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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Update on the dress and arrest brouhaha

Must thank all for the emails and petitions, please keep them coming, I know that civil society is also mobilizing on this as l have got many calls, l will join them and if need be invite those of you based in Nigeria to do so too.. We are compiling the emails and will send them round media houses. Over the weekend l spoke with Mr. Frank Mba of the Nigerian Police PR who swears that there was no such order from the Nigerian police and that the initial arrest of prostitutes (conversation for another day) was misreported by some uninformed reporter. I have insisted that the police come out on as many media platforms (including mine) as possible with strongly worded statements of deterrence and disclaim. My friend Stella Din of MBI has also spoken to the commissioner of police who she says also decries it; l will speak with him this week. We are also working on getting Gov. Fashola of Lagos to issue a public statement on this. I do not believe that it just genetically mutated into existence, someone gave a go ahead.

I know this will not go away soon as the root cause of such intolerance and ignorance remains unexplored but what l say is that it is an illegal distraction and complete madness. If we must have future conversations on dress the it must be on what is appropriate dressing not indecent dressing because once dressed you cannot be indecent. Even that is subjective, open to abuse and unimportant in light of our real national issues. If you flash or expose complete private parts (unless mentally disturbed) then you might be guilty of indecent exposure, which is a completely different ball game and something unheard off in Nigeria. What l perhaps see is that many are genuinely unaware of what sort of clothes to wear to where, what fits and flatters what body type and how to wear tricky fashion. For example many women l see at exercise in gyms and at the national stadium do not wear sports bra, when l raise the point, l find that they do not know that they should so we can start to educate each other on how to make the best of our bodies both men and women but as regard those whose intolerance is driven by perversion, fear, ignorance or religious fundamentalism, I'm afraid l am not much inclined to give heed.

Here is some more interesting education on the subject from the lovely Pamela.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this potential calamity to the atention of the public. I look forward to your interview with the Police Chief - pls post it if possible, but whatever his explanations, I still say 'where there's smoke, there's fire'.

Ayomipo Matthew Edinger said...

hi funmi. it's good to have you take on this "dress and arrest" issue. hope we can be loud enough.

"If you flash or expose complete private parts (unless mentally disturbed) then you might be guilty of indecent exposure, which is a completely different ball game and something unheard off in Nigeria."

do strings and butt-cracks exposed beneath low-waist jeans count, as they are daily assaults for some of us? i once visited a bank and the customer service official, a nice looking lady i was hoping i could make acquaintance with, in the course of executing her duties gave me, and i presume a bunch of others, more than a deep eyeful. needless to say, my interest instantly took a new dimension, only i didn't pursue afterall.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@disgodkidd, which is why the bible says if your eyes cause you to sin, pluck it, leaving the responsibility for your reaction to real or perceived "assault" firmly in your hands. She might not have intended it and even if she did, it is her prerogative, surely we can develop enough emotional intelligence to rise above the base.

Anonymous said...

oun ti o da o da,[what is bad is bad ]let s face it ,u cant just keep takin sides with this i know why though i c u in some dresses and i m like ,why?? i know i ll be cru crucified for this but i dont mind ,let it be that i played the role God sent me to,believe me funmi ,no God fearin parent will be happy to c their kids dress up in such manner,u are a role model,someone i look up to and look out 4 and just adore,and when i c those pix of ur s ,(though i still ve to put up some defense 4 u when pple call me to show me such pix of my idol)honestly i get depressed,why display so much of assets that s meant to be kept? i do sincerely pray that God will open the light of ur heart ,(i know u ll laugh this off,but it ll come to pass}where does one begin the campaign from when almighty funmi is the leader of d group?

Anonymous said...

then funmi ve u noticed that when an issue concerns a pastor or any one who claims to be a man of God u re so happy to start railin out all the evils u know bout men of God ,u i agree with u,they shld nt be found wantin and shld be pple we can look up to,but i also know that there re good and true ones out there but u nevere see such,funmi remember at all times that God in his infinite mercies put u where u re,u re not the bes and brightest,or the only one who work hard God just chose u to be THE voice,dont forget that ,know also that he is the one who also brings down,he will not bring u down ,