When 23-year-old fashion editor Richie Akuson decided to flout social convention and walk around his Nigerian neighborhood of Abuja in silk shorts last year, he was surprised by the reactions.
“People insulted me loudly. They were making insulting comments, it was quite a painful experience,” he said.
He wrote about his experience in an article entitled “Why I Wore Bum Shorts Around Abuja for a Day!” and published it in Bella Naija, the fashion magazine where he worked.
The online commenters either praised him for going against social mores or accused him of being provocative. It made him rethink what masculinity means in Nigeria, and so he decided to start A Nasty Boy, an online fashion magazine that enjoys “pushing the boundaries and exploring masculinity.”
Its photo shoots depict men in skirts, fishnet stockings and other revealing and irrepressibly stylish clothes, but the mag also contains fashion editorials of some of Africa’s up-and-coming models and photographers, both male and female (and possibly some in between).
Here are some sexy images from A Nasty Boy magazine:
What does masculinity mean in Nigeria?
It’s an important question. The country is predominantly Christian and Islam, and its women are subject to widespread discrimination and sexual harassment with little access to legal assistance or healthcare.
In 2013, the country passed laws criminalizing same-sex marriages, gay and lesbian gatherings and any public displays of same-sex affection. Near the end of July 2017, police arrested 42 men attending an HIV-awareness event at a hotel in Lagos, accusing them of homosexuality. Strict enforcement of anti-gay laws and subsequent torture of those arrested has stopped many men from seeking help from local AIDS organizations.
In January 2017, a comedy sketch about an anti-gay sexual assault gained moderate infamy after being viewed 875,000 times on Facebook. In April 2017, authorities in the north Nigerian state of Kaduna reportedly arrested and charged 53 people with conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to an unlawful society over their alleged celebration of a gay wedding — 45 of them skipped bail and went into hiding.
Featured image by thatlegokid92