Ghanaian writer, activist and designer Nana Sekyiamah has recorded a very special podcast of her blog Adventures from the bedrooms of African women, to be played at WOW. (Adventures from the bedrooms of African women, Saturday 10 March, 12pm)
Why did you set up Adventures from the bedrooms of African women blog?
I set up Adventures in January 2009 with my BFFFL Malaka Gyekye (Best Friend for Freakin Life). I had been on one of the best holidays of my life with 3 other women and we had spent most of that time having the most frank open conversations about sex. I came home thinking ‘Wow. I want to keep having these conversations with African women’.
I love the blog title, can you explain to us please?
Malaka and I decided we needed to document our own stories. We laughed about the stereotypes that existed about African women and sex, and how shocked people would be to learn what really went on in the bedrooms of African women.
What are the main myths around the sexuality of black women?
That’s the weird thing about the myths around the sexuality of black women. It’s extreme, contradictory and often irrational. On one hand we’re portrayed as hyper sexualized (by the majority of commercially successful hip hop artists for e.g.), we’re objects of sexual curiosity and exotic to the white western male world (from as far back as Sarah Bartmann) and to others (I would put African men in this bracket) we’re boring, unadventurous, and sexually unimaginative. None of these stereotypes in my opinion are true.
Why is the sexuality of black women an issue?
Because to me its one of the major issues that we haven’t yet dealt with. The right to bodily integrity, the right to freedom of choice, the right to pleasure, the right to safer sex…
What have you learned from the blog? How to have better sex. Seriously. You can’t be ‘preaching’ to others about the importance of pleasurable sex and not be taking your own pleasure seriously. I have also learned how diverse African women are in our sexualities, experiences and desires and that it’s crucial to respect the sexual choices that women have.
When you’re not doing Adventures, what else are you doing?
I am Communications Officer for the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), I own a fashion label with my sister, MAKSI Clothing, I write for magazines including DUST magazine and Dream Weddings in Ghana, and occasionally I do some consultancy work on communications and PR. Oh and I own a small farm which produces oil palm.
How are you spending IWD in Ghana?
I’m organising an event for AWDF with our partner Alliance Francaise (Accra). We’re holding a series of events including an arts exhibition, launching a specially commissioned song by Lady Jay Wah called ‘African Woman’ and a concert with Sia Tolno, RFI Discovery Award Winner of 2011.