Writings of the general word's body

Monday, April 23, 2007

Gay Afrique

As with the previous post, we're staying with The Guardian, this time the April 14th edition, which had a centrespread on 'The gay globe'. The feature used a colour code to show how gay people fare under the law in countries across the world. Countries with liberal legislation on homosexuality are tagged with pink balloons. Nigeria is one of the 'dark blues' where a gay person may expect a grim treatment under the law. According to the Guardian, the family of one Emmanuel Obahiaghbon reported him to the authorities last year and requested that he be sentenced to death by stoning. The piece did not indicate whether the poor man was reported in the 'Sharia' states of Northern Nigeria. But I'd be very surprised if anyone, whatever their orientation, can be stoned to death South of the River Niger.
The Africa segment was illustrated with an image of Nigerian gay activist, Bisi Alimi, engrossed in a copy of the Gay Times, supposedly in Lagos. As it happens, an interview with Alimi is in the current issue of
Farafina Magazine. The interview is available online.
The current issue of
Wasafiri (Issue 50) focuses on the 'Queer Postcolonial'. Among the contents is an essay, 'If You Like, Professor, I Will Come Home With You' - a re-reading of Wole Soyinka's The Road - by academic Chris Dunton.
Sable Litmag also did a recent LGBTQ issue (issue 9) with a spotlight on Jackie Kay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey MW, seen this?


It's about a Naija woman who married other women in a Sharia state for that matter. I am pasting it below, from the BBC.

Polygamous lesbians flee Sharia
A Nigerian lesbian who "married" four women last weekend in Kano State has gone into hiding from the Islamic police, with her partners.
Under Sharia law, adopted in the state seven years ago, homosexuality and same-sex marriages are outlawed and considered very serious offences.

The theatre where the elaborate wedding celebration was held on Sunday has been demolished by Kano city's authorities.

Lesbianism is also illegal under Nigeria's national penal code.

Nigeria's parliament is considering tightening its laws on homosexuality.


Kano's Hisbah board, which uses volunteers to enforce Islamic law, told the BBC that the women's marriage was "unacceptable".

The BBC's Bala Ibrahim in Kano says Aunty Maiduguri and her four "wives" are thought to have gone into hiding the day after they married.

All five women, who are believed to be film actresses in the local home-video industry, were born Muslims, otherwise they would not be covered by Sharia law.

Islam says a man can take up to four wives if he is able to support them.

"As defenders of the Sharia laws, we shall not allow this unhealthy development to take root in the state," the Hisbah's deputy commander Ustaz Abubakar Rabo told Nigeria's This Day newspaper.

Mr Rabo told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that if the women were found guilty of lesbianism they faced one of two punishments.

For a married woman the offence would be considered adultery for which the punishment is death by stoning. A single woman would be caned.

Large turnout

Our correspondent says the theatre where the colourful wedding ceremony was held was flattened earlier this week.

Several reasons were given for the demolition, including the discovery that it was built on wrongly allocated land.

Eyewitnesses say there was a large turnout for the marriage and guests were given leaflets as a souvenir showing Aunty Maiduguri surrounded by her "brides".

A Kano police spokesman told the BBC that his officers were not actively looking for the women, but would arrest them if need be.

The Hisbah group, which is run separately from the police, receives state government support.

Two years ago, a Sharia court sentenced a man to six months in prison and fined him $38 for living as a woman for seven years in Kano.

Eleven other states in mostly Muslim northern Nigeria have adopted Sharia law.

Story from BBC NEWS: