian society (beneath men, slightly less than human, the neck and not the head).

  1. Men don’t cry: We know this is the easiest and cheapest of all the stereotypes, but since we are in the business of overstating the obvious we thought it would be apt to say this one first. Have you ever seen a man crying before? Better still, have you ever seen your daddy or husband crying before? You have? Sorry to say this but, men do not cry, it is only women who cry. Women are emotional creatures (just like children – see what we did there?) they will be crying upandan, but men DO NOT CRY because they are not human beings, they are zombies, at the least, machines – at the best. They are just like that Robocop guy, shooting people dead, dry eyed, no emotions at all. Men don’t feel. They don’t feel joy or pain. If you stab a man the next thing is sand pouring on your body… stab, stab, stab, = sand, sand, sand. Men don’t cry, men don’t have stomachs, or blood or feelings – men are zombies. What about men who cry? Whaaat? Oh well – maybe you should check for a pulse, and we don’t advice that you stab those ones because they will definitely ooze blood. Men who cry might just be – wait for it – human! Are we saying that men who don’t cry are not human? Do the maths, we’ve said our own!
  2. All men are strong – since everything in our nice, patriarchal society is words and opposites when it comes to gender. Since we KNOW that there are only two genders – male and female – (who’s asking about intersex people? You’d better stopeet!) Anyway back to our point, if all men are strong does this mean all women are weak? Oh yes! It’s only men who have strong genes, yam like calves, arms bulging with muscles, so they’re the only ones that should be given the task of carrying heavy loads (All you know-it-alls should not come here and talk about old women who make their money from carrying loads in the market – tainks). So all men are strong. When a woman is carrying a load, the ‘normal’ thing for any man walking on the streets (it doesn’t matter whether you know this woman or not, or you’re not going in her direction or you don’t have the strength) when you see a woman carrying anything other than her handbag, it’s your duty to rush and quickly collect the load from her and carry it! Isn’t that what you were born to do? To carry load upandan. Women are such weak, pathetic creatures that they can’t carry anything, they are just like babies, they should be pampered… of course, being a superman, kindly reign in your macho-man instincts when you meet with strong women, who do not allow anything to limit them. Women who can handle their own shit, women who do not see themselves as babies are dangerous indeed. These are women who work on keeping fit, they jog, they play sports, they enjoy lifting things because it strengthens them most importantly they like being treated with respect and not like a baby.
  3. Men are providers – this point is actually answering our above question. How much should a man pay his girlfriend per month? Seriously how much? Since this is a transactional relationship. How did transaction enter into a relationship are they in the market place? Sorry dear reader, this i-too-know person in italics is always asking stupid question so we’ll have to answer her – Here’s the deal, a man is the one that decides which woman he wants to date – women shouldn’t have any say in the matter because ‘husband is scarce’ and you should ‘count yourself lucky’ when a man is toasting you, haba don’t you want to get married ni? What if he’s not your type? Console yourself on nights that you’re miserable that this man has CHOSEN you (lucky you!) – back to transactions – so after being chosen, the man would now have to carry all your responsibilities – give you money to cook, shop for clothes and shoes, money to pay your school fees, buy credit to recharge your phones – in fact make this man your god and ‘submit’ yourself to any shit he dishes out to you. Because in exchange for the money he’s giving you, you’re giving him attention, affection and faking your orgasms for him (you deserve an Oscar babe, just that you’re not white…) Should you get a job? Get a life? Be financially independent? Achieve something other than getting married? Hell no! Please just be chasing that ring upandan because that’s all you need to do with your life my sister. How much should a man give you? Everything, a million naira should do for starters and then as the relationship proceeds it should go up to 10million naira per month! Please don’t settle for a kobo less – by the way he should be allowed to haggle over the price, we all know how these things work nah.
  4. All Men are Gentlemen – Gentlemen are supermen. A gentleman will stand up and give you his seat, just like that, he will open doors for you, fiam. He will offer you free rides everywhere. A gentleman needs to do all these things because we know that women can’t open doors by themselves, their legs are paining them so they can’t stand up in a roomful of people for more than two seconds, they cannot buy cars for themselves so they need that free ride (even if they can afford to buy cars women shouldn’t buy one because ees not good, they should wait for their husband to buy them car!) Somebody who treats you like a human being is Not a gentleman, he or she will leave their seats, open doors, and even offer to help you carry your heavy loads not because you’re of a ‘certain sex’ or because that sex has automatically bestowed ‘weakness’ on you. They do it because they are kind. These people offer you opportunities, they don’t talk down at you, but they won’t kiss your hands (or your ass – except during certain consented to activities).

