The Righteousness of Adultery and Fornication

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

The women were in a separate wing of the house, the men gathered around the swimming pool and the billiard table having the time of the lives. The discussions drifted from one topic to another: from politics to military tactics, and from assassination to culture and the movies and sex. Over several glasses of Hennessey, rum and coke, and countless bowls of goat-meat pepper soup, corned-beef laced beans and fried plantains, a Malian told the gathering “I never remember a time I ever strayed. And I also don’t remember a time I ever engaged in sexual perversions. Even when I was single and had mistresses, I waited for one encounter to end before joining issues with another.”

His cousin concurred, adding, “Adultery has never been part of my makeup. Fornication was quite another matter, though.” The rest of the gathering was stunned, but then busted out laughing. Stunned because they thought everybody knew everybody’s secret of short and long-term infidelity: they’ve all been cheating on their girlfriends and spouses. I did not voice my opinion, but instead listened to other Africans, from nine countries, go at it. A Ugandan posited that “no healthy, testosterone-filled man should wait and wait and wait before engaging in sex. Once past nineteen or twenty, no man or woman should wait. As far as adultery goes, I see nothing wrong with it … it spices up ones marriage; but sexual perversions are something else”

I am not sure how to define sexual perversions. That said; one should err on the side of the law, common sense and community standards. There are several acts and practices the typical African, in Africa, will never think of, condone or engage in, i.e. coprophilia, anal intercourse and ass-to-mouth, bondage and discipline (B&D), domination & submission (D&S), or sadomasochism (S&M). In America, as in other parts of the West, Asia, and Latin America, sex and sexuality has a different interpretation and different level of acceptance.

Africans are perhaps the most conservative and prudish when it comes to sex and sexual varieties (because) the African culture, religion and sensibility forbid a lot of practices. Today however, global education, global travels, modernity and globalization have introduced some of these practices into the African home and African consciousness. No one knows what effect — negative or otherwise — these new ways of life will have on the African society. No one knows. What is known is that Africa is a difficult society to penetrate, but once penetration takes place, diffusion and acceptance becomes really easy.

Most Africans, living in and outside of the continent, will never agree to “knowing” or engaging in any of these acts. The most common of all “foreign” sexual practices is homosexuality; yet, less than twenty-five thousand people in a continent of almost a billion people ever admits to being gay or lesbian. Africans would rather admit to being murderers, thieves, and bustards, than admit to being gays. A closer look at the continent indicates there are more than a quarter million gays and lesbians, even if closeted. A sizeable number of Africans living the West are gays and lesbians, and also engage in other lifestyles.

Round and round I have gone; but now back to the issue of fornication and adultery. All the major religions of the world forbid adultery and fornication. But that hasn’t stopped most people from engaging in it. Let me leave fornication to the young, the restless and the uninitiated; to the married and experienced, I say to you: go for it! Go forth and engage in adultery, just follow three rules: (1) use protection; (2) stay away from your familiar circle; and (3) don’t get cut. But if you get caught or if you are under the umbrella of suspicion, deny it. You must deny, deny and deny some more.

Something else: do not leave your matrimonial home (especially if most things are going well for you). Sex is just sex and must be treated as such. Do not leave for the promise of a bigger or more efficient human machine. Don’t let love sway you. Remember that if he/she cheated on someone else, he/she will also cheat on you. But hey, what do you care. Just enjoy it while it last. Adultery in its purest form is bliss. Don’t ruin it with jealousy, carelessness or with your stupidity. Because most Africans understand the glory of adultery, they do not have hang-ups about it. With a wife come other wives and a string of mistresses. By the way: how many women are faithful to the till-death-do-us-part nonsense? Marital vows are silly. What’s wrong with extra marital affairs?

