Woman Beware Woman by Lola Shoneyin

Writer’s Brief

The politics of writing polygamy

President Zuma of South Africa adds yet another wife (Nompumelelo Ntuli) to his harem and the head of the Nigerian Anglican Church Akinola proposes the banning of polygamous unions among Nigerian Anglicans. Unlike his previous angst against the unafricanness of homosexuals, this polygamous banning was proposed as decidedly African.

We explore the tension between deep-seated traditionalism and a normative, liberal constitution that makes it difficult to decide the place of polygamy in our society.

How to write a story that speaks to the reality of polygamy without being co-opted into the agenda of these two strange bed-fellows?

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