Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

African Feminism, Queer Politics

Vagina, ‘Ipo’, ‘Isu’, ‘Ponpo’

Vagina – my thoughts on reading “Vagina Dialogue : A Date with Eve Ensler” by Korto Williams

Vagina! Interesting subject matter. However I can’t help cringing at the many metaphors brought to bear by Yoruba men. I am certain the abusages are not peculiar to those men but I’ve heard more than my fair share of slang … “Ipo,” “Isu,” “Okpokripo,” “Ponpo,” not to mention a straight Yoruba word as found in “obo” redolent in the art and culture of the Yoruba. The smile on my face however is from another time.   A remembered youthful time when curiosity exploded to life at every sound around me. And there was that time when someone wrote “oko x obo “ [penis to vagina or penis by vagina] on a piece of paper and stuck it to the wall with bits of *eba. Shamelessly when the adult saw it, I claimed responsibility for reasons I can no longer make sense of these days. However today I would be happy to wear a T-shirt with “obo x obo” (vagina to vagina or vagina by vagina etc.) boldly emblazoned across it on a packed high street market road of multi-cultural London. Imagine that. In my mind a celebration, as these words cascade endlessly and so we ought.

*Eba is a sticky cassava based dumpling like food – a staple of many Nigerians. It is sometimes be used as glue…

Mia Nikasimo (c) September 2012