Catcalls – Jumoke Verissimo

Each girl eats her own eyeballs,

floating heels,

confidence-padded into breasts,

kettle-mouth lips

blow off the steam of male gaze;

in a market world women are



Her designer labels with absolute names

the reason for her aching ankles

becomes the shame,

beauty the reason for the spare time

becomes the shame.


The horde’s hoot hang to her feet

as she flees from a body being stripped

of a dress that homes


When a girl discovers she’s dressed in disgrace—

wearing a blemish no foundation


can hide—she moves away from



The market stalls are no shelter for men,

trading in leers that rush after short skirts

teeth spaced for the

tongue to wag;

there’s no signpost to read their


Here are men who once

bargained with brains

now they trade their hearts

as ignorance wares.


And when tongues rip the cloth

off the girl

the shredding men’s eyes will go


to cover a sister, a mother, or a


shame them with another


a poor showman of his market



The Curious Case of D S Fapson and the Taxify Driver

On the 25th January, actress Dorcas Shola Fapson, accused, via some Snapchat posts, a Taxify driver of attempted kidnap and rape. Within 24 hours, the driver had posted a contrary account and Fapson had provided further details, including video footage of the incident – such is the power and urgency of social media these days.

I’ve found the public’s reaction to these accounts bewildering. Polarised opinions are the order of the day on social media but this case feels special. There have been disagreements on not just the story as a whole or who was right but also, the individual events which make up the story.

The only thing that everyone agrees on is that Fapson booked and entered a taxi, the trip ended badly and that pepper spray was involved. The driver says that the disagreement started when she refused to reveal her destination whereupon he stopped the trip, moved the car forward – an action which took him a few seconds – and tried to retrieve his car keys from her.

She says he tried to insist on an unregistered cash payment instead of a card payment with the company as booked, refused to take her to her destination or let her out of the car when she declined, drove her to unknown premises, tried to drag her into the building, threatened and assaulted her with a choke hold, closed the car door on her legs etc. Even stranger than the irreconcilable accounts is the focus on baying for Fapson’s blood (and anyone who tries to support her), without acknowledging these factual disparities.

While Fapson’s initial account was at first met with disgruntled silence and followed by demands for evidence, the driver’s post connected with Nigerian Twitter. Perhaps it was the perceived class differences between them but I think the real basis of the simmering rage and public outcry is the belief that this is yet another example of a woman weaponising the ability to accuse a man of rape for her own evil purposes.

The outcry fails to take into account of the fact that Fapson’s video evidence refutes some of the claims made by the driver. An example is the driver’s claim that he only drove a few yards down the road to take advantage of some security lighting. The video clearly shows him driving her to a set of gates, she stating that she doesn’t know where she is and he not counteracting that statement. He gets out of the car and hurried towards the gates, leaving his keys in the ignition (providing an answer to the stupid question ‘why would he leave his keys in the car if he meant to kidnap her?’).

The video also shows him trying to keep her in the car, rather than his account of repeatedly and politely asking her to alight and only engaging her physically to retrieve his car keys.
This is confusing because, while one could build a narrative that when she refused to get out of the car like he asked her to, he drove off to his house in frustration, reached the gates and then tried to chuck her out of the car, I can’t think of any reason he would want to keep her in the car. If he was so worried about his car, like he claimed, surely that would increase the chances of her driving off.

We do eventually hear him trying to drag her (but this is after she had asked him to let her out of the car – did he change his mind about keeping her in or was he trying to drag her on to the premises?) and we don’t see the choke hold of course. There are those better qualified than me to untangle the facts and perhaps they will get a chance to do so.

Instead of a discussion about the facts, the initial, and sustained, reaction has been one of massive outrage that Fapson dared to label this driver a rapist.

I believe this discussion sheds some light on two aspects of rape culture – the concerted effort to discredit rape and sexual assault victims for the purpose of silencing them and women who actually make false accusations that they have been raped.

In relation to the discrediting, rape is, of course, a difficult crime to prove and one way of the most effective methods for stopping victims from coming forward, is the threat that, should a conviction not occur or even before any charge is laid or prosecution carried out, the victims will be forever labelled ‘evil women’ willing to ruin lives for no justifiable reason.

