In April 2021, a report spread across the Nigerian blogosphere that Chinese authorities at the Port of Shanghai had seized a Nigerian cargo ship carrying 7,200 refrigerated human penises. Although this report seemed unlikely for several reasons, one of them being the fact that the original source was a satirical website with an explicit “buyer beware” statement on its homepage, the fact that a former high-ranking minister took to retweeting it It was considered reliable enough. After warning the Chinese to “leave Nigerian dicks alone”, the report received credence. In short, two members of the Nigerian House of Representatives will move a motion (adopted unanimously) calling for a careful investigation of the matter.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
It is not entirely clear whether lawmakers acted with full awareness of the fact that the global illegal trade in human organs is reported to be worth between $840 million and $1.7 billion annually, or whether the lower house of parliament It is male-dominated. And all were motivated by basic self-preservation. What is beyond dispute is that the horror of disappearing genitalia (GDP for short) in Nigeria is very real, and often tragic.
For example: In November 2020, angry youths from the Dawdu community in Guma Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State stormed the Divine Shadow Church, the pastorate of Prophet Joshua Uhembe, and set it on fire. The youth were convinced that the priest was the mastermind behind the “mysterious disappearance” of the manhood of seven members of the community. In September 2019, police had to step in to protect a man suffering from dwarfism, identified as Anayo, after he was attacked by a mob after another man alleged that he, Anayo, ” Has made his manhood disappear.” Mob justice against alleged “manhood snatchers” has also been reported in Ondo, Niger, Lagos, Kwara, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Osun states. Last week, in Nasarawa, North Central State, a preacher from the Living Faith Church (aka Winners Chapel) was beaten to death by a mob after someone accused him of “collecting” his penis.
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However, overall, the police have tried to educate the general public about the impossibility of taking away one’s manhood or making it disappear altogether, sometimes going so far as to charge some individuals for raising false alarms. That said, there are reasons to believe that law enforcement itself is not entirely confident in its confidence, as seen in cases of either soldiers or police officers effecting arrests of men accused of manhood “stripping”. Or, more shockingly, an accused has been physically attacked, as happened to eight officers in Abuja recently. National Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC). In a video widely circulated on social media, officers can be seen hitting and kicking a man accused of taking another’s manhood while demanding he “give it back.”
This is not the first time that missing genitals have sparked concern in Nigeria; Nor is this incident unique to the country. In recent times, similar mass hysteria has been seen in other parts of Africa, whether involving a man who has apparently regained his lost masculinity, only to discover that he “has yet to ” (Ghana), a man who woke up to this discovery. His manhood had disappeared (Kenya), or two men reported to the police in Gambia that they had lost their penis due to “spells”.
Although it is unlikely that some of the above incidents were instigated by nefarious agents using the pretext of mass hysteria to incite mob action against real and perceived enemies, this does not make the underlying hysteria in any way “true”. makes. The real challenge in this case is to account for its recurrence in certain socio-historical moments.
On this matter, the relevant literature is as enlightening as it is divided. For anthropologist Julien Bonhomme, what he calls “sex theft” is nothing more than “the transference of rural witchcraft to urban settings”, an “uneasy conversation” that “recontextualizes African witchcraft in the context of globalization.” Configures.” For psychologists Glenn Adams and Vivian Affi Zokoto, “genital-shrinking terror” (GSP) is an invitation to consider “the cultural realities in which the phenomena of GSP make sense” as well as “the reproduction, maintenance, and role of psychological activity.” Is. An extension of those realities.” For her part, anthropologist Jean Comaroff sees concern over genital mutilation, particularly the sale of body parts, as part of a “secret economy” that embraces “ritual killings” on one side of the spectrum, and “killings” on the other. On the other hand, there are pyramid schemes and similar financial scams. Other. Not only is this laudable, but his claim that it provokes “violent reactions against those accused of illicit accumulation” is evidenced by the fact that those accused of “usurping” the manhood of their fellow citizens have Some are individuals of a certain prestige within the community, including religious and political leaders.
That said – and taking nothing away from Comaroff’s argument about the social targeting of those deemed to be engaging in “immoral consumption” – there is no doubt that mass panic over the perceived disappearance of masculinity also The code is an underlying concern about masculinity and the role of men, hence a window into emerging traditions about men, male-female relationships, masculinity, sexual power, and individual—especially male—achievement.
The source of this concern is quite obvious. The decline of the Nigerian economy, as well as the unemployment of millions of people (today, four out of ten Nigerians live below the national poverty line, while 63 percent of the estimated 220 million people are “multidimensionally poor”) created an atmosphere of social desperation. Is. In which the cultural pressure on young men to become “real men” and make something of themselves has only intensified. Anthropologist Daniel Jordan Smith’s description of the struggle by young men to meet society’s new standards amid this change in expectations and an increasingly debilitating economic crisis is eminently insightful.
If, for the average young person, cultural expectation tightens the screw at one end, a newly deregulated intimacy economy tightens it at the other end. With mobile phones bringing in their digital tow unattainable, never mind inappropriate, standards of male sexual performance and virility, Nigerian manhood finds itself in a rut with its fair share of morbid symptoms. Coupled with this is the widespread panic over the alleged disappearance of male genitalia, which is increasingly fueled by the belief that human genitalia and body parts in general are convertible into money, and, importantly, All great wealth is “unpleasant” at the source.
Caught in this whirlpool are young men who will accordingly go to any length to “be a real man,” even if it includes hiding in the landing gear compartment of an airplane headed to a Western destination (often, any destination will do ), becoming a priest, venturing into the unregulated market of sexual aphrodisiacs, or surrendering one’s manhood to a priest for “restoration.” After all, no “real man” goes down without a fight; Or allows his manhood to be “taken away”.
Reena Patel contributed research to this article,