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Image source: Nigeria Nostalgia Project

For this piece, I interviewed Nigerian women from different generations. I attempt to examine how the Nigerian society has changed or not changed-especially for women. Among other things, we discussed love, war, and the parent-child dynamic.

Ogwugwa

My grandparents had an arranged marriage. When I asked my grandmother about it, and how it made her feel, she said, “That’s just how things were done in those days.” It seems a lot of things that happened in her youth are explained away this way. Like how women and girls were not allowed to eat eggs because it would “make them steal” or how women would not dare coming out when masquerades were passing. …


I am here to convince you and not confuse you that in Nigeria, being a bad girl is where it’s at.

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Image source: @yung.nollywood

“I love bad girls.”

Ozzy Etomi said something to this effect on an episode of I Said What I Said, a podcast hosted by Jola Ayeye and Feyikemi Abudu, two hilarious women I believe should be the pinnacles of comedy in Nigeria, not men who started by making rape jokes in their secondary school classes and can’t spell “funny” if it doesn’t involve tying their mother’s George wrapper and mimicking the women in their lives.

Before I define who “bad girls” are, I suppose I should introduce you to a Good Nigerian Girl.

This is a girl who is probably named something calm and angelic like Ada or Ify. Her parents raised her to be a model citizen; she works at Zenith Bank, or maybe the United Nations, and they brag about it to their enemies in the village. They dream of her marrying a man from the same tribe, who she will cook fresh food for every day and have three or four robust babies with. When she was a teenager, she was meek and “respectful”, never questioning adults, saying her prayers always and boys? My dear, when boys were walking on one side of the road, she crossed to the other. …


How to become a Twitter feminist 101: Get yourself featured on Instablog ASAP.

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Image source: @nolly.babes//Instagram

Toxic Masculinity: Do you remember when Gillette released an ad telling men that they needed to do better and misogynists ran mad? Did I not tell you the quickest way to rile up a misogynist was to call him one? Didn’t I say it?

Here is an analogy:

After a long run, you feel thirsty for a glass of water. On your walk back home, you notice a swampy marsh opposite the lane that you’re walking on. Would you think about drinking from it? No. Why? Because toxic water is dirty and full of germs. …


Everything you need to know about the patriarchy, pick mes and privilege.

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Image source: @nolly.babes//Instagram

P

Patriarchy: In this article by Harvard scholar Garikai Chengu, he talks about a time in Africa before the patriarchy.

“The world’s first civilisations arose from the spiritual, economic and social efforts of African women and African women, in turn, went on to lead those matriarchal societies…The rituals and culture of African matriarchy did not celebrate violence; rather, they promoted fecundity, exchange and redistribution. Matriarchy in ancient Africa was not a mirror image of patriarchy today; because, it was not based on appropriation and violence.”


An exploration of ‘nzes’ as a part of the socio-political hierarchy in Nkwerre, my hometown in Nigeria, and how the hierarchy system continues to keep women on the back burner.

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Ala, the Igbo fertility goddess. Image source:africaresource.com

A little while back, I tweeted about wanting to dye my hair green when I grew old. As these things usually happen, I assumed I was simply tweeting into the void that is my Twitter timeline. However, shortly after, someone from my hometown replied quite perturbed about my statement, saying that as a person who was to continue my father’s legacy ‘until my younger brother gets of age’, I was setting a bad example.

My friends did the needful, supplying adequate retorts. But I couldn’t stop thinking about what they had said: ‘until my younger brother gets of age’. What was I then? …


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Image source: @yung.nollywood// Instagram

Disclaimer: No Tundes were harmed in the writing of this article.

I

Intersectional Feminism: Intersectional feminism looks at how economic (money), social (class) and political factors affect every woman’s individual living experience. It is not enough to acknowledge that women are worse off in society than men are. Nor is it enough to make it your goal to see more women in positions of power for instance. You also have to look at how all the parts of our identity we cannot change: trans, white, poor, etc. affect us. Your feminism has to accommodate all women and their separate experiences.

