African Feminist Resources - Our Voices

Stella Nyanzi

When I left AGI in July 2005, I went to The Gambia to rejoin my family; a long-suffering husband and an eight-months-old daughter who cringed from me as a puppy recoils from a dangerous thing. I also returned to The Gambia – the ethnographic field site for my doctorate research, to complete fieldwork about sexualities of youths. I picked up from where I left, my hefty task of juggling roles of motherhood, wife-ry, international doctorate research degree student, academic scholar running chasing hard after passing deadlines for submission of coherent papers to peer-reviewed scientific journals, sole schemer of research funds, long-distance daughter-cum-eldest-sister, etc. I kept plodding on, a day at a time. And I stopped to exhale.

In October 2005, I returned to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with my husband, our baby, a laptop, several field-notes, un-transcribed interviews safely encased in plastic jackets on long frail brown coloured ribbons – 90-minute audio cassette tapes, and heaps of scribbling. I returned to London to write-up, submit and defend my thesis. Then, it was the end of my second year of enrolment as a PhD student under the supervision of a die-hard social anthropologist. As a result, my nose has mostly delved into the depths of writing, thinking about, reading for, discussing, presenting towards my thesis. I hope to submit it by the end of this year. During this time, I gave two public seminars; one on the importance of Islam in the scripting and enacting of sexualities and sexual wellbeing in The Gambia, the other one about the politics of sexuality research in sub-Saharan Africa (I can provide electronic copied of the abstracts).

Albeit the doctorate studies consuming a huge chunk of my person, I have also had time for other things. Under the membership a CODESRIA/ SIDA initiative called ‘The social sciences and HIV/AIDS network, I obtained a research grant to study the role and place of Islamic guides/ healers called Marabouts in the fight against HIV/AIDS in The Gambia (see for details). Two volumes from the bulk of our work, as well as several policy briefs are in the process of publication and will be out at the end of this year.

Some of the articles I worked on during the AGI associateship have been published. A paper that attempts to unpack the complexities of the sexual meanings drawn from narratives and enactments of the everyday lives of beach-boys locally called bumsters, who engage in a myriad of sexual liaisons with both foreign and local women was published in Culture Health and Sexuality (Publications\Bumsters 2005.pdf). The time at AGI facilitated speedy revision of a paper investigating the roles and contributions of traditional birth attendants in rural The Gambia. This paper has been accepted by African Journal of Reproductive Health and will soon be published.

The main paper that I worked on is due to be published in the journal Africa. This one focuses on ritual sex practices among Baganda in Masaka district, and how they are transforming in the light of HIV/AIDS.

The publications I have listed below are from work I did prior to the AGI associateship. I have got electronic copies of each of them, or addresses at which they can be downloaded.


