“What’s your business with what happens with consenting adults?” Wole Soyinka takes aim at Homophobia in Nigeria

“What’s your business with what happens with consenting adults?” Wole Soyinka takes aim at Homophobia in Nigeria

Turkish novelist and academic, Elif Shafak, sat down with Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka for an episode of Studio B: Unscripted, where the two brilliant minds discussed nationalism, safe spaces, and the role of a writer in the modern age. Soyinka, characteristically, had a lot of insight and humour, sharing that writers are maybe masochists.

Early in the conversation, Shafak brought up the role of history, and how it’s constantly being revised through new lens. Soyinka, chipping in, discussed an old film he watched a long time ago, where a gay man was accepted in his society of a native Indian village. He then fast forwarded to the future to remark about the anti-gay bill passed into law in Nigeria.

“…you come to a country like Nigeria,” Soyinka says, “and within this decade, there are legislators who, out of all the problems assailing Nigerians – the poverty, kidnapping etcetera – took time off to pass a law which included phrases like ‘ the expression of affection between two people of the same sex.’ And I asked myself and I wrote at the time: ‘What’s your business with what happens with consenting adults? You don’t have enough problems of your own already?’”

Watch this clip below, and the full conversation on YouTube:

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5 Comments

  1. Mitch
    November 28, 06:12 Reply

    Wole is one individual I can never fully bring myself to understand. The way he vaccillates between making sense on some subjects and being utterly moronic on some is tiring, abeg.

  2. Chiboy
    November 28, 08:11 Reply

    Na dem! ?

    And what was his stand when the law was made by GEJ? ?

    When we get to know that then we would know where to fix him.

    As for now, his words means nothing if he doesn’t put an action to it. ?

    • Beryl04
      November 28, 09:55 Reply

      Wole came out at the time when GEJ signed that law to write in defense of LGBTQIA and berated the politicians for their folly in putting the lives of the community in danger. The article he wrote at the time is out there. I agree with Mitch about his many miscalculations especially where it has to do with politics.

  3. Dunder
    December 03, 15:43 Reply

    Truthfully, he has been on the right side of history on this issue from the very beginning. When his agemate (who we hear was bedding his inlaw at the time) was stoking homophobia to remain in office or extend his vacation, Prof clearly said it was not the business of government. When philandering rascals passed that bill and another philandering rascal signed it in the hopes that he’ll be in office for 10 years, WS spoke up. As a community rejected on all fronts, even by those in our bloodline, we should be grateful when people make us part of their business for the right reasons. At least, he’s not gone the lazy man’s route, reselling the abandoned for another piece of the pie.

  4. Tony hart
    September 08, 07:41 Reply

    His words are absolutely accurate. Honestly, I think this country is a joke where at the time when we had other problem like unemployment, poverty, terrorism and fuel subsidy and what did the country do about it pass a law based on their own ignorance, hypocrisy and stereotypical beliefs.

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