The raping of a girl in Abia State by a group of 5 lads, allegedly ABSU students generated a huge uproar some weeks ago. The lads also had the gall to upload a video of the act, sending huge shock waves across Nigeria and the blogging community. A week or more later, a similar act was perpetrated by 2 LASU students, who lured and raped a lass. The events of the past few weeks have served to bring to national consciousness the issue of molestation and rape in Naija.
Rape incidents are not new in Nigeria. The advent of the internet and access by many Nigerians to smart phones and data plans has served to blow incidents that would otherwise be hushed up. Is there something about our culture that makes ‘no’ not mean ‘no’ ? People have argued this same part of our culture heaps a certain kind of stigma on a rape victim, discouraging her (or him) from speaking up or filing a report with the authorities.
In many aspects of Nigerian life, ‘no’ may mean ‘maybe’ or ‘later’ or ‘e go be’, just the same way an appointment to meet someone at 9am, ,may mean 12 noon or 2000 and never. Does this also apply to sexual advances? I mean we have all been brought up on local movies and TV shows, where the chap chases the lass, and in the early stages of ‘toastery’ she acts like she can’t stand him. Some females may even slap the chap at the mention of a date or insult him venomously (see Danny Wilson’s “Raggamuffin” video). Later on, she has a 360 degree change of heart, and they end up shagging/marrying/ or chasing each other at Bar Beach. A young male sees this, nods to himself and takes mental notes: No means ‘it depends.” At first if you don’t succeed,……..try again….
But remember that sometimes, Romeo must die..
Do Nigerian chaps feel entitled to sex once they are in the same room with a lass? An incident happened in England some years back where these 2 Nigerian chaps (Daniel and Akin) went to a club in the West End and pulled 2 oyibo chicks. They took them back home to Daniel’s flat. Akin was staying over briefly, because he had come down from Coventry for a few days. When they got to the crib, Daniel’s chick was ‘co-operating’ with him, so they chilled on the couch playing tonsil tennis. The other girl didn’t want Akin anywhere near her, and spurned all his advances. She didn’t even take her shoes off, and refused the offer to change into a pair of Akin’s shorts.
Time to go to bed, and the lads laid a huge comforter on the living room floor, so that everyone could sleep. It didn’t take long before Daniel and his girl started making out seriously, solving some ‘bedmathic’ solutions. Eventually everyone fell asleep. Not Akin. Around 3am, not able to take it anymore, Akin ‘mounted’ the other girl, slowly pushed her underwear to the side, and started having sex with her. The girl did not say a word or move an inch. When Akin was done, the girl stood up, and went to the bathroom. When she returned, she tapped her friend to wake her up, and announced that they should leave because she had just been raped. Pandemonium galore.
Her friend grabbed a mobile phone and started calling the police. Akin and Daniel ‘begged’ these chicks from 3.30am in the morning till like 8am. Dem no gree o.They called the police, and that’s how Akin was arrested. From Daniel’s flat in Kensal Green to the police station to Old Bailey court. He is presently in Belmarsh prisons, at the custody of Her Majesty. Like Tuface Idibia once crooned: Ogogoro be like woman; if you shack am, you go high o.
Incidents like this have been occurring in Nigeria for ages with a different outcome. The chaps would ‘beg’ or threaten the girl, and that usually would be the end of the matter. There is this girl I know who once told me that she was raped by her brother’s friend who she had a crush on, when she was just 16. She was in S.S 2 then, and the chap was a 2nd year student in University. She had stopped over at the guy’s house after school. The guys and 2 of his friends all took turns shagging her in the living room, and then she ran home crying but didn’t tell a soul. She said she had buried the terrible memory in the deepest pits of her subconscious.
What?! I asked her why she didn’t tell her elder brother or her folks. She confessed that her brother would have been really pissed and brushed off her allegation saying something like “Nto gi, why did you go to his house in the first place. It is good for you’. Her folks would have sneered ‘ Ashewo, your waka waka don carry you enter gbese abi. If you like, next time make you no come home straight from school.’ What kind of family is that? The Adams Family or the Fuji House of Commotion?
