In Conversation: Nana Darkoa

Writer, blogger, communications specialist

Ghanaian

Image by Nyani Quarmyne


Can you tell me a little about yourself and the work you do online?

My name is Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, I am an African feminist with a deep interest and passion for issues relating to gender, sexuality, communications and digital technologies. I am basically interested in everything that is somehow at the intersections of these topics. In terms of the work I do online - that's virtually everything in my life but for the purposes of this interview I'll focus on the work I do with Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women, a blog I started with my friend Malaka Grant in 2009, which has now expanded to include an annual live festival which is organised by a diverse working group of African feminists. We are also currently working with AfroQueer Studios on a podcast that will be launched early next year.


Why did you start this work and what has the experience been like?

The experience of nurturing Adventures has been a satisfying one. I really feel like it's a collective project with so many African women, some of whom I have never met. All the folks who contribute blog posts from all over the world, engage in dialogue in the comments section make the blog what it is today. It's also been really satisfying, in many ways, to hand over the reins to the next generation. The site is currently administered by Fatima Derby, an amazing young feminist from Ghana.


How do you define pleasure for yourself?

Hmmm this is a great question. Pleasure for me is a yumminess in my belly, a tingling sensation down below, a general feeling of happiness and expansion. A lightness on my soul.


What pleasures do you access online?

Imagery! Great visuals give me joy. This is why Instagram is my favourite social media platform. I also love to watch home decor videos and for that I'm constantly on YouTube


Do you feel safe expressing your pleasure online?

I don't feel wholly safe expressing my pleasure online. Sometimes I choose to express myself anyway - knowing some folks will quietly judge me. I have reduced my fears around that by creating a Close Friends circle on IG, so now that's where I post my more risque pictures.


Have you experienced online gender based violence?

Nothing that has really bothered me but to be honest that is also because I really don't engage with negative people online. Once I realise that the vibe is off, I disengage immediately.


What ‘digital self care’ do you do, if any? (Blocking preemptively, digital detoxes, etc)

I go off Twitter - that tends to be where I see content that upsets me the most.


What does/would a feminist internet look, feel and function like to you?

OMG. A feminist internet looks like everybody having access to the internet. No social media taxes, no blackouts, feminists using the internet to organise, people being able to share images of their various selves with no judgements.


What guidance would you offer young women and queer people looking to access knowledge around or experiences of pleasure online?

Check out the sites and platforms that centre pleasure. Apart from Adventures check out HOLAA, The Spread, on YouTube follow Suhaidatu Dramani.