Bukola Elemide, the Nigerian singer better known as Asa, has narrated how she grappled with various forms of discrimination while growing up.


In a chat with CNN, the musician said as a Nigerian, she had to deal with age-long prejudices against women.

The ‘Jailer’ crooner recounted how she also faced racial discrimination in Paris, the capital of France.

“In Paris, I don’t think about gender. I have to fight being from Nigeria. Gender is not a problem. In Nigeria, I have to fight (for my) gender,” she said.


Asa said she was aware of her gender at the outset of her career, adding that such influenced several of her decisions including her fashion choice.

“I was very aware of my femininity, so when I went into studios, I usually wore baggy clothing because I did not want to accentuate the fact that I was female. I did not want to bring attention to myself; I just wanted to do my job,” she said.

The singer said she battled with the perception that female artistes usually sleep around to succeed.


“People think if one is a female artiste, one is sleeping around, so I had to prove that to family,” she added.

Asa also recounted how she was groomed to be a wife as a teenager.

“One has to learn how to cook for one’s husband. One has to be sweet for one’s husband, and I was like, ‘Am I going to do all this for one person? And I don’t even know who the person is,” she added.

The musician advocated equal opportunities for both men and women across the globe, adding that such balance is key to societal growth.


“I think we can find a balance. Nobody is saying with the new wave of feminism, (women) have to be on top. I am just saying we could be equal and respect one another,” she said.

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