Conversations about sex rarely happen openly in Nigeria, and when they do, as in the recent case of singer, Oxlade (real name Ikuforiji Olaitan), 24, it is usually in the context of some scandal like his alleged leaked sex tape. A similar case in October 2021 saw Nigeria’s internet go up in flames over the leaked sex tape of superstar, Tiwa Savage.
In both cases, it seems Nigerians have decided to collectively miss the opportunity for sex education that the incidents proffered and instead latch on the salaciousness of the gist and the feigned moral outrage of older Nigerians who should know better.
There is a deeper conversation to be had about the response these recent cases received from the Nigerian populace, and many have already had it from various angles. The crux being that where Tiwa received undue outrage supposedly because she is a mother – as if mothers stop having sex the moment they pop out a baby which ironically is the end result of sex – Oxlade is being flooded with praise.
It speaks to the failure of sex education in Nigeria that in the midst of all this conversation hardly anyone has noticed one all-important similarity that should really be the point of discussion and cause for concern.
Both artists appear to have been having unprotected sex.
Tiwa’s video requires no scrutiny to establish that neither her partner no herself was wearing a condom, however poor the lighting of the video is.
Oxlade’s video on the other hand only reveals a telltale sign, in the grainy video, that the singer was having unprotected sex as well. The moment is so brief between switching positions – from missionary to what excited Nigerians have taken to calling the superman position – that many are bound to miss it.
Between the fixation of Nigerians on Oxlade’s sexual prowess which they gleaned from his ability to hold the ‘superman position’, and the jokes about his use of his spit as lubricant, no one is seeing the unhealthy sexual practices in full display, something sex education could have easily fixed.
The human cost of hypocrisy
Nigeria’s birth rate alone, which in 2020 stood at 37 births per 1000 people in a country of over 200 million, is clear evidence that there is a whole lot of penetrative sex going on in this country. The staggering amount of it only fully registers, however, when you consider that it isn’t every incidence of sex that results in birth, nor is every sexual encounter between the opposite gender or even with a person.
Add that to the massive rate of abortions in a country where access to abortion care remains restricted and the conversation on abortion rights taboo in many parts, at an estimated 1.8 to 2.7 million abortions per annum. The National Agency for the Control of AIDS estimate of people living with HIV, which in 2019 stood at 1.9 million. The picture you see forming is one of a populace living in denial and suffering the human cost of its hypocrisy.
Other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) like Gonorrhea, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Herpes, Syphilis, et al, all of which can be transmitted through spit, rarely get a mention despite how common they are in the country.
The value of pleasure-based sex education
Sex is one of the most important aspects of life, up there with feeding and breathing. It is the very core of being as the one sure way human evolution allows the perpetuation of life, and pleasure is the incentive that evolution deems fit to encourage life.
Unlike amoeba, humans can’t split in half to reproduce, and however many times Nigerian parents repeat the lie, no child really believes one can go to a store and purchase a new born baby. Quite the contrary, when children ask, it is often to get a reassuring confirmation of what they already suspect from observation and their experience with their developing bodies. When they receive this lie, what they hear is yet another reason to lose more trust in the adults their bright-eyed younger selves wholly trusted to care for them. They will begin to seek this knowledge elsewhere, which usually ends in a series of disasters, from sexual violence, to teen pregnancies and STIs.
There is a reason child abuse – which includes sexual violence among other forms of abuse – is alarmingly high in Nigeria as reported by NOIPolls.
Tiwa Savage and Oxlade aren’t special in any sense as far as the matter of sex is concerned. Their popularity and massive desirability born of their stardom may have made the story of them having sex seem like a big deal, but a society that is sexually educated will see that this is unsurprising. Of course they have sex, they are human.
A sexually educated society will especially see that the only thing of concern is not two adults having sex. Nor that they recorded the sex or that the recording somehow found its way to the internet where, “God forbid!” as Nigerians will say, someday their child will see it, but that these adults are having unsafe sex.
In Tiwa’s defense, she claimed the person in her video is her partner, which can easily deceive cis-heterosexual ordinary Nigerians and even medical practitioners that she is in the clear regarding STIs. But people cheat, and serial monogamy, which is what most people practice, can be nearly as much a recipe for disaster when it comes to STIs as unhinged promiscuity.
Perhaps if Nigeria’s sexually repressed population is equipped with sexual education, these things will not be confusing and we will all have a healthier relationship with sex.
Ado Aminu writes to expand human stories. When not reading, writing or communing with the spirits of his ancestors about how the patriarchy has and continues to ruin everything, you’ll find him daydreaming about his next cup of tea. You can follow him on Twitter @PettyMuse.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram