On July 8, Mathilde Lepert, the Cultural Program Officer of the French Institute, hosted a meet-the-author event featuring Unoma Azuah. The event took place at the French Institute located at Libreville Crescent, Abuja.

Azuah read from her memoir Embracing My Shadow: Growing Up Lesbian in Nigeria, which centers on her experience as a lesbian woman in Nigeria. Azuah said the event was a lot of fun. There was a bit of laughter as she shared sections of her memoir laced with humor. Audience members asked questions about sexuality, a topic that is not openly discussed in Nigeria. She tried to answer some of these questions using her life and excerpts from the memoir as examples.

She notes that it is rewarding to see the issue of sexuality brought home to her readers. “Seeing my face and hearing my voice gave them a humanized and direct perspective on the issue,” she remarks, adding:

It was an intense and moving conversation. At the end of the event, I think we all departed with a new appreciation for emphathy and asking questions about things we don’t know or don’t understand or can’t relate to. I particularly want to thank, Christelle Folly, the cultural attache to the embassy of France in Nigeria, and all my friends who showed up: Ozioma Izuora, Vivian Ogbonna, Ibrahim Adam, David Ishaya Osu, Su’eddie Agema,Tega, Akudo, Emmanuelle, Somadina, Adaeze, Chukwuka, and everyone who came to the event.”

See photos from the event below. All photos are via Facebook.