I love Joy Isi Bewaji, I love Chimamanda and Linda Ikeji, because they represent everything that the average African girl does not want to be. They have their own money, they are intellectual, they are controversial, they are not married (except Adiche whose marriage remains in the shadows, one would hardly know she is hitched). These women represent the unofficial association of Nigerian Feminists.
“Single motherhood works for me, maybe because I have a very supportive mother. I had my kids in a marriage, and left with my kids. It was my decision. I function better alone. Average partnership irks me. It’s either phenomenal or we can stop patching life like an old dress and find our power and passions independently” – Joy Isi Bewaji
I have been wondering if social media is a work place but reading Joy’s interview on the Punch News Online made me realize that social media is a Job that happens to you on a quest for freedom. Most people that make waves on Facebook (Nigeria) circle are freedom fighters who have suffered societal/religious suppression one time or the other. We eventually find a space where our voice is allowed to echo as far as we can shout and you know what? these women are social noisemakers.
Joy writes about Linda Ikeji and describes her as a gladiator, a social misfit who throws sower grapes around and rips off the people while they attempt to mob her. She is despicable and unapologetic, she is wrong and does not care the tiniest bit about who gets burnt. The women are only fit for Musuems, Hall of Fames, they are not Customizable gift Items that can be smugly fit into the corner of a tiny man’s egocentric world.
“It is a man’s world out there” they say, everything plays by “The man’s rule” and I am using the word “man” loosely because it does not just refer to male humans, it refers to every societal structure that does not allow flexibility, freedom of expression, fluidity. These women like a lot of us have turned the digital space to a woman’s world, where you can be whoever the fuck you want to be. There is no rule book for Joy’s life, she is not waiting to get paid a month end salary or yearly bonuses, she is grabbing the funds from your pockets by being a facebook voltron and the thorn in every man’s flesh. The woman’s world is where everyone can be anybody they want to be!
Chimamanda’s “we should all be feminist” is my next read, I will probably leave a review till another post. What fascinates me about these women is that I believe they will probably never get married and people need to get comfortable with that idea, It is perfectly normal. I have shared on my social feed a number of times that I believe not every human was designed for marriage, Marriage is a choice and staying out of it is a choice every human should be able to make in peace. While I was reading about women writers, I stumbled on an old excerpt about Canadian Women Writers. These women most times had to work in the shadows of their husbands, sometimes they compromised their voice to patronize their husband’s selfish agendas. A great number found harmony with their partners but significant to their stories was the struggle to find independent expression, these women are the true thought leaders and marriage seems to be one of society’s greatest weapons for stifling independence.
Like Joy rightly observed “Freedom is something religion preaches, yet despises” and again Marriage is something that religion preaches as a road to freedom but in Marriage, religion preaches the highest form of suppression. I hate the culture of silence too, I am advocate of free voices, without these freedom, man would have remained in the dark ages. Every work of science, every discovery of technology have been built on the backs of thinkers who were not afraid to defy the norms. Marriage is a taboo!