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BellaNaija Presents My Partner is a Feminist: Deji says a Relationship Where Both Parties Are Equal Is Just Different

BellaNaija.com

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It is undeniable that Nigeria runs on patriarchy. From the elevation of male children to the continuous minimizing of the basic rights of girls and women, the patriarchy is everywhere.

Driven by a our unyielding hold of religion and a pervasive culture, the issue of whether men and women should be treated equally continues to remain a topic of heated debate. It is for this reason that feminism continues to be a contentious issue amongst the Nigerian polity.

However, feminism exists in Nigeria; and contrary to what a lot of people might like to believe, it is not a new age concept. Mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers have often stood their ground and fought for their rights to exist on equal footing, simply as humans.

Social media has, however, taken feminism in Nigeria beyond the Aba women’s riot, and other radical movements; social media has united feminists in the country with their counterparts abroad. With social media, the stories have become amplified and highlighted at a scale that is almost inconceivable.

Feminists found each other and shared experiences of their work, their differences and the single thing that unified them – equal rights for all women – poor women, black women, transwomen, queer women, rich women, disabled women, and everyone within the different intersections. Equal rights for all women.

With feminists finding each other on social media, one thing is constantly brought up: “Who will marry you?” (And this applies to both men and and women who align with the movement). Why does it seem so unbelievable that someone would marry a feminist?

It is for this reason that BellaNaija has decided to turn its spotlight on the partners of feminists. In this series, we chat with people who are married to feminists — learn their highs, their lows and their whys.

First off, we speak to Deji A, a telecommunications consultant who was born and raised in Lagos, and is married to the feminist Ahunna N. Deji had both his primary and secondary education in Isolo, Lagos, studied Computer Science in the University of Lagos, and although he was raised to be open minded, his background held no traces of feminism.

My Partner is a Feminist

Deji describes himself as a feminist, believes feminism in its most basic form is the quality of all sexes, with women afforded the same level of access as men to wealth, the same opportunities, and way of life. He has two kids.

Hear more from Deji.

***
How did he meet Ahunna?

I met her on Twitter. I heard a friend talk about her and I was intrigued. So I searched for her on twitter. I replied one of her tweets with a corny line and she responded. I sent her a DM and after numbers were exchanged, I called her. That’s how it all started.

When did he find out she was a feminist?

The first day we met actually. She drove to my place on a Sunday. She talked for a while and I listened. Everything she said made sense and it was like I was hearing it for the first time. She already had me from when Sess spoke about her, but I confirmed it when we met and talked.

Do they both share the same definition of feminism?

Yes, we do. I do have to say that she understands it on a deeper level because she experiences it every day while as a man, I am shielded from it

How is it different, being married to a feminist?

Well, she truly is an excellent individual. I believe that is only possible because she is a feminist and her mind is more evolved as a result of this. It changes the power dynamics and allows me enjoy more of everything in my relationship.

What does he believe are the downsides to being married to a feminist?

Feminists are the minority of the population here in Nigeria. Same as LGBTQ people and any other group that is considered as different. Minorities are in all cases oppressed. In my case though, apart from some backlash on social media, I am not accessible to people or situations where I am made to feel a downside to being feminist.

Has there been a distinctly memorable event from being partnered to a feminist?
My life from when I met my wife has been a series of memorable stories and events. Nothing is the same.

Does he think their relationship has changed as a result of Ahunna being a feminist?

Yes, it has. Like I said before, a relationship where both parties are working as equals can’t be the same as one where a partner thinks he/she is superior

What’s Deji’s experience discussing feminism with friends and family?

I haven’t discussed it as a concept or topic with friends or family. It shows in my discussions with anyone.

Would he do it again? If he had a do-over, would he again marry a feminist?

Everyone should be a feminist, so, of course, I would do it again.


Do you or your spouse want to be featured on My Partner is a Feminist?  Please send an e-mail to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com with the subject line “My Partner is a Feminist,” and we’ll proceed from there.

9 Comments

  1. Abi

    February 28, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Nice Read.

    Please interview Ozzy Etomi’s husband.

  2. Sigh

    February 28, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Lol this is the most dramatic article ever. Just say you’ve seen sowed versions of what marriage is please. If you’re a real Christian in your marriage you know you and your wife are equal no need to put a title. Christianity is on the basis on everyone is equal why put a tile on what you’re already doing. If you weren’t already treating people equally man and women then that’s a heart problem you don’t need to claim to be a feminist to do that.

    • Fountain of Paper

      February 28, 2019 at 6:12 pm

      Your comment appears to be based on the assumption that everyone is a Christian or that the BN audience is a christian one.

      Correct me if I’m wrong… is there any part of this story where the interview subject said he was a Christian?

      You Christians are low-key bullies with your presumption that everyone lives by your dogma. Please shift and face your church newsletter so those of us who want to enjoy content that is not coloured by Christianity can do so in peace.

      Thanks

    • Smh

      March 3, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Christianity is a title. You tell people you are a Christian, so your point is baseless. Lol

    • Smh

      March 3, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Christianity is a title. You tell people you are a Christian right? so your point is baseless. Lol

  3. didi

    February 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    The CHRISTIAN bible states THE MAN is the head of his home AS CHRIST is the head of the church. The problem FEMINIST “flag bearers” have with this part of the bible is based on their ignorance of what leadership means. There is need for leadership in every TEAM,GROUP or ORGANISATION to avoid conflict and for proper accountability. A Leader is first a SERVANT who puts the lives and needs of the people he leads first before his. The same goes for the head of a family (the man agree or not your piece of cake) not the foolish man but the man of VALOUR who knows that he has to put first the needs of his family before his,he goes to labour for them,he protects them,he is only satisfied when they are first comfortable, he knows for better decision making, the opinion of his wife matters alot and some times that of his children too. So # FOUNTAIN OF PAPER the first marriage was organised by God, i mean the God we CHRISTIANS serve. So my love receive peace of mind ehhh you are going to hear a whole about this ground shaking people for the rest of your life. Before i stop typing # FOUNTAIN OF PAPER JESUS loves you. Muah

    • Sass

      February 28, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      My sister or brother just because you want to argue you have quickly typed op. Christian feminists do not argue that a man is not the head of the home, they only argue that they want the same economic, social and political opportunities a man has. I should not be president, be bank md or inherit my father’s property because I am a woman?

  4. Aare farmland

    March 1, 2019 at 2:39 am

    Feminism has always existed but has it always played from the bench. Your first paragraph talks about patriarchy and then switched to feminism. So I can assume, feminism lost a battle somewhere or did African ‘feminism’ support African ‘patriarchy’.

  5. Slim daddy

    June 2, 2020 at 10:37 am

    I believe We all have equal rights, but when it gets to the home.. THE MAN IS THE HEAD, we Nigerians we copy rubbish a lot.. THE WHITS TAUGHT US A VERY MESSED UP TYPE OF RELIGION.. THEY DIDNT TELL US WHAT RELIGION WAS ALL ABOUT.. THEY TOLD US LIES IN ALL THEIR TEACHINGS

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