1st Edition

Sexual Humour in Africa Gender, Jokes, and Societal Change

Edited By Ignatius Chukwumah Copyright 2022
    310 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the types, discourse modes, and effects of sex jokes in different African contexts, in a range of different cultural forms, from the internet to music, books, films, advertising, and images, thus filling the existing void in literature on the subject.

    Arguing that sex jokes are used to perform a number of functions in African society, the contributors show how they can be used to perpetuate violence against women, construct spaces, resist oppression, create conformity, build affiliations, and subvert morality. They consider jokes from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia in a range of forms including queer sex jokes, rape jokes, performed sex jokes, gendered humour, and resistance sex humour. The book places particular emphasis on the impact of new media platforms and the anonymity they provide.

    Providing an important analysis of this tabooed but culturally important facet of everyday life, this book will be of interest to scholars of African culture and society from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, gender studies, literary studies, and sociology.

    Introduction PART I: Sex joke 1 Egyptian sex jokes: Perspectives, classification, and analysis SEBASTIAN GADOMSKI 2 Sex humour: Purveyor of sex mores and power matrices PATRICK CHESI LUMASIA 3 The theatre of jokers: An investigation of the joking relationship between the Tonga and Lozi of Zambia CHEELA CHILALA AND HUMPHREY M. KAPAU PART II: African language, folk music, and rhetorical strategies 4 Pudendic cult and public discourse: Pornogrammar rhetorical strategy in Ghana’s public spaces JOSEPH BROOKMAN AMISSAH-ARTHUR 5 The dynamics of humour in coital imagery: Reflections on Bukusu Embalu and select East African popular music FRED W. SIMIYU AND FELIX ORINA PART III: Sex joke and the written word 6 Validating the subversive: A (re)reading of sex images in Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Malaya BARASA REMMY SHIUNDU 7 Through the lens of gender: Sex jokes in selected contemporary East African popular fiction VINCENT ODHIAMBO ODUOR PART IV: (Cis)gender, ideology, and discourse 8 "I beg to differ": Queer notes on Kenyan editorial cartoons EDDIE OMBAGI 9 Sex jokes and ideology: A sociopragmatic inquiry of the place of humour in gender performance and practices BENEDICTA ADOKARLEY LOMOTEY AND GRACE DIABAH 10 Reinforcing gendered scripts: Sexuality and double performance in Helen Paul’s joke-performance IGNATIUS CHUKWUMAH PART V: Bodies and representations 11 "Ooin, freaky freaky, you are doing well": A discourse analysis of the representations of women in selected Nigerian skits IBUKUN FILANI AND ADEOTI OLUWATOMI 12 The humour of erotica: Representations of women in Ghanaian social media HANNAH WOODE AMISSAH-ARTHUR PART VI: Resistance and responses 13 Bizarre masculinity: Female response to rape jokes on social media in Nigeria MARTIN OKWOLI OGBA 14 "Good for the goose, better for the gander": Female sex jokes responses as resistance to cultural convention in selected social media chats SANDRA NNABUIFE NWAGBOSO AND ADACHUKWU AMALACHUKWU OKAFOR


    Ignatius Chukwumah is professor of African literature and popular culture at Federal University, Wukari, Nigeria.

    "Sexual Humour in Africa is another major contribution to the growing body of research on jokes, humor, and comedy in Africa. It offers a useful introduction to the varied forms of sexual humor in the popular, literary and performance cultures of Africa, and uncovers longstanding traditions of sexual humor across the African continent. Together the chapters in this volume shed light on the intersections between sexual humor, and prevailing notions of femininity and masculinity in contemporary Africa."

    Moradewun Adejunmobi, Professor, African American and African Studies, University of California, Davis