Category: Nigeria

I saw this post on Cracked; 5 reasons ‘traditional marriage’ would shock your ancestors, and I knew I had to something similar. Nigerians today have ideas on marriage in the past, especially about how women behaved as wives, that may not be the reality. I’ll be focusing on Yoruba people here because that is what […]

I rolled my eyes when I stumbled across a link to an article in which a faux intellectual accused me of promoting prostitution because of these posts on (historical) sex work in indigenous African societies. I refused to click on the link, no point in giving views, but really one post on a tiny part […]

I know I have written on Efunsetan Aniwura before (where I horribly misspelled her name for which I have been told off *haha*) but once is not enough! The more I learn about this amazing Egba woman, the more I am amazed. I went from not knowing anything about her, to learning that she was […]

Ahebi Ugbabe’s life story is to me, equal parts fascinating and frustrating. Fascinating because Ahebi Ugbabe was a woman ahead of her time, and her story provides incredible insights into pre-colonial Igbo attitudes towards gender and sex. And frustrating because of the exact same reason; that is pre-colonial Igbo attitudes towards gender and sex. Ahebi […]

Nwando Achebe writes that “woman-to-woman marriage in Africa has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality” (emphasis hers)…and I actually agree with this…kind of. While I strongly believe in pre-colonial lesbian secret societies littered across the African continent, at the risk of falling into the trap of Eurocentric and Western (mis)understanding of African social institutions, it […]

In Nwando Achebe’s recount of Ahebi Ugbabe’s life, she looks into the practice of marrying women to Goddesses as a sort of human sacrifice and slavery system. With the abolition of the international slave trade in 1805, some Igbo people created new deities and mystical forces that were to help them fight the internal slavery […]

As can be expected with most things related to African history there is extremely little information on sex work in pre-colonial African societies out there. It is for this reason that I was doubly excited that Nwando Achebe dedicated part of her research to revealing the intricacies of sex work in Igboland (particularly among the […]