If this fear affects conventional victims (raped by strangers after violence or the threat of violence), it becomes scarier when a victim has been raped by family members, close friends, relationship partners, dates or colleagues.

The silencing is perpetuated, not just by immediately assuming that the victim is lying, it includes dragging out past, unrelated sexual liaisons, slut shaming, purity culture (a woman is spoiled by sexual activity anyway – who cares whether it’s consensual or not?), spiritual blackmailing (if you don’t forgive that deacon for molesting you, aren’t you really as bad as him in Jesus’ eyes?) and questioning why she chose to drive a man to such a sexual peak that he could not help but attack her.

The culture of silencing victims is clearly traumatising and is the major reason so many victims keep quiet.

Some of these tools/weapons have already been deployed against Fapson. It is being claimed that she once begged a male singer to start a relationship with her to increase her celebrity status– information related to this incident…how?

Many people are very much aware of the above issues. While we know that too many sexual assaults go unreported because of silencing tactics, we also acknowledge that it is a terrible and devastating thing to falsely accuse a man of rape. Although it’s only fair to point out the inconsistency between Nigerians describing, on social media, the effects of rape and the effects of being accused of rape.

If a man is assumed to be falsely accused of rape, then it is a horrendous thing that will destroy his life, presumably because rape is such a terrible thing. If a man is actually proven to have raped someone then we should forgive him because everyone makes mistakes, do we want to kill him, did he kill someone, what was she wearing ……??

Anyway! False claims do happen and apart from tearing a hole through a man’s life, they drag the fight against rape and rape culture backwards. The next victim will always be prejudiced by a false rape claim.

Despite the fact that the movement for dismantling the rampant rape culture and addressing the high occurrence of sexual assaults in Nigeria is relatively new, it seems Nigerians have had enough of rape allegations already. No woman is allowed to utter the words ‘rape’ or ‘rapist’ – unless:-
(1) it has happened – I won’t bother adding ‘or is about to happen’ as, in this case, even if the attack had been in an advanced stage, some would still have insisted that Fapson could have avoided it by being polite, begged or time travelled to choose a better outfit;
(2) you have ample evidence of being raped and you are prepared to paste the evidence all over social media;
(3) you are prepared to attend a police station, even though numerous women have reported sexual assault carried out by Nigerian police officers and their reprehensible attitude towards rape victims;
(4) you never withdraw your complaint because, for the price of bringing a potentially good man down, you should be prepared to accept any and all threats to your being;
of course (5) you were the perfect rape victim – dressed modestly, not roaming the streets at night, polite and respectful to all involved, with a propensity for sprinting.

Even if you have been able to do all these and go on about it too much, Nigerian twitter will advise you to move on with your life and have some dignity for God’s sake!

There is clearly some panic about women wielding their power and privilege to cry rape at any every instance and this panic, I would suggest, is nothing new whenever there is a concerted effort to address sexual crimes. Hopefully it will pass but, when you compare the reaction to Fapson to the reaction to Kemen in BBNaija ( in April of last year, the real crime appears to be broadcasting a rape or rape attempt rather than committing one, according to Nigerian Social Media.

I hate to drag out the past but for those who don’t know the Kemen story, he was a Big Brother Nigeria contestant who was disqualified for sexually assaulting a sleeping female housemate . The real debate began after the programme concluded and Kemen was invited to join the housemates on various publicity tours and effectively resumed his status as a celebrity reality show contestant. I was grimly satisfied when the ‘woke’ people whom I follow recognised this as an outrageous endorsement of the lack of consequences for sexual assault in Nigeria. Imagine my horror and bitterness when I learned that the #freekemen contingent were not only in the majority but felt that the incident being brought to public knowledge was punishment enough and that Kemen should be allowed to flourish free from these Godless, unforgiving, judgmental people who insisted on dragging out issues that should be allowed to die down, after all ‘did he kill somebody?’ and also what was she wearing…?

Back to the recent incident, perhaps there are other ways in which Fapson could have made the incident known, if you ignore how shocking that night must have been for her. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe she could have started with a fuller account instead of short posts and labelling – but I can’t see anything wrong in her letting people know about this event, if only to stop other women from going through the same thing.

