This is a response to the trending recent article posted by our own Chimamanda Adichie titled, 'Why can't he be like everyone else?'
You can read it here:http://www.nairaland.com/1636740/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-writes-anti-gay
OPEN LETTER TO CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
WHY WE CAN’T BE LIKE THEM.
My dear sister, as always your literary skills and prowess with words can never be in doubt; you are indeed one of young Africa's best in terms of modern literature.
However, after reading your recent piece on Nigeria's Anti Gay law, I found myself still admiring your literary skills but at the same time wondering;
"What the hell is wrong with these 'internationally acclaimed' African writers? Must they always present an 'Anti-African Government' posture in order to impress their western audience?"
It's becoming a common phenomenon these days for creative Africans, born and bred in Africa who suddenly attain international recognition in their chosen fields be it journalism, art, entertainment or literature to suddenly become pro-western advocates against the social, cultural and political ills of their home countries in Africa.
These western endorsed African ‘geniuses’ immediately join other international (white) organisations in broadcasting to the whole world that majority of their own people live on less than $1 a day.
Chimamanda, I did not expect anything less from your opposition to Nigeria's Anti Gay laws; using our local lingo, "Dem born you well to support am?"
If you had (by mistake) supported the Nigerian government on this, the all powerful LGBT community in your 'oyinbo' country would have shred you to 'pieces'. In fact by the time they are done with you and your books black listed in their respective countries, you’d be forced to return to Nigeria and become a third wife to the 'Igwe of Nsukka'.
Let me start with your touching 'gay friendly' story on Sochukwuma-the girlish boy from your childhood era that was bullied, as a matter of fact permit me to share my own childhood story.
My first three years of secondary school was in an all boys school; one fine afternoon after closing hours I strolled into our schools’ vast unkempt field covered with over grown bamboo grasses. My sole purpose for going into the fields was to catch grasshoppers and frogs, a favourite personal routine as a JSS 2 student in 1991. Long story short, deep into the field I bumped into two of my (male) classmates making out under a huge tree close to the fence. I saw them, recognised them, turned back and went my own way...I never told a soul.
Unlike your ‘hip swinging’ Sochukwuma, these boys were as masculine as kids our age could be back then.
I met one of those boys at a Lagos mall recently; he is now married with two children. Is he now straight? Is he now a closet gay? Is he bisexual? I can’t say, but what I do know for sure is that the human nature is very complex and complicated filled with realistic and unrealistic desires. Human character/behaviour can be learnt, unlearnt, built, rebuilt and redefined at the instance of the individual involved. The job of society and leaders of society (methinks) has always been to enact laws or rules that seek to protect certain societal values deemed as important to their distinct peoples general well being.
In your article, you said,
“The Bible can be a basis for how we choose to live our personal lives but it cannot be a basis for the laws we pass,”
Did you really write this? “Thou shall not kill!” “Thou shall not steal!”
Rings a bell? Anyways, moving on!
You also said, “A crime is a crime for a reason. A crime has victims. A crime harms society. On what basis is homosexuality a crime?”
Again Miss Adichie, did you really write this? Remind me again on why suicide is a crime when the only victim is the person actually committing it. Suicide is harmful to society because no nation wants to see its people killing off themselves at will. Same way no (sane) society will want to see its entire people becoming homosexuals which could make them stop reproducing and lead to their extinction. But you may say, it’s not possible for an entire population to be gay? Well, it’s also not possible for an entire population to be suicidal.
So, can we now hit the ground rolling for the total legalization of ALL FORMS of suicide? I guess not.
In your adopted United States of America, Polygamy is outlawed in most states; perhaps 'Polygamy' has been identified as a threat to the very fabric of American societal values-good for the Americans.
In Saudi Arabia, it is still a crime for women to drive cars in that country; perhaps driving of cars by women has been identified by the Saudis as a threat to their common existence-good for the Saudis.
Off topic, I’ve always wondered why American/International feminists and equal rights activists have not spoken out HARD against this type of discrimination against Saudi women. I haven’t even heard of you speaking against it, Yes you Chimamanda Adichie, a ‘Beyonce endorsed’ feminist.
Back to Nigeria, as imperfect as we Nigerians are, most of us are either Christians or Muslims, with subtle adherence African tradition religions.
Is it now a crime for us as a people to make laws against vices that we feel threatens the fabrics of our own society based on the Bible, the Koran and our African Culture?
Indeed Nigeria has bigger problems like Terrorism, Kidnapping and corruption, but all these vices are also criminalized by Nigerian law.
If my bible tells me that two great cities called Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality- as a Christian should I not be concerned? Don't I have the right to bring up my children as Christians and teach them to despise the act of homosexuality but not necessarily the sinner?
Must Nigerians prove to your western world that we are civilized by adopting their Atheist based liberal laws on same-sex unions, abortion and other perversions?
What Africans need to copy from the west is the art of industrialization and technological advancement NOT the art of love-making by same-sex couples.
Make no mistake about it; there are many homosexuals in Nigeria and in Africa. Yes, they are a minority and yes, they must be protected and treated as human beings if they abide by Nigerian laws like everyone else. Even if they (gays) or any criminal for that matter are caught breaking our laws, mob justice must be totally discouraged. BUT we will not wait until these ‘sensitive’ gay minority starts to parade the streets of Lagos, Abuja or Nsukka dressed in lewd outfits, holding up rainbow flags and showing off 'rehearsed' same-sex public displays of affection before we decide to enact laws that protect our cherished values.
A Pastor friend of mine once had this to say about Gay rights in Nigeria,
"Don't mind all these white people o, they have developed their countries very well and so they can now legalize homosexuality. Whenever God decides to punish them for their sins with earthquakes, wild fires, blizzards, tsunamis, volcanoes and so on, they can still manage it. Nigeria is still very backward in almost everything and we have offended God in many ways, should we now add ‘Gay rights’ to our problem with God? If God decides to give Nigeria half of the natural punishments he gives to the west, we will all be finished o."
I honestly feel that you were subtly pressurized by your host nation and foreign patrons to put out your ‘why can’t he be like everyone else?’ article. They already got Professor Wole Soyinka (an Atheist) to condemn Nigeria’s anti-gay law earlier.
Let me conclude here with a parting question to you Miss Adichie, mind you this too may appear as very off topic, it probably is.
In your latest book Americanah and in several fora you have talked about racism in America and my question to you is, are gay black people in America no longer discriminated as black people?
This is just a ‘spontaneous’ food for thought and is not meant to support my argument in anyway.
I’m still one of your biggest fans.