Not all the students engage in it, and in fact the majority doesn’t; but how many people do not know that Nigerian institutions of higher learning are homes to prostitution and sex-for-hire rings? How many people do not know that our state and federal ministries, banks and other financial institutions are filled with men and women looking for or actually engaged in such extra curricular activities? How many people do not know that our so-called pastors, Imams and reverend fathers are sticking it to members of their congregations? Show me a Nigerian pastor that has not tasted the fruit of one or two of his parishioners.

How many ex-Presidents, Ministers and other high ranking public servant does not have a mistress here and there, or who does not have a child outside of marriage? These things — adultery, sex-for-hire, and recreational sex — are not just a Nigerian thing; they are everywhere, from Cape to Cairo and from Gambia to Zanzibar. If you are a born-again Christian or a devout Muslim who do not engage and or condone adultery, that’s fine; but do not condemn those who do. No one is going to be consigned to everlasting fire or to the pit of hell. There is righteousness in adultery.

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chii September 14, 2007 - 7:45 am

my dear sabella u need to invite christ into ur life. nobody claims sainthood but as u live as human,u have a subconscious dat will always reprimand u when do sometin wrong. if u tell me dat u pactice fornication without guilt then u have definately lost i. u might need 2 c a pastor and psychologist.u ve talent 4 writting, use i for good. sit down and imagine or picture a generation of adultery n furnication without fear. wat do u see. i see doom

Anonymous September 11, 2007 - 10:34 pm

Abeg sabella, no mind those fake people jare. Carry on with your tori my friend.

Sabella Abidde September 10, 2007 - 3:31 pm

Shemeta Obolarinwa:

Thanks for reading my essay, and thanks also for your comment. But really, I am not sure why you wanted me to respond to your comment, but here I am, responding.

By nature Nigerians and the larger African population are very uncomfortable with public discussion or display of sex and sexuality. Not me. I do not shy way from such topics.

To your question: No, I am not obsessed with sex. Not at all! Of my last twenty-five or fifty essays, how many is sexual in nature? How many? I think some readers just have this misconception about me and my essays.

I happen to be one of those people who enjoy all subjects, and have opinion on dozens and dozens of topics. Sadly, one of the very subjects I know nothing about is statistics; otherwise, I would have found a way to write about it, too.

You also could say I am one of a handful of commentators who writes about sex. You see, more than 90% of all commentaries in African or Nigerian-related websites are about politics. Politics, politics and more politics! Not me. It gets boring after a while.

I have a very expansive mind and a very fertile imagination. My conclusions and or analysis may be off mark, but still, I have something to say.

Again, thanks for reading me, and thanks for your comment. It is well appreciated!


Sabella Abidde

Shemeta Obolarinwa September 10, 2007 - 1:22 pm


It seems that you have become very obsessed with writing about SEX lately.

Why? Please respond to me and let me know.

Have you practised all these sexual acts you have written about? Are you now interested in engaging in an alternative lifestyle just to satisfy an insatiable appetite for sex? Maybe you now want to experiment all what was previously seen as "Perverse"

Unknown September 10, 2007 - 9:25 am

Yes, finally a good advise from a wise man. Deal with it people adultery is here to stay. It is so sad when people deprieve themselves the basic pleasure of life. Some of us do not carry bible on head thank God for this. If we all did, you know how many annoying people will be in this world.

Tonia September 9, 2007 - 3:10 am

The fact that you would advocate sex outside of marriage shows me that your are a fornicator. And this idea this idea that you are encouraging is very typical of you African men who have no control of your sexuallity. However a condom can break unless you have a very small genital. But i feel sorry for your children because you dont teach them to respect there body. And they will grow up with the same uncontrolable sexual desires and possible be very unhappy.

Anonymous September 8, 2007 - 9:32 pm

This man is purely mad, believe me. He should go back home (Nigeria) for proper cleansing. His opinions indicate he's totally lost it, his mind, I mean.

Anonymous September 8, 2007 - 10:35 am

so what exactly is right about adultery? arrrghhhh

sakley September 8, 2007 - 9:54 am

Ei Sabella. You never cease to amaze me.


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