With the four points above, we hope we’ve been able to help you pinpoint the exact stereotype you should buy into and use for all occasions. Your life will never remain the same again…

 

How to Identify Witches

Witches are the bane of our lives in Nigeria, and that’s a fact! After spending years avoiding them by not going to the village or having anything to do with our illiterate relatives (because those people are prone to witchcraft), it appears that these people simply refuse to leave us alone! They’ve moved their ministry to towns and cities all across the country. The end-of-the-world is truly nigh! In fact Jesus should just come now!

As if we don’t have enough to deal with, everything is going to hell in a hand-basket! There are the feminists, the gays, the Illuminatis and all sorts that we have to battle with on cyberspace, now the witches are trying to take over!

Don’t get us wrong, we know that witches don’t really exist, it’s just that they do! They eat pregnancies, kill children, steal destinies, make people’s private parts disappear and sometimes make announcements in the newspapers concerning political parties!

Witches have taken over *insert hysteria*!

We at 9jafeminista, your ever-so-helpful-blogzine, have taken it upon ourselves, at the risk of losing our vaginas, penises, boobs and destinies,  to help you identify all the witches that might have moved into your neighbourhood, churches, offices or (horror!) homes. These helpful tips might be the saviour of your destiny, and maybe some money because you won’t have to take these people to spiritual leaders (who might charge you an arm and a leg because money is the vehicle of the ‘good news’ or is it that money is the root of all evil? But we won’t worry about those distinctions now)

The steps:

Skin tone: the first thing you have to do when meeting new people is to gauge their skin tones. As we all know black is the colour of evil, so how many shades of black is this black person you’re meeting? Is it warm brown? Dirty brown? Black-black? Dirty black? Blue-black? Night black? B-b-b-b-b-black!? The darker the skin tone of a person, the more likely they are to be witches. There are some yellow witches too but those ones are related to Mammy-Wata, so we won’t bother with those just yet. On the other hand, too much of a good thing is bad. So, those extremely yellow persons, who look as if they are newly ripened mangos, might just be witches!

Age- this is another telling indicator of witchcraft. Really old people are witches! Honestly! Look at it this way, Nigeria is the worst country in the world to grow to a ripe old age! Studies have it that the life expectation of an average Nigerian is forty years. What with the bad roads, terrible to non-existent health-care facilities, lassa fever, etcetera, forty years is even too long! So why would anyone dare to live for more than 60years and then get wrinkled and stooped, and black and talking to themselves and confessing to witchcraft… in saner climes some of these old people would have even been diagnosed with dementia, or Alzheimer’s, or depression, but luckily we are Nigerians and sanity is not our strong suit. All old people, including your granny, are witches! Avoid them at all costs! Encourage your children NOT to visit their grannies, aka your parents, because ALL OLD PEOPLE ARE WITCHES!

… Wait a second, young people are witches too! Yes we said it! Especially those ill-educated young girls from the villages. They usually come to town with all their earthly goods in a black polythene bag, most of the stuff in the bags are rags sef, in fact they wear rags all the time! We’ve heard of a young village girl whose clothes would turn to a rag as soon as she wears them, yup, like reverse Cinderella! These girls are about seven or eight years old and they’ve never been to school before in their lives! And their parents have sold them to be given out as housemaids! And they are poor because of the state of the economy and their parents can barely afford to feed them. These young witches are wicked! They don’t even take their baths even after being brought to the city! They are not to be trusted with babies! We all know there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with employing a six or seven year old as a housemaid, especially to take care of 3month old babies. There is NOTHING wrong with waking these children up at 5am to take care of our ajebutter children who can barely lift a finger! Please, please, as soon as you employ any of these children… better still don’t!

