Lagos, Nigeria: Nigeria’s “A Nasty Boy” magazine is not a gay online magazine. This is a country where homosexual acts can be punished with 14 years of prison. But this provocated website is featuring photos of men in miniskirts. It is just like: pushing the boundaries and exploring masculinity.
A 23 year old founder named Richie Akuson is making up what he lacks in year with confidence. He said, “Last year, I challenged myself — walking through Abuja with silk shorts. People insulted me loudly, they were making insulting comments, it was quite a painful experience”.
After that he decided to recount his experience in the country’s leading digital lifestyle magazine, Bella Naija. Here he worked as a fashion editor. The title of his article is, “Why I Wore Bum Shorts Around Abuja For a Day!”. The comments overflowed in-many to blame the young provocateur and others to congratulate him for his stand against convention.
His site’s first online posts were at best baffling to many in a country where every post was associated with homosexuality. In those posts images are used where the male models are wearing makeup and posing on a beach in Lagos. No doubt the images are challenging but never disgusting.
After facing a lot of challenges and controversies, Richie now plans to launch a print magazine to extend his brand.
He said he wanted to “transcend existing genres”. For shoot, he asked a young man with slim face and close cut hair, “Can you put this dress on?”. Finally, a 21-year old Nigerian singer agreed to wear a T-shirt written with the words “to be honest, I’m not normal”. This singer describes on Instagram as a “model and madman”.
After that Richie asked a pretty young woman with long hair to wear a men’s blazer by saying, “And you… can you put on this men’s blazer?”.
She wore a dark green velvet blazer which was designed by a celebrated Nigerian designer with neither bra nor trousers. Ajoke Animashaun is that woman who is a law student and model. She said, “I love controversy, I’ve always been a rebel at heart”.