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Heroes and Villains of Nigeria’s Parliament Siege

Nigerians still can’t say for sure why armed, masked men held our country’s parliament under siege last week. But the alarming incident had a most joyous ending. They blocked all entrances to the building, denying lawmakers, civil servants and journalists access. It turned out they were operatives of the state’s spy agency, the Department of […]

Why Has Nigeria Rejected Paternity Leave?

For a change, it’s Nigerian men at the receiving end of outlandish deliberations by our nation’s lawmakers. We, women, are usually the victims. In 2016 for example, Nigeria attracted global head-shaking when its parliament refused to pass a gender equality bill. Among other rights, that legislation sought to protect Nigerian women from violence, and allow […]

The Teenager Fighting School Bus Sex Pests

Allegations of physical or sexual abuse against teachers in Nigerian schools sometimes manage to grab a headline, but then fade without any follow-up story on how the case was resolved. In 2016, girls at a prestigious boarding school in Lagos abandoned their exams in protest at pervasive sexual harassment by a male teacher. Those of […]

Why Nigeria’s Hate Speech Bill Is a Jokes Killer

The Nigerian parliament is considering a bill under which anyone found guilty of “hate speech that results in the death of another person shall die by hanging upon conviction”. The law also seeks the establishment of an “Independent National Commission for Hate Speech”, to enforce hate speech laws across the country, including jail terms and […]

Nigerian Migrant Dreams In The Lap Of The Gods

In the latest in our series of letters from African journalists, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani looks at why – despite knowing the risks – Nigerians are willing to make the dangerous journey across the harsh desert and unpredictable seas to reach Europe. Many migrants deported from Libya to Nigeria will tell you that they had indeed […]

Trafficked, Beaten, Abused: Life Of A Nigerian House Girl

Handed over by her mother to an agent at the age of 10, Titi was crammed into a truck in the tiny West African nation of Benin and driven across the border into southwest Nigeria. Titi feared the worst. She recalled how a previous employer in Nigeria had welcomed her with a thin mat and […]

LGBT Acceptance Slowly Grows In Nigeria, Despite Anti-Gay Laws

A tentative, growing acceptance of gay men and women in Nigeria offers a seed of hope, human rights campaigners said on Wednesday, in a country where the outlawing of gay sex is supported by nine in ten people, according to a new report. A 2017 survey by NOI Polls compared attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual […]

Nigerian Novelist: How I Was Banned From Speaking Igbo

In our series of letters from African journalists, Nigerian novelist and writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani recalls how she was banned from speaking her mother tongue. My parents forbade my local language, Igbo, from being spoken in our home when I was a child. Unlike the majority of their contemporaries in our hometown of Umuahia in […]

Letter From Africa: Were South African School Hair Rules Racist?

In our series of letters by African journalists, Nigerian novelist and writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani questions whether a South African school’s hair rules really were racist. As I followed the recent protests at a South African girls’ school where students insisted on being allowed to wear afro hairdos to school, I recalled my own days […]

The Woman Champion

Mrs Efuru Nzeribe-Uwaezuoke had just finished telling her husband how fantastically idiotic he was. Fancy him getting ahead of himself like that. Not only was her body hers and hers alone to decide what went on it and what did not, but she had purchased the lotion in question for good money – her own […]