Sex – not that type you perv! We mean the sex assigned to you as soon as the doctor pulls you out of your mother’s womb and either spots a penis or a vagina. Sex is a huge determinant of whether you’re a witch or not, because, this might come as a shock to you, so brace yourself… women are witches! Yup! How many men have been accused of witchcraft and stoned to death? While you’re counting let’s just tell you something, it’s only women that are witches, especially and particularly poor women, or single to stupor women, or women who do not meet up with the current societal standard of beauty, or women who have not taken refuge under the benevolent patriarchal arms and conformed to societal rules or women who have crossed eyes, or women who have beards or women whose mouth are too sharp, or women who don’t have children, or women who are really not womanly enough, but most importantly, they are poor women, disempowered women, women suffering from mental health problems, women who are not soft enough.

There are too many women out there who are witches and we need to strip them down (very important to humiliate them) and then stone them. We’ll need a lot of stones though because these women make up the larger part of the society. But we can do this! Stone every single one of them, one woman at a time! Are we misogynists? No we don’t hate women! We are Nigerians, and we love our women with big bum-bums and tits! It’s just that those women who have turned down our advances and women who think too highly of themselves and women who don’t have big yanshes are witches! Women who refuse to SUBMIT, should be stoned to death, all of them!

Defying Gravity: THIS RIGHT HERE IS THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL! Kai! How can a mere human being defy gravity! Defying gravity comes in different forms, from jumping all the time, to putting your legs on the wall when you’re asleep, to morphing into birds (big black birds particularly, don’t forget black is the colour of ugly and evil) and to levitating. Hian! We’ve all read or watched badly filmed shots of old black women morphing into birds and FLYING! We all know about planes and helicopters and other things that fly, although most of us don’t know how these things perform this feat but we climb into planes without giving it a second thought! But the moment we smell a human being flying we just KNOW that these people are witches! Especially and particularly if they are dark skinned and are women. Flying is a sin! Are we sinners when we fly in an airplane? No! Should we be stoned to death? No! but the moment we hear that a non-oyinbo person is flying or has flown we congregate and stone the person to death because those people are witches! We do enjoy watching movies about monsters and vampires and human beings morphing into animals, well as long as they are Hollywood movies, those Nollywood people know how to treat such sin! Anybody who can fly in say, England or America would obviously be taken an interest in by the government and scientifically analysed, their methodology thoroughly studied. In Nigeria we stone them to death because we do not tolerate such nonsense! We like ourselves the way we are, our Ministry of ‘Science and Technology’ will soon be inventing pencils… you heard me right! We are just in the nick of time because pencils are yet to be invented. We are not backwards, we are forwards, we are brilliantly, shamelessly, and insanely fearful of anything that’s in the least different! Let fear continue to dodge our footsteps, let it rule us, let fear eat us from the insides out, that’s the way we’ve survived all these years by fearing even our shadows.

We hope these helpful tips will continue to guide and guard us throughout our lives, we shall continually tell our children and ourselves not to read books by Nigerians or other Africans about fantasy, although they can read ‘furreign’ books so they can acquire ‘furrigne’ accents and speak through their nostrils, ‘nspirin nspirin’. Do NOT let us progress beyond an economy of consumerism, do not let us invent anything new. Let our young women and men ‘disrupt’ how we import shit from other countries, while those other countries invent new things.

Finally, if all else fails we advise you to do The Mirror Test

The Mirror Test: This test has been passed down from one generation of witch-hunters to the next, the steps are very simple:-

  1. Clean your mirror with soft cloth and white powder. Make sure it is sparkling.
  2. Cover the mirror at 12midnight with a white cloth. Note that the mirror must be COMPLETELY COVERED.
  3. Have a good night’s rest knowing that the witches haunting you shall be revealed soon
  4. After 24hrs (i.e. 12 midnight the following day)
  5. Take off all your clothes, including your underwear
  6. Stand in front of the covered mirror
  7. Close your eyes
  8. Shout ‘Yeepa!’ Thrice
  9. Pull off the mirror covering
  10. The person you’re seeing in that mirror? That’s the witch eating your destiny!

Wait… can any of you explain how the internet works?