Award-winning Nigerian actress, Iyabo Ojo, has shared how she was raped by an armed robber who invaded her husband’s house in Lagos, shortly after she got married.
Ojo shared her rape experience in a recent episode of her YouTube page.
The actress noted that she had been raped five times, adding that she was first raped when she was 14-years-old.
The actress said she had remained silent over the issue at the time because of the fear of being criticised by members of the society.
She said: “I know a lot of ladies who have been through what I have been through and I feel it is time for me to talk to them and make them understand that it is okay to talk about it.”
“To let them know that it is not okay to be in the situation but when you find yourself in that situation.”
“Like I said, yes I have been raped before. Not once but five times. And trust me when I say it wasn’t easy. The first time I was raped, I was 14.”
“It happened at my aunt’s house (not a family member). I didn’t want to talk about it because then it was a big taboo to talk about it (being raped).”
“I felt I would be blamed for everything that happened. I opened the door and allowed the person come in. But I didn’t know it was going to happen at the end of the day.”
“But when it did, I was afraid because the person had threatened and begged me. And I felt it was going to cause a whole lot of drama so I kept it to myself.”
“And that person kept coming back to tell me that he did it because he loves me and at a time, I think I actually believed that lie. And the second one, that was another terrible one that happened. And I still could not tell anybody in my family. Along the line, when I began to talk about my mother, father and a bit of things, which happened in my family, you will see why I couldn’t tell anyone in my family.”
“But when I summoned a bit of courage to tell a friend of mine then and it was one of the reasons why I ran away at a particular time. The whole family was looking for me and when they eventually found me, I still didn’t talk about it.”
“Now the third one, the guy was actually a neighbour. Like we are actually very close to each other. You know, my dad’s house and his own house was the second or third street away in the same neighbourhood.”
“He was a friend to my first boyfriend, though he was much older than him. I never knew that he had such intention. I grew up in Obanikoro area of Lagos, but I moved to Ikeja to stay with my aunty.”
“However, I went to Obanikoro sometimes to check on my grandmother, dad and my boyfriend at that time. On my way from Obanikoro going home I was at the bus stop waiting for a taxi then his car drove past me and he stopped.”
“We exchanged pleasantries and he asked me where I was going, which I told him that I was going to Ikeja and he offered to drop me off and also said he had moved to Ikeja.”
“When we got to Ikeja, he told me he lives in Toyin Street and I told him I know the street very well because I live in Balogun Bus Stop in Ikeja and he said he should show me his house so that I can come visiting whenever I feel like.”
“I didn’t see any big deal in it because he was friend to my ex, first boyfriend then. When we got to his house, he just had a rug, air-condition and television in the parlour.”
“So he suddenly said he was hungry and asked me if I was hungry too, but I told him that I wasn’t because I was late and my aunty would be waiting for me.”
“So he offered he offered me a drink, which I accepted. He then went into the kitchen to get me juice. I didn’t think of anything. I just sat down on the floor watching television.”
“Then cooked noodles and offered me, but I refused and he tried to force it into my mouth, which I asked him to stop. Then he started saying that he has loved me for a very long time and he was in love with me and wanted me to be his girlfriend and I reminded him that I was his friend’s girlfriend.”
“He started saying that he has loved me even before Emmanuel and when he found out I was going out with Emmanuel, he was heartbroken. At that time, I was almost 18 years old.”
“He started trying to touch me so I got up angrily and made my way to the door, which I noticed that it was locked.”
“Then I started telling him to open the door and he told me that he loves me.
And that was when he started dragging me. And that brought back memories of the experience I had been through that first time.”
“So it dawned on me that it was about to happen again and I didn’t want it to so I really wrestled with him. Then I tried to push him and ran into one of the rooms to open the window to screen and then he pulled me back with my hair and then he held my neck to the wall.”
“I continued struggling and wrestling with him so he dragged me out of the room because he didn’t want me to shout and gave me a dirty slap.”
“I hit my head on the wall. I was a bit dizzy trying to find my feet and he went into the kitchen to get the knife. When he got the knife, his eyes went red and his face changed.”
“He wasn’t the same person that I knew and it dawned on me that if I fight him, I would end up dead. Then he dragged me back into the room.”
“I was just numb. He did whatever he wanted to do and when he was done, he went out and came back and started calling my name because I was still at the spot he raped me.”
“Then he started calling me baby and that word baby was piercing my brain because I was mad.”
“The way he was saying the baby was annoying me. So he kept saying Iyabo baby, I am sorry I didn’t mean it, it is because I love you. You made me do this.”
“I have never done this in my life. Please forgive me. And in my head I was like I had to play along because he still had a knife in his hands.”
“I had to maintain that everything was good because the windows and everywhere was locked and the television in the living room was very loud.”
“So people will definitely not hear my voice. So I told him that I understood but he said no and started crying.”
“He asked me if I would tell Emmanuel but I said no and he said who would I tell, but I said I would not tell anyone.”
“And I tried to convince him that I would not tell anyone so he asked me to kiss him and I did everything he wanted me to do so that I can get out of his house.”
“I can talk about it now. The thing is you never get over it, but it gets to a stage in your life whereby it becomes a story to tell and there are no right words on how you can deal with it.”
“You just have to deal with it. Let me just say I have been able to deal with it in my own way because before I can’t talk about it because when I try to, I get so emotional, angry and a whole lot of other things comes with it.”
“Right now, I can talk about it. So, after the kissing, he said he loved me and I told him that I loved him too and he went to drop me off at my bus stop.”
“While walking down home, I could remember that I was just calm. I had no feelings or emotions. I got home and luckily my aunty wasn’t around. I just went straight upstairs and climbed into the bath tub and just started crying.”
“I cried my heart out. Then I pondered about telling my ex-boyfriend even if we were having some little relationship issues at that time.”
“My ex-boyfriend was a bad boy and I didn’t like all of the bad things they do. So I decided not to tell him because if I did, they might kill or do something terrible to him and I didn’t want that because I didn’t want blood on my hands.”
“I don’t know if what I did was right or wrong. So the only way not to tell him was to break up with him.”
“Then the other one happened after I got married to my husband and had my kids, then we moved to Ikeja.”
“I was raped by one of the armed robbers who came to our house to rob. It’s not easy to talk about rape. No matter how much you talk about it, you have to realise that it is painful, but you are not alone.”
Ojo urged people who had similar experience to summon courage in sharing their stories as such would help create more awareness about the scourge.