  • Nyanzi S., Men and their children In Adam Jones (Ed) Men of the Global South: A reader. (2006) London : Zed Books. Pp 34-37.
  • Nyanzi S., Widow inheritance In Adam Jones (Ed) Men of the Global South: A reader. (2006) London : Zed Books. Pp 60-64.
  • Nyanzi S., “Better a dead child than a dry womb!” Reproduction and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa Gender and Behaviour vol 4, no 1, June 2006, pp 610-624.
  • Nyanzi S., Rosenberg-Jallow O., Bah O., Nyanzi S. Bumsters, big black organs and old white gold: embodied racial myths in sexual relationships of Gambian beach boys Culture, Health and Sexuality vol 7, no 6, November 2005, pp 557-569.
  • Nyanzi S., Nyanzi B., Kalina B. “Abortion? That’s for women!” Narratives and experiences of commercial motorbike riders in south western Uganda African Journal of Reproductive Health vol 9, no1, April 2005, pp 142-161.
  • Nyanzi S., Nyanzi B., Kalina B. Contemporary myths, sexuality misconceptions, information sources and risk perceptions of bodaboda men in southwest Uganda Sex Roles – a journal of research vol 52, nos 1-2, January 2005, pp 111-119.
  • Nyanzi B., Nyanzi S., Wolff B., Whitworth J. Money, men and markets: economic and sexual empowerment of market women in southwestern Uganda Culture, Health and Sexuality vol 7, no 1, January 2005, pp 13-26.
  • Gysels M., Pool R., Nyanzi S. The adventures of the Randy Professor and Angela the Sugar Mummy: sex in fictional series in Ugandan popular magazines AIDS Care vol 17, no 8, November 2005, pp 967-977.
  • Nyanzi S. Porno, peers and pleasure: pertinent sources of sexuality education for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa Sexuality in Africa Magazine vol 1, issue 2, December 2004, pp 13-14.
  • Nyanzi S., Nyanzi-Wakholi B. “Its more than cash!” Debunking myths about ‘sugar-daddy’ relationships in Africa Sexual Health Exchange vol 3-4, December 2004, pp 8-9.
  • Nyanzi S., Nyanzi B., Kalina B., Pool R. Mobility, sexual networks and exchange dynamics of Bodaboda men in south western Uganda Culture, Health and Sexuality 2004, vol 6, no 3, pp 239-254.
  • Nyanzi S. Widowhood, land wrangles and social stigma in the face of HIV/AIDS in south-western Uganda Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa Newsletter 2004, vol 1, no 1, pp 18-25.
  • Nyanzi S., Nyanzi B., Kalina B., Nabaggala J. Health and development needs of urban market women: the case of Masaka district - Uganda Urban Health and Development Bulletin vol 16, no 3, December 2003, pp 79-86.
  • Nyanzi S. The role of faith healing in an HIV high-risk area: a case study of Balokole churches in Masaka district, Uganda Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa Bulletin, 2003 Special Issue, nos 2,3,4 pp 89-91
  • Nyanzi S., Nyanzi B. Rural wives with urban husbands: migration, employment and sexuality in south western Uganda Urban health and Development Bulletin, vol 16, no 1&2, March and June 2003, pp 79-86.
  • Pool R., Nyanzi S., Whitworth J. Curbing mother to child transmission: testing pregnant women for HIV ID21 Health: Communicating development research, May 19, 2003.
  • Nyanzi S., Pool R., Kinsman J. Negotiation of sexual relationships among school-going adolescents AIDS Care 2001, vol 13, no 1:83-98.
  • Pool R., Nyanzi S., Whitworth J. Attitudes to voluntary counselling and testing for HIV among pregnant women in rural south west Uganda. AIDS Care 2001, vol 13, no 5:605-615.
  • Pool R., Nyanzi S., Whitworth J. Breast feeding practices and attitudes relevant to the vertical transmission of HIV in rural south-west Uganda. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics, 2001, vol 21:119-125.
  • Green G., Pool R., Harrison S., Hart G.J., Wilkinson J., Nyanzi S., Whitworth J. Female control of sexuality: illusion or reality? Use of vaginal products in south western Uganda. Social Science and Medicine, 2001, vol 52:585-598.
  • Kinsman J., Nyanzi S., Pool R. Socialising influences and the value of sex: the experience of schoolgirls in rural Masaka, Uganda. Culture, Health and Sexuality 2000; vol 2:151-166.
  • Pool R., Hart G., Green G., Harrison S., Nyanzi S., Whitworth J. Men’s attitudes to condoms and female controlled means of protection against HIV and STDs in south-western Uganda. Culture, Health and Sexuality 2000; vol 2:197-212.
  • Hart G.J., Pool R., Green G., Harrison S., Nyanzi S., Whitworth J.A. Women’s attitudes to condoms and female-controlled means of protection against HIV and STDs in south western Uganda. AIDS Care 1999, vol 11:83-98.

Forthcoming publications

  • Nyanzi S., Manneh H., Walraven G. Traditional birth attendants in rural Gambia : beyond health to social cohesion African Journal of Reproductive Health (accepted 2005).
  • Nyanzi S., Bah O., Joof S., Walraven G. Combining participatory rapid appraisal techniques with ethnographic research among traditional birth attendants in The Gambia : a research methods paper Qualitative Research (accepted 2006).
  • Nyanzi S., Kayizzi V., Nassimbwa J., Kabanda S. ‘African sex is dangerous!’ Renegotiating ‘ritual sex’ in contemporary Masaka district Africa (revised and resubmitted 2006).
  • Nyanzi S. ‘Hallelujah! Jesus healed me of HIV/AIDS!’: Healing of HIV/AIDS among Balokole in south west Uganda. Medical Anthropology (revised and resubmitted 2005)
  • Nyanzi S., Nyanzi B., Kalina B. Masculinity, manhood and promiscuity: contemporary values, meanings and practice of motorbike taxi-riders in Masaka Men and Masculinities (submitted 2006).

Other publications

  • Nyanzi S. East meets west, in The Untamed Africa and other short stories and poems. Published by Papwec Solutions Ltd., September 2003, London – United Kingdom.
  • Nyanzi S. Healing of HIV/AIDS among Balokole churches in Masaka district. Department of Anthropology, University College London – University of London, 2001.
  • Nyanzi S. The sad plight of womanhood. The Sunday Vision Newspaper, pg 34, March 2001.
  • Nyanzi S. Dying on this diet. The Sunday Vision Newspaper, pg 26, April 1, 2001.
  • Nyanzi S. My University Papers are dung! The Crusader Newspaper, 2 nd Year, no 93, January 07 - 09,1997.
  • Nyanzi S. I bribed Nature’s Echoes, The International Library of Poetry, Library of Congress, 2000,ISBN-1-58235-564-9.

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