Label’s Culture editor, Uchenna Omo-Bamawo, writes a short piece in light of LGBTQ+ history month, regarding identity within a Nigerian home and how it is important to be proud of who you are no matter who may judge you.
“When will you marry, Simi?”
It was the question she had been dreading would loom over this occasion. It had only been a week since Simi had been back from University and her parents decided to have a barbecue; inviting friends and family to enjoy the assorted meats, ice cold drinks and burning sun. They knew this type of weather wouldn’t last long in normally dreary England, so took this opportunity to savour it in its full glory.
Her Aunty Bisi had just asked the dreaded question, which she herself didn’t know the answer to, but instead of being annoyed at the intrusion of her love life she gave a fake laugh and fiddled with her phone as she replied with: “I don’t know aunty; I’m focusing on my studies right now”
Her aunt and her friends laughed and Aunty Bisi replied with “Hm! You are a smart and beautiful girl; very good, you will attract a very successful man!” Simi wished she could talk back to them, be like her favourite Youtuber Nella Rose who always called out these type of African aunties who had something to say. Instead of ‘I don’t know’ she wanted to shoot back ‘what about your cheating husband?’
But Simi just smiled and said “Yes aunty” and was about to head back inside for some shade before an idea popped in her head. Simi turned back and added “Successful man…or woman”. The group of four women, including her Aunty Bisi just stared at her, not fully processing what just happened, but soon came back to reality as they noticed the rainbow sticker on the back of Simi’s phone.
Simi was about to leave them staring when her Aunty Bisi sprung up and grabbed her arm, dragging her across the garden. Simi almost tripped, wincing slightly at her aunt’s tightening grip, and she could see that her aunt was directing her to her parents, who were laughing with the other adults on the bench. Simi’s dad noticed the hardened look on his sister Bisi’s face as they neared in, which made him go silent, making the others who were laughing go silent too.
Bisi then exploded: “Your daughter has disgraced this family; you know she is into that gay stuff, is this how you’ve raised your daughter?” Simi tugged with all her might and freed herself from her aunt’s grasp who was shocked at the sudden resistance. Simi wasn’t going to lose this fight.
Header done by Annabel Smith, Assistant Head of Design
Edited by Uchenna Omo-Bamawo, Culture Editor