Ìyá Àgbà Every ẹsẹ of Odù, every word of ìwúre, every atom of àfọ̀ṣẹ that would make this day had been wept for, sweated over and bled on by Ìyá Àgbà. Patience had never been her thing, she wanted all her things done now!
While the folks in my YA books were experience a blushing first romance, I was trying to reconcile pop culture with the teachings of my conservative Muslim upbringing.
There are 18.6 million people in Malawi. Many of them are subject to some sort of initiation ceremony. These ceremonies are religiously followed and form the basis of a version of cultural survival.
Present day sex workers are devalued, abused and oppressed. But prostitution is one of the oldest professions, even featured in The New Testament as Jesus is condemned for mixing with female "sinners."
Andover, Illinois, where I grew up, is a small farming town settled by the Swedish. Outsiders were not welcome unless you had family already living there. Not many of us left. Leaving was against the rules. I got the hell out of town as soon as I could.
45 percent of teenagers in the United States express a belief that there is truth to be found in multiple religions, even when a majority of the same age group subscribes to the same religious belief system as their parents. A shift is coming.
“They just don’t know…I talked to God about, you know, about what happened,” she sobbed. “It wasn’t an easy choice. People just, they hate you for it, like, the ones that protest outside Hilltop, they don’t know what it’s like, or why. I did what I had to do, dude,” she cried. “Only you know why.”
The women in my church took their fashion style from 1 Timothy 2:9: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes…” This verse had been used to admonish us, over and over. So much so that I only wore small studs in my ears during weekdays while going to work and removed them when attending church on Saturdays. My only visible sin was my plaited, uncovered hair.
The idea of feminism in Nigeria itself has been identified as a threat to men. Patriarchal structures dictate that being submissive and loyal no matter the circumstances is what a good religious woman should be. This doesn’t speak for any one religion, but rather for all: Women who identify as feminist in Nigeria are criticized and mocked using all means to dissuade us from the very idea.
My view of religion had become deeply damaged. I entered college and then my professional career with a hatred and disrespect for it. Religion for me was synonymous with hypocrisy and greed. To me, it was a crutch for the weak.
The language of the Qur’an is the language of poetry and so I found that meaning was the eye into translation and not the other way round. That’s when I began to take the exegeses and history classes more seriously. Without them, I found translation useless to my spirituality.