Saturday, March 20, 2010

Polygamy? No thanks

Lola Shoneyin is a fearless woman who engages Nigerian issues, feminist ones included, in ways that appeal to me. She doesn't mince words when talking about the unfairness of Nigerian patriarchal system. I began to like her writing after reading her first collection of poems, So All the Time I was Sitting on an Egg. In this essay, she takes on the thorny issue of polygamy in Africa. Most Nigerian men would like to argue that it is the course of nature that men have more wives (there's actually a proverb that purports that having only one woman leads to impotence, oh la la), or that Africa should resist the Western attempt to dictate Africa's culture, or bla bla bla. What do I think about the whole thing as an unrepentant Nigerian man?
Well, let's digest Lola's essay first.

"Lola Shoneyin's grandfather had five wives and her grandmother, the first, never forgave him. But she was shocked to find that polygamy is still prevalent in Nigeria"

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