Female empowerment that only benefits the “madam” but not the “house girl” is incomplete.

Feminism does not have a history of being intersectional. First-wave feminism (see “Feminism” in episode 2) was largely influenced by cisgender, white women. They determined what was worth fighting for, and this almost always left out women in more vulnerable positions. I feel it is up to us, contemporary feminists, and “male allies” to make up for this. …


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French Quarter, New Orleans. Photo credit: Kendall Hoopes// pexels.com

Five minutes into the French Quarter, you can already feel its vibrancy. A marching band going down the street, bucket drummers, little boys tap-dancing with what I later discovered are squashed cans beneath their feet.

Although crowded and prone to the odd drunk party-goer, it is definitely New Orleans’ most sought-after tourist location. The city has managed to preserve the buildings and general architecture the way the Europeans originally constructed them — colorful and with many balconies and shutters. Walking down any street, you might also see plant pots hanging from railings or bicycles chained to street lights — we even saw policemen on bicycles. …


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Image source: @nolly.babes//Instagram

Disclaimer: The writers of this guide have no animosity towards bearers of the name “Tunde” and “Tunde Olakunle”.

C

Consent: To consent to something is to give your permission for it to take place.

When it comes to sex, the simple rule to understanding consent is: ask. You can even do it in a sexy way: “Baby, do you want to have sex with me Tunde Olakunle, right now in this bed at 12:43 am?” You can also do it in the court of law way ( wayyyyy less sexy but oga better for them to say you don’t have bedroom voice than for them to use you and do hashtag in your year of success o!)

“I, Tunde Olakunle, am asking for permission to engage you, Mosopefoluwa Abigail Olusegun-Lartey Admission number 1921, in coitus. Do you consent?” …


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image source: @nolly.babes//instagram

Wear anklets, big earrings and mini-skirts. Find the boldest ones in the market. It doesn’t matter if you just like the color/style. Don’t even think about the fact that you live in the tropical region and intelligence requires you to wear breathable clothing. Just wear it my dear. This will be your uniform for the Ashawo Orientation Week.

A

Afrifeminist: A feminist who centers her advocacy around African women and the issues that pertain specifically to them. An offshoot from the broader “afro feminist” which focuses on black women in general. (See “Feminist” in episode 2.)

Agency: Women are fully and completely in control and in ownership of their bodies. They should be free to wear whatever they want and do whatever they want to/with their bodies. Simple. …


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“Keke na Pep”. Image source: unsplash.com/Joshua Oluwagbemiga

Disclaimer: This piece is intended for satirical purposes. These do not necessarily represent my personal experiences. Not all of these will apply to you. Please leave sensitivity at the door.

I once read a tweet that said everyone who grew up in Nigeria needs therapy. And I think it’s true because most, if not all of us in this country, are either mad or suppressing traumatizing feelings. Based on that, and a reflection of things both presented to me and witnessed, I came up with this: a guide on how to be a good Nigerian.

Firstly, you must accustom yourself to the failures of the national electric company. You must set your body up like a clock to always charge your phone, iron your clothes, and other activities requiring electricity at night, while the generator is still on. This is because the company in charge of providing your country with electricity—PHCN or as it will eternally be known by its former name, NEPA—only deems you important enough to receive this necessary part of modern living sporadically during the day, or not at all for long stretches of time (even though you continuously pay electricity bills). As a result, you have to be responsible and “manage” the light you have. At night, you either buy endless candles and “torchlights” or buy generators according to the weight of your pocket. That may either be an “I better pass my neighbor” small generator or a large, expensive generator which you will have to spend inconvenient amounts of your income servicing and purchasing diesel for. …

About

Tritima Achigbu

I write about identity, culture, and women. Very opinionated. Wit is my superpower. See work and projects on Contently at tritima.achigbu.

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