This article tracks the ethical ambivalence of the native. First, there is a nativism drawn out with reference to Melissa Kennedy and Gary Okihiro that reframes the native in a poetic impulse, asks for a redistributive epistemological change in knower and known, and can rescue nativism into an acknowledgement of complicity. Second, there are acknowledgments of complicity that can pluck nativism away from the divisive compartmentalization that it seems to foster, as can be seen in the work of Soumaya Mestiri. The article ends with remarks from Buci Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood to underscore a critique of nativism in the rural-urban interface in Nigeria that is globally instructive and to point out the fact that woman is never native.

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