The recent revelation by popular Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo that she had been raped five times has once again throw up the case against the surge in the society. According to the actress, the first incident was when she was 14-year-old. She spoke during a recent episode of her YouTube series titled ‘Bare it all with I.Y’. The actress explained she decided to share her story to encourage others who have had a similar experience to speak up with a view to tackling rape and sexual violence in society. She is not the only celebrity with such terrible experience, Daily Trust Saturday looks at some other celebrities who had shared similar experience.
The wife of Peter Okoye, one of the singers of defunct group P-Square, a Nigeria famous R&B band, once narrated how she was abused by a priest when she was in secondary school.
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“I couldn’t tell anyone because everyone would blame me, so I carried on the guilt and bitterness with me for years. I was filled with hate and I became an angry person, I was rebellious, I didn’t want to listen to anybody…and because I wanted to be expelled from school to avoid seeing this person, I would do so many terrible things, everything around me was just so negative, I felt I wasn’t good enough,” she had said while addressing a group of young women at Kinabuti’s Dare2Dream Master Class event.
Nollywood actress, Foluke Daramola was raped as a teenager. She said that the experience contributed to the failure of her first marriage.
“The incident happened when I was 17 years. I went through my university days and first marriage living with it. My first marriage was affected by my rigidity. It was after my first marriage that I met a friend and partner who told me that I needed to talk about it,” she was quoted as saying during an interview with a national newspaper.
The founder of Passion Against Rape and Abuse Africa, PARAA, said she was raped by a tenant in her parents’ house, who she was close to and saw as an elder brother.
Taiwo Ajai Lycett
80-year-old Veteran Nigerian actress, journalist and cosmetologist, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett was raped by an armed robber at the age of 65 in 2006 at her house in Egbe.
“I was tied. I was beaten. I was brutalised. My health was ruined. I was blindfolded and raped,” she said in an interview.
“The man who raped me complained that he couldn’t gain easy entry into me because I wasn’t wet. I told him ‘widows don’t get wet.’ I kept talking to them and asked them repeatedly, ‘Are you doing this to your mother?’ Angrily, they taped my mouth but I remained fearless and prayed all through the attack.”
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett has moved on from the misery of her past.
“Look at me today, I am over it. See, the mind is a beautiful thing. When you hold on to past hurt, you tie yourself down to grief.”
Nollywood actor Benson Okonkwo, is one of those who had been traumatised by sexual abuse, especially by a ‘trusted’ relative or neigbhour.
“People feel that things are always rosy for actors, and they feel that it is all about glamour but the truth is that we have all had our ugly experiences. I have gone through a lot in life and that is what made me the Benson Okonkowo that many love and respect today in the industry.
“I was sexually abused at the tender age of 10 by my 35-year-old neighbour called Aunty Amaka. A lady who I loved and respected so much. She took advantage of me on that fateful afternoon after luring me with sweets and biscuits. She stole my innocence and ever since I have been haunted by that hurtful memory, that is why I put passion into my acting job because it takes away my pain,” he said of his experience.
Nigerian hip hop artist, Panshak Henry Zamani, popularly known as Ice Prince was sexually abused by an aunt at the age of 13.
“I started singing in the choir when I was about 15. And at 13 I had my first sexual encounter. I would not say it was a good thing at all. It’s something I regret whatever it was. It wasn’t a sweet experience at all. I had this aunty, though we were not related, she was just a neighbour who was living close to us, who came into my room and slept with me.
“It wasn’t a good experience at all. I was scared, very scared. I saw hell. It was a terrible experience. I am not excited talking about it at all. Sex is not that good. I think sex is over-rated. I don’t know.
“She just came into my room and just forced me to do it with her… Oh, let’s not talk about it. I was so young and innocent. But she made me lose my innocence. The woman is still alive. I don’t think I have even seen her since then,” he had said in an interview about the horrible experience.