On a related subject, I notice, in addition to women who make false rape allegations, another group of women who have been condemned in this incident – women who have accused Fapson of making the whole thing up. Fapson dramatically said ‘I hope far worse happens to you, your mother and your unborn children’. Lord. Simi, in a deleted post echoing some of the sentiments that Adekunle Gold had expressed and also deleted due to the backlash from his followers (They said what to you on Twitter, Kunle? Hold my beer…..), also singled them out as being particularly reprehensible.

It is especially dispiriting when women defend sexism, rape culture and the like. It’s even worse when they take part in sexual attacks. It is surprising, as well, given that they could more readily be a victim of what they are undertaking in or failing to condemn. But I’ve always wondered (but never voiced aloud) about the claim that they are ‘worse than the men’?

It is bad for both women and men to fail to address or participate in rape culture. Men do it because of the obvious privileges of being able to act badly or not without many consequences; women do it to align with or identify with the conventional society, to cement their status as ‘good or sensible women’ and ‘not one of these crazy feminists’ and probably for other reasons, like protecting themselves against male (out) rage or even maybe because they genuinely believe what they are saying. Both have their reasons and both are equally bad, in my view.

stop judging our bodies! – Okwei Odili 

​When Malcolm X told a thick crowd of African Americans that the most abused person in America is the black woman, he didn’t say it under the influence of ogogoro or overfeeding.

He said it because among our people are men like Trick daddy, African American men who hate African American women. Because these men hate themselves. Because these men cannot fight for their mothers and sisters.

According to failed and now fat rapper, Trick daddy, African American women are ‘hoes’ that need to sit up before the Latina and white ‘hoes’ take all their men. 


Let us bring it back to Nigeria where many women are bleaching.

I shared an article talking about the pressures on women in Nigeria to emulate fake/un-African beauty standards and it was a Nigerian man here who said, Are the women being forced by men to bleach? Well I’d like to tell you about someone I dated as a young woman, who actually bought me the cream to ‘tone’. I dumped him.

I will also like to refer you to mainstream Nigerian music videos by popular Nigerian males filled with non African women, who look different than us. Each one fairer than the next. Diversity is the spice of life, to me. So I appreciate everybody. But to belittle one over another, especially the queens, I can’t take.

Not everybody has the psychological strength to refuse what is subtly or not subtly drummed into their ears. So yes, because men and women rely on each other, they have the capacity to influence one another. So yes, the bleaching continues.

Africa is the seat of the diamonds and gold, cocoa and rubber, oil and super humans, yet we assist those who hate us, to hate us. How dare we assist them, to un-glamourise us, we who are queens and kings, colorful, even when we are sleeping.


Time to stop this. Leave African women alone. Stop asking us about our hair, stop judging our bodies. Our hair, breasts, nose, hips, vagina and all are OURS. We don’t tell you what to do with your body.

And STOP that fucking picture where all we do is carry water or firewood on our heads in 2016. 

Stop comparing us to anybody because we are too damn magical for all your collective idiocies and divisional tactics.



Superheroes Inc.: The Enablers!

There have been a lot of articles both on and offline, recently, about how there is little or no diversity in superheroes – in comic and video forms.  This lack of diversity shows in the limited number of women and people of different races being represented as superheroes.

Nigerians, since we nor dey carry last, have been battling to rectify this grave injustice by coming up with our own set of superheroes. Esu, Sango, Amadioha, Oya and a lot more are being represented in their superhero forms. 

But we have noticed, with dismay, that a particular set of people have totally been ignored in the scramble to put our superheroes on the world stage.

Marriage is the ultimate goal for any Nigerian – living or dead, male or female, adult or child, dead broke or fantastically corruption rich.

Please do not argue!

Inventing new machines that make life easier; finding the cure for cancer, AIDS, Diabetes and other deadly diseases; making new art forms; writing codes – all these things are not as important as… wait for it – marriage!


Now these set of superheroes are the ones who help us to keep our morals intact, they keep marriages together (often till-death-do-them-part) and ensure our moral rectitude is … rectitudinal! They’re sometimes called the ‘Moral Police’ but this is a misnomer, and really it won’t sound nice as a superhero’s name –

Moral Police?


As your friendly neighborhood aprokos, we have found a name to suit this group of people, we shall call them The Enablers! (Btw an enabler is someone who makes something possible. They create an environment for negative or self-destructive behavior to thrive. If you’re an addict – be it to drugs, cheating, lying, physical, emotional or psychological abuse – an enabler will empower you to do this better) gerrit?

The Enablers are made up of six superheroes with six different superpowers. They are as follows-

Virginato – Female, short, plump, with dimples in her shiny cheeks
Superpower – ability to spot virgins from a mile off with her laser beam eyes. And if you’re no longer a virgin, do not be worried, Virginato’s powers can restore your virginity – with creams or restorative surgery.
Motto: Your virginity, my business

Count Slutee – Male tall, thin, with protruding teeth
Superpower – ability to detect sluts. Just one touch on your arm he can decide whether you’re a slut or …you’re a slut. He keeps track of the number of men that you’ve ever spoken to. One blast from his fingers and your body count will be reduced to zero!
Motto: I help you keep and broadcast your ‘body count’

General Marital: Female, middle-aged, wears a lot of Darling Yaki
Superpowers: ability to advise you to pray especially if you’re in an abusive relationship. She can smell an abused woman a mile off and she readily hands out pamphlets about entering ‘war rooms’ and conquering an abusive partner on ‘your knees’.
Motto: If your partner is abusing you, then it’s your fault

Shitta the Cheater: Male, spots a goatee, dark sunshades and a beer-gut
Superpowers: knows with a certainty that men are babies and needs to be cared for, they are also subject to their penis. Can also help you find out if your partner is cheating on you. Very good at stalking women on Facebook and gives them advice about their lipsticks.
Motto: Men think with their dicks

Tape the Rule: Female, tall and fat, always has a tape rule with her
Superpowers: Her tape rule has a life of its own, measures the depth of a woman’s blouse or the length of her skirt. She knows the exact length, or depth, of clothes, which qualifies a woman for rape.
Motto: What were you wearing when you were raped?

Judgianna: Male short, thin, ascetic
Superpowers: Can be found on almost all gossip websites putting his ‘two kobo’ comments on every case involving relationships, sex and sexuality. Fights other commenters over whether Tiwa Savage should stay with her husband or not. Can slut shame with a flick of his fingers
Motto: Anti go an marry

We believe these people are heros and they deserve a place in the pantheon of gods. They are the ones keeping abused women with their abusers because ‘divorce is a sin’, they try to shame divorcees and ensure single women don’t remain single too long.

Go Enablers go!


A brief Slut Shaming Dictionary aka Slut Shaming on Fleek

This article is dedicated to one thing and one thing only, arming you with words. Yes we can, arm you with words that should be used the next time you’re going on a slut shaming mission. We would be dismayed, if you start this very important activity that helps the patriarchy control women’s bodies without using the proper slangs and terms.

What else are we here for but to help you achieve your dreams of a world without equality, a world in which women are seen as objects (preferably sex objects). In this Utopia, men would be able to strip women that annoy them on the streets naked, without fear of reprisal. Teachers can sleep with as many of their underage students as it is possible, women with cups bigger than an ‘A’ cup size can be stared at and the state of their sexuality a topic for discussion and debate. Men will be able to grab the boobs of women they meet in the swimming pool. In this ideal world, women will be able to give excuses for the rape of other women… ooops… wait… we are living in this sexist utopia already!

But… we won’t let that stop us! Hell to the No! We will still go ahead and equip you with words that hurt, words that can maim, or kill… words that will continue to make this utopia of ours what it is today, a country without the basic amenities, but is obsessed with sex, money and religion (and not necessarily in that order).

Without any further ado, we introduce our dictionary of slut shaming.

Slut Shaming – stigmatizing a woman for having sex, or stigmatizing a woman on the suspicion that she’s having sex, or stigmatizing a woman on the suspicion that she might be planning to have sex… makes absolute sense don’t it?

Ashawo: If there’s any Nigerian dictionary, the word ‘Ashawo’ is the only one deserving of a whole page for itself, just that word, ‘ashawo’ written on a plain foolscap page… why you ask. Well this is simple, ashawo is one of the few (and we dare say the only) word understood across all languages, all ethnic boundaries. Ashawo is a prostitute, ashawo gives sex for money, ashawo sleeps around, her body count is almost as high as that of the Nigerian population.
Ashawo is to be pitied, only to be seen (by men) under the cover of darkness.

Ashawo is a slut.

Slut: is a term for a woman or girl who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous (Wikipedia)

Although men who are promiscuous are called ‘Community Penis’ note that being a community penis does not make you a slut, which is why another word had to be coined for them.

A community penis is a ‘man’, because part of hyper-masculinity is your ability to have as many sexual partners as possible.

Side-Chick – the other woman; also known as the mistress; a female that is neither a male’s wife or girlfriend who has relations with the male while he is in another relationship (Urban Dictionary).

Men are expected to cheat, women are not expected to cheat. In a heteronormal, hyper-religious and homophobic society like ours that operates a gender binary system, we wonder who men are supposed to cheat with… other men? Trans? Lesbians? Who?… but that is not why we are here…

The point is, a side-chick is a slut, an ashawo, who is giving sex away ‘free of charge’.

Transactional Sexual Relationships: We know you did not come here to read big-big grammar… who grammar don epp? But there are times that you need to sound like a Patrick Obahiagbon in order to get your point across. If you can throw this sentence into a conversation surrounding slut-shaming, we assure you that will be the end of that matter!

So what are transactional sexual relatitonships?

Transactional sexual relationship is closely linked to socio-cultural expectations of gender whereby a man is expected to act as a provider to their partners and women expect a compensation for ‘giving’ sex. This results in implicit assumptions of exchange, whereby for example a man might buy a woman a drink and her acceptance implies a willingness to have sex.(Wikipedia)

In proper Nigerian English, what this means is that a man is expected to be the ‘provider’ of money and penis, and in exchange a woman is expected to ‘give’ sex and often times, these days, domesticity.

Body Count – also known as ‘how many men have you slept with?’ Having a body-count of more than half, qualifies you for sluthood… period!

With these few, but very important words, we encourage you to go into the world and put women to task.

A girl is unreachable because she’s classy, she has a job and doesn’t want to date a jobless, uncivilized slob? Call her a slut.

A girl turns down your proposal for friendship because she’s noticed that you’re borderline sociopath? Call her a slut.

A girl breaks up with you? Call her a slut.

You rape a girl and she reports you to the police? Call her a slut.

You blackmail a vulnerable girl into having an affair with you and then she calls it off? Call her a slut.

A girl refuses to sleep with you because you’re suffering from hyper-masculinity and have violent tendencies? Call her a slut.

A girl refuses to wash your underpants because she’s not your domestic help and breaks up her friendship with you? Call her a slut.

Slut shaming covers a multitude of sins…

Are we saying that you’re a sinner? Oh no we wouldn’t dare say that…

Do we dare call you a misogynist, self-hating, uncivilized pig?
Oh no, we are not that nasty… are we?


Ese Oruru: A teenager being torn apart

When do teenage relationships start?

According to , there isn’t a ‘right age’ to start having relationships – every child is different, and every family/culture will feel differently about this issue. But here are some averages:

From 9-11 years, your child might start to show more independence from the family and more interest in friends.From 10-14 years, your child might want to spend more time in mixed gender groups, which might eventually end up in a romantic relationship.From 15-19 years, romantic relationships can become central to social life. Friendships might become deeper and more stable.

There is a lot of controversy about Ese’s age, but the excellent investigative journalism by AIT with the interview of her parents confirm that Ese is in fact 13 yrs old so there is no need to waste time debating about this.

As a mother of a teenage son myself, I know that many teenagers spend a lot of time thinking and talking about being in a relationship. In these years, teenage relationships might last only a few weeks or months. It’s also normal for children to have no interest in romantic relationships until their late teens. Some choose to focus on schoolwork, sport or other interests.

Each parent is different, and no one has a right to tell another parent how to raise their child. But the problem is when the general public decides to have an opinion over a young girl’s sexuality. Going over Linda Ikeji’s blog when it was announced that Ese had in fact choosen to stay in Kano, the comments people left on the article made me nauseous. They had no respect for her privacy, and no one even viewed her as a child.

It is very disturbing that our society does not view child sexuality any different from adult sexuality. They take it lightly and find it funny that a 13 year old confused and vulnerable, who has obviously made some poor choices  should be made an object of ridicule.

Puberty is the period when an adolescent reaches physical growth and sexual maturity. It is marked with bodily changes and change in feeling towards opposite sex due to increase in sex hormones. This period starts from late childhood and ends with early adulthood. (12 to 18 years).

In this crucial stage, adolescence is influenced by peer pressure especially the opposite sex peers. Puberty is a period marked with rapid physical growth leading to sexual maturity and psychological changes. The average onset of puberty is at 10 or 11 for girls and age 12 or 13 for boys.

Girls become sexually and  physically mature two years earlier than boys. Puberty begins with a surge in hormone production, which in turn causes a number of physical changes a an adolescent is going through drastic physical changes  she also goes through psychological, mental and  emotional changes. Stanley Hall, well known psychologist, describes this stage as the period full of “storm and stress”. This phase is marked with psychologically growing-up. Ericson, another psychologist refers this stage as “Identity Crisis” referring to confusion in identifying oneself neither as a child nor as an adult.

The early and late childhood period boys like to play with boys and girls prefer to be comfortable in the company of girls. Developing relationship with same sex friends and getting their approval and acceptance is one of the important characteristic of interpersonal relationship. The maximum socialization takes place during this stage. But as childhood period end and child enters into an adolescent stage suddenly due to hormonal changes and development of secondary sex characteristics the interest in opposite sex becomes more significant.

Suddenly an adolescent becomes self conscious and  her outlook changes.   She becomes conscious towards herself as well as towards opposite sex. An adolescent spends lot of time looking at himself or herself in the mirror, new look in hair style, preference in clothing and dressing up manners changes, use of cosmetics and interest in looking good increases. Sudden changes occur in improving self image and having better self impression on opposite sex. Girls become shy in the presence  of the opposite sex.

Is all this  my attempt at using pchychology to justify Ese’s behavior? NO! What I am in fact saying is that is is normal for her to be interested in the opposite sex, but that is not a reason to make her an object of  ridicule. She is still a child, and  it is the responsibility of society to protect her till she reaches the age of consent. Just because   she is an  adolescent  with raging hormones doesn’t mean she is a responsible adult ready to make decisions on her own. All responsible adults in her life have to protect her till she is mature enough to understand what she is getting herself into.

Back in 2013, a Time magazine article on abduction began like this…

“Abduction is a singularly grotesque transaction. In a single instant, a relationship between two people changes to one of captor and prisoner, owner and chattel. One holds absolute power and the other holds none.”

The  Nigerian, media had a fanfare with word abduction, but when Ese was being returned, there were a crowd of men around her, the video circulating the web showed a terrified little girl trying to hold on to some sort of control.  There was no comforting voice. Once again, there was absolutely no recognition that this was just a child. For Heaven sakes, Ese is just a child.

She may or may have not chosen to have gone to  Kano. It doesn’t take a genius to know that it will be traumatizing to be the center so much controversy.  She may or may not be in love.  It does not take a PhD to know that no one would want their their private life broadcasted on air. An adult would be nerve wracked to go through what Ese has been through.

The American Psychological Association say, According to research, hostage survivors often develop an unconscious bond to their captors and experience grief if their captors are harmed. They may also feel guilty for developing a bond. This is typically referred to as the Stockholm syndrome. Hostage survivors may also have feelings of guilt for surviving while others did not. It is important for survivors to recognize that these are usual human reactions to being held captive.

When hostages are released, it is essential for them to:

Receive medical attention.
Be in a safe and secure environment.
Connect with loved ones.
Have an opportunity to talk or journal their experience if and when they choose.
Receive resources and information about how to seek counseling, particularly if their distress from the incident is interfering with their daily lives.
Protect their privacy (e.g. avoid media overexposure including watching and listening to news and participating in media interviews).
Take time to adjust back into family and work.

I am writing this as a teacher and a mother, Please for the love of God, leave this child alone to go back to school no more media coverage on this story, it’s doing the Ese more harm than good. As long as she is below the age of consent, all responsible adults should act like it!




Time Magazine


American Psychological Association


Her Parents confirming her age


Maryanne Kooda, a CELTA qualified Special Needs Teacher, conducts weekly creative writing workshops and reading programs for 6 to 16 year olds in Colombo Sri Lanka. Ms Kooda is a feature writer with a passion for children; she has extensive teaching experience in the tertiary and primary levels of the Sri Lankan International school system.


Of Kisses, of Sexual Predators, Of Chijioke Amu-Nnadi

Mine didn’t start with poetry.

I didn’t know him beyond his name, his posts, on Facebook.

I was in Uganda for 2015 Writivism Literary Festival as the festival’s blog editor; he was there too, as a guest to hold a masterclass on poetry.

He checked in at midnight with Sadiq Dzukogi. I was working at a section of Ministers’ Village –the hotel we were lodged- dining hall when he arrived. Mukoma wa Thiong’o, Pa Ikhide, and Aaron Bady had arrived not long before and I’d gone to the reception to greet them so when Ssekandi – the festival’s official chauffeur – pulled into the driveway, I went out to see who else had come in.

As I greeted him and introduced myself, he hugged me. Then one of the minders  and I accompanied them upstairs to settle in. After we found their rooms, we all made to leave. I was going back to the ground floor to continue work; he offered to see me off a bit. When we got to the first floor (his room was on the third), we stopped to wrap up our chit chat. I didn’t see what happened next coming. It just did.

He cupped my face in his hands and kissed me.

I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t even processing. I just said, “Goodnight,” turned around and walked back to where I was working. As I sat, it began to hit me. Chijioke-Amunnadi kissed me. He kissed me…he…kissed me? He fucking kissed me?

Irritation. Anger.

This was the man I had never interacted with personally, not even on Facebook. We had just met and he’d kissed me. I didn’t even know him! As I processed, I began to calm myself. I had work to do, Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire and the Writivism team did not bring me to Uganda so I could spend time sorting feelings at Ministers’ Village hotel. As I continued working, he came downstairs to give me an autographed copy of his book. I thanked him and kept working.

The next days at Uganda found me avoiding him and getting irritated when he tried to come close or call me daughter. My roommate, Nneoma, knew my irritation for the man.

One night, he asked us to move into his room which was bigger than ours so he could move into ours, because a “friend” had come in and needed somewhere to stay. I disagreed but Nneoma calmed me and said it was just for the night. When we got to his room, he looked around and said it was big enough and we all could share. We disagreed.

Adeola would later see the massive doze of ‘attitude’ I dished him regularly. And even the night she and Nneoma asked me to go with them for a dinner that Chijioke ended paying for, I had mental workings to do and ensured nothing drew he and I close.
I have heard things.

I don’t know Chijioke. I don’t know him at all.

Perhaps kissing me – without so much as a simple by-your-leave, may not count much in the scope of all that’s been blowing up for days but I heard the old man has been saying the girls he tried things with seduced him, they were cheap…I hope he hasn’t mentioned my name because the result will take the host of heaven to settle. My blood is that hot.

There are a few more things to say about my encounter with this man.

I hosted a project on 10 October 2015 for World Mental Health Day at University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Some of you may know about it. The Curator of the project invited Chijioke to perform as we were interpreting mental health issues through art. I had given the Curator sole right to decide on who got invited, so I chose to let things slide.

In the course of planning, we ran short of funds and she turned to Chijioke for help. He did. She was one of his “daughters” but as I’ll later discover, one of the few “daughters” he hadn’t tried to touch… Yet.

He gave a total of about 35,000 naira towards the event. I thanked him. And I kept him far.

But the old man still did not know his place and went on to attempt something with our Welfare Coordinator. He wanted to kiss her; he wanted to give her head. I wasn’t there when he said those things but she came back from performing her official duties and told me this.

It is important to mention the money part because I heard he said these girls – the ones he’s tried things with – were after his money.

Dem too love money.

– Mary Ajayi


… of kisses, rape, and a god of poetry

Life is full of stories.

I have been kissed before, forcefully, by a man I was close to.

It happened years ago.

My mum had just