Try thinking of Africa and holding that picture in your mind. A picture probably scribbled from the different bits our perspective calls on to form something recognisable on the minds paper. A few strokes of prejudice, some heavy shading in with stereotype, and a little humour hidden in the background from our creative imaginations. That’s an artistic metaphor which mimics the same sort of visual metaphor going on when we create that picture of an Africa which is hardly literally precise. Whatever that picture is made up of for you, be it poverty, the swollen belly of a child, a giraffe, the music, the envy of a cultural disposition to dance freely; it likely won’t have any sketched notion of pornography.
In Western culture, in all of the geographical provinces it has pervaded, pornography is something which has been assimilated and is understood to be merely an extension of the prevalent decadence. It isn’t thought of as being particularly harmful by the majority, if only another instance of one pane in modern life being a little too opaque. It’s only sexual desire which has been amplified and presented in forms accessible and appealing to the honest purveyor.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, pornography remains a mystery to the vast populous that haven’t been granted the provision of electricity or internet, and will likely continue to be ignored by their ego-centric and manifestly corrosive governments. It is however, gaining a foothold in the lives of young affluent Africans who by association are inadvertently bolstering its reputation as part of the white’s life and culture, already deified in the hopeful imaginations of many. This foothold and its emergence in the consciousness of African thinkers has prompted a number of questions as to the effects of pornography, which are already measurable in the richer conurbations of the continent; and the affect pornography will contribute to their posterity.
A continent which has historically been littered with abusive corruptions of power and its rife exploitation of the ignorant masses, is now considering the inevitable role African pornography will play in the comparatively peaceful lives of the modern generation. Who does pornography exploit in any country regardless of historical context and economic flexibility? This is the question those concerned have failed to answer in Western lands, given the idiosyncrasies of the individuals involved in the adult industry. Half of whom claim rhapsody in fulfilling their roles as sensual pioneers of the liberated age and half who claim to own the effects a career in pornography has wrought upon their emotions. It is the deleterious effects on emotion and the capacity frequent sexual encounters with multiple partners has on subduing feeling, which appears as the strongest argument against involvement in pornography. Does this subduing of feeling, the closing of an emotional valve which slowly calcifies, also have an influence on the viewer of pornography? The exploitation frequently associated with pornography by those rubberneckers whose association with the adult industry is as distant as the nearest horizon, would sensibly be thought of as circumstantial and not something which brands every intimate encounter.
These questions are being discussed in that continued emergence of African pornography. Its presence influences the structure of conversation and the way in which the conclusions of discussion are applied in thought to a young, different and liberal generation. The concurrent growth of video and photographic media uploaded from Sub-Saharan African countries and disseminated by young Africans, gives rise to greater concern than those professional producers whose content is a rarity and isn’t widely distributed. The birth of websites dedicated to the burgeoning phrase African porn, such as Puganda and Naija, are moments in the rising trajectory of this geographically centred phenomena when African thinkers may wish to worry the tide will cease to ebb.
Africa, as in other countries where a faith still predominates, will seek defence in the declining fear of a God or deity, whose punishment for involvement in pornography isn’t comprehensible. A similar history will then write itself into the fabric of a topsy-turvy continent, whereby the only element which is tangible and real, the innate and human desire which drives the want of sexual stimulus, will force an obstinate generation to accept the ineluctable and liberal forces sweeping Africa, and the world.