Women married women, even before the word ‘gay’ or homosexuality existed in the Igbo culture, this was part of the points Ms Chimamanda raised, as a keynote speaker at the 2018 Igbo Conference in London. Chimamanda who attended the prestigious Yale University, was at the conference to lay bare most of what she learnt from the institution while studying African Culture-Igbo. Chimamanda Adichie talk, titled “Igbo bu Igbo”, explored the evolution of gender roles in Igboland since precolonial times, the importance of language, and the need to continuously re-imagine and re-define culture.
Her speech touched on cultural identity and explored on the Igbo history. According to Ms Chimamanda, culture has been used as a tool to oppress and intimidate people, the same culture can also be used as a liberating tool. Her call for improving our cultural identity, she said, should be ahead of political identity.
Chimamanda’s revelation about the history of the Igbo woman was very-well thought-provoking, as it appears many African’s have forgotten history, no thanks to the Nigerian government who abolished the teaching of History in schools. For many of us who thought homosexuality is a Western invention, Chimamanda says during her research at Yale, she found out it has been amongst us –Igbo culture, during the pre-colonial period.
On the other hand, the idea of women marrying women is very well revealed in “EFURU”, a book written by the first Nigerian Woman to publish a book, Flora Nwopa. Apparently, if we are accustomed to our history, we would find out that the idea of homosexuality, has been with us before the British or French came.
Click the link below to watch the full video on Youtube.