I thought I was just taking a picture. I asked permission, got the permission and snapped a picture of a man selling cloth to women. Some of the women held up the cloth for me to snap it. It was a quick shot of normal everyday life. End of story?
Then a Nigerian colleague who is spending a year with these people took another picture using the seller’s own phone. When I saw the picture on his phone I thought it was quite strange. He had cut out the people buying and selling and even the cloth completely. All you could see was me with the man. Was it a mistake? When I expressed my surprise at how close the picture was, he explained. “In this culture, men and women have a gap.”
I realized it was true. I only saw men sitting with men, and women at the borehole with women. In another interview someone told me that a man and his wife don’t even share finances with each other. Traditionally, they hardly even spend time with each other.