I am a child who was brought up by loving parents. I had a disciplinarian Dad but he was his children’s best friend while my mum is a woman, sold out to God. I was given the much they could afford at the time. We were free to keep friends of the opposite sex as friends with no strings attached, not the boyfriend/girlfriend kind of relationship. We were brought up in a very developed village but in the midst of very wicked and highly competitive villagers who happened to be our umunna.
We went to the best schools and excelled in our fields. Due to our upbringing, I had male friends who I knew loved me but I was a bit strict and uptight with myself because of the fear of ‘what people will say’. As the typical Igbo woman and a very staunch christian, my mum will always ring into my ears how terrible it would be if I got pregnant outside wedlock or wed with pregnancy.
She was more concerned about the shame it could cause. That some evil people they know are waiting for us to make mistakes, so that they can laugh. This made me promise them I was going to remain a virgin till I got married.
Then, I met this very sweet handsome tall guy who fell in love with me shortly after my final year exams and yes, I loved him too. His name is Ken. Ken came to see my parents and was eager to start the wedding rites fast. My parents were happy but Mum kept delaying because she didn’t like the fact that he wears an earring even though she knew he comes from a very respectable home. I tried explaining to my Mum that this guy has been living in Europe and is a model but she wouldn’t listen. She liked him though but was more concerned with what people will say. Ken’s presence sparked a greater fire of jealousy in the extended family (villagers) since they knew he comes from a prominent home.
My Mum’s delay gave these wicked people enough time to perpetrate evil. They did their best by telling Ken and his family stories about us that they had cooked up but that didn’t work. Now Ken knew I was a virgin. He knew I had childhood friends who were mostly male, yet he and his family loved me so much until the evil wind blew.
I got raped after Ken went back to his base. This was during my NYSC. Ken couldn’t take the news so he blamed me for not sleeping with him and insinuated that I wasn’t raped, that I did it on purpose. I didn’t know what to do but telling me what he’d told me was the height of it. He called his family and told them he was no longer interested in me but his family rebuked him and told him to stand by me after they learned how it all happened. He never came back to me despite all attempts by his family to reconcile us. He loved and respected my Dad, and that was the only person he listened to. He promised to come back but never did.
I could now say that my village people have succeeded.
It was traumatising for me as going through the various HIV tests and waiting for 3 months, 6 months to be sure I wasn’t positive scared me to death. My Dad was more understanding but my Mum kept reminding me of how I lost the glory of a virgin. I forgive her though considering her upbringing, orientation and level of education.
I sobbed night after night. I wanted my man back, I didn’t want to date so many guys before getting married. I vowed to God (apart from my parents) to keep my body for him but wanted to get married immediately after school. Ken fits the description of the man I had asked God for.
He gave me a condition to come back and prove that I was actually raped. I was going to get the police to get the my rapist arrested and charge him to court which Ken was willing to fund/sponsor. I wanted to, but my Dad told me I won’t win that case cos the perpetrator had some top political godfathers who will cover him up. They had already flown him out of town to an unknown destination. He told me Nigerian police wasn’t ready to keep searching for the fool and that it won’t be good for this case to go out as a youth corper. He also told me that African women hardly win rape cases as they are usually shamed, rather than supported.
I was asked to keep the evidence which are my torn and blood stained clothes, pictures of the bruises I sustained from the beatings and the ropes used to tie my legs and hands, the various tests results, receipts n copies of Doctor’s report in my medical file.
All these opened a new phase in my life to face the wicked world out there which I thought only existed in movies. This was the beginning of my problems in life. I will complete this story someday.