Through the 25 minute runtime of the webclip, Asa and Funmi Iyanda talked about an array of topics. From Asa’s early days in music, to her transformation through the years in brand, style and artistry. One particular sensational bit Nigerian tabloids have picked up from the interview, however, was Asa revealing to Funmi Iyanda and the small studio audience that she had lost her virginity at 28.
As expected, blog headlines have since rolled out the reveal emblazoned as the central focus of the interview, a reaction which is admittedly typical of Nigeria’s gossip-fuelled media. The problem with this narrative however is the removal of context. Elsewhere in the interview Asa detailed how the life she chose as a singer largely affected forming romantic relationships.
Chastity is quite the sensitive subject for Nigeria’s conservative society, and many clickbaits across the internet at the time (this post was written) have ingeniously left the element of choice out of Asa’s story. But here is to whom it may concern: Though Asa noted she had initially considered keeping her virginity as a virtue and sign of respect to her typically African mother, she also made sure to explain later in the interview that her first time though consensual, it was also somewhat transactional. According to the singer, when she deemed herself ready, she called her manager Janet Nwose and attempted (and failed) at seeking advice from her mother before going ahead with it anyway.
So there you have it, Asa may have been a late bloomer, but it had nothing to do with self-preservation or the need to be considered a virtuous African woman. Such narratives belong in the recycle bin, where whoever first captioned the interview as such dug it from in the first place.