Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Guest Blogger, Poetry, Queer Politics


Time stopped still, really!
The Yoruba Modern
Practical Dictionary

Had just defined the word, “Lesbian.” Leaving me sitting there out cold.

A moment to breathe,
A second to catch my
Bearings in a twilight

Moment, a predicament
Of old as such in a Chemist’s glimpsed try.

Words to tell… No Jill for
Jack nor Jack for Jill; or was that just a test run?

The neighbourhood hood
Reckon everyone knows!
Is it any wonder children

Are assumed dabbling in
Black magic & the occult
Because they ask stuff?

Slumbering orthodoxy tics; Fela’s “followfollow”
Rang so, oh so truth!

People follow the book
Without a proper user’s instruction to guide them.

To think, they thought they Knew anything about anything; wildly off.

What of fe-masculinity* if
Girl like boy in Yoruba is a Lesbian? Do you get me?

Everyone’s insane, really?
Really, without exclusion,
Facades; no recompense.

*Masculine female

Mia Nikasimo (c) March 2009

Notes to, “Really?”

*Yoruba -the language of the people of South West Nigeria.

*Masculine female/woman… Contrary to a friend’s assumption, this is nothing to do with trans but more to do with women generally (not butchness or tomboys and their lifestyles either but women loving women.)


  1. I wish you said what that Yoruba definition is. Or is it somewhere in there?

  2. Mia

    … What of fe-masculinity* if
    “Girl like boy” means Lesbian
    in Yoruba? …

    You cannot write Yoruba on the standard qwerty keyboard. However the Yoruba definition of the word “Lesbian” read as follows: “Obirin asebiako” according to the Modern Yoruba Practical Dictionary.

    Does this answer your question, anengiyefa? The above quote from the poem shows an english translation of the dictionary’s definition which is why the posted poem (written in English)does not directly use the Yoruba definition.