The act of forcing a girl to have sex against her will occurs far more often in Nigeria than one imagines. A girl comes over to see a guy whom she is not even dating, and is ‘coerced’ into ‘dropping’ .Or some rude guy hands the girl a refreshment in her hand, as he is shoving his penis into her mouth.
There are many other examples. Guys who coerce the girl into having sex by refusing to drop her off, or shutting the exit doors, and falsely imprisoning her. Or the case of the rich aristo chief who took a girl on a shopping spree at the Palms. When they got back to his hotel suite, he started taking off his agbada, and strapping on a Gold Circle condom. When the girl tried to protest saying “Ah, Chief, I am not in the mood o; besides I have a yeast infection”, the Chief barked as he shoved his manhood towards her pelvis “Ehen? And then? Ti ya n’ime!!!”
Chief had 4 rounds that night.
Or when a girl says “I have the ketchups, so we can’t even have sex”, there are guys who would counter “That is all well and good but what do I tell junior who is now stiff”.
As lads, we have to exercise self-control even if a girl comes to spend the night dressed like Tiwa Savage in her new video for ‘Love Me, Love Me, Love Me.” We have to keep that trouser snake sheathed. A cold shower is better than a cold cell.
Throughout history, many famous or successful men have fallen from grace after they were indicted and imprisoned for rape crimes. Tupac and Mike Tyson are moot examples. After Tyson went to jail for rape, he lost his boxing mojo, and was never the same prized fighter again, and took to biting ears like Goldie songs. He now rears pigeons. He lost bouts to boxers who would have beaten previously with his eyes closed. Even Bash Ali would have had a good chance of beating Tyson.
To prove how heinous the act of rape is, rapists are treated as the lowest of the low in the social hierarchy in American prisons. Once your fellow inmates ask you what you are in jail for, and you mention rape, you would get assaulted and picked on, or even shanked with a sharp object by other prisoners. Only child molesters have a worse reputation than rapists. Put it this way, even a prisoner who is serving time for stealing an 80 cent loaf of bread is treated better than a rapist. I don’t know how they would be treated in a Nigerian prison though. I mean corrupt politicians have been raping the economy and our treasury, and the few that went to jail for it had thanksgiving dinners in Kirikiri.
A lot of chaps have gotten burned by misconstruing a girl’s intentions. Chaps that like to look for an imaginary ‘green light’ in the girl’s posture, often get the wrong message that the girl is DTF (check “Jersey Shore” for the full meaning). Some guys have a problem discerning what is green light or even light at all. If a girl so much as looks as them, they would sprout something like “Abi, una done see? This babe dey fall for me, mehn. I go carry am go lodge.”
There should be a condom that has a small print on it which says ‘Girl has now consented to sex, so hereby executes the contract by tearing open this section.”
The magic condom would only be operable by females. It would probably have a seal that guys find damn near impossible to open, and only females can, a bit like a bra strap’s hook.
Until then, we have to treat our women with respect, and condemn all acts of sexual assault and rape on our sisters. I want to commensurate with the 2 girls who were forcefully violated, and I hope that the only silver lining behind all this unfortunate events would be a greater support for rape victims, general public enlightenment on the subject of sexual assault and a re-orientation of our police agencies on how to investigate and treat the crime of rape including offering counselling and victim support.
I have a bit more to say on this subject, as will be covered in 2nd part. Till then I dedicate the following song lyrics to any of our Nigerian sisters suffering any hurt as a result of molestation. Keep your head up.
Princess of the Nile/
And sweet black sexy child/
Ooh I like your style/
First mother on the planet/
I know it’s getting scary/
And all these wannabe pimps is all that you meet/
But you have got to shake them off like fleas and nigga meat/
And use your God-given talents and abilities/
No matter where you’re from, you get much respect/
Coolio (For My Sistas, 1995)