Tuesday Feb 27, 2024

Ahebi Ugbabe

Today’s subject was an uneducated woman who was born in approximately 1880 and rose in her nearly 70 years of life from enslavement to sex work to female king. She was  a leader of her community of Enugu-Ezike in present-day Nigeria and a collaborator with British colonialism in the region. Finally removed from power by British officials and local elders because she participated in a ritual in a way that only men were supposed to, the complex life of Ahebi Ugbabe helps tell the story of the colonization and decolonization of Nigeria and of the similarities and the differences between the sex-gender systems we are used to in the contemporary west and the vast array of possibilities in those sex-gender systems throughout different human societies.

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Nwando Achebe, The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011).

Our intro music is Arpeggia Colorix by Yann Terrien, our outro music was made for us by DJ Michaeloswell Graphicdesigner

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