Beyond Cultural and Legislative Strictures: Gay and Lesbian Identities in Nigerian and Ghanaian Movies


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


This study critically explores the vexatious issues of same-sex erotic and identities in Nigerian (Nollywood) and Ghanaian (Ghallywood) movies. Inspired by cultural and official homophobic position of both countries, this project proposes that Nigerian and Ghanaian filmmakers are critically challenging their societies to re-examine their homophobic stances. Using queer theory, a theory that interrogates social, political and psychological relations between sex, gender and sexual desires and orientations, it critically examines eight queer-themed movies, Men in Love ((2010), Emotional Crack (2003), Confusion Na Wa, Lesbian 2013) – Nigerian- and Jezebel (2009), House of Gold (2013) , Gay Pastors (2012) and 4Play (2011) - (Ghanaian) to posit that there is growing interest in gay and lesbian identities in both countries and that these film industries are a vibrant site for the assessment of the debate and contest between primordial homophobic perspectives and a growing but closeted and marginalized gay, lesbian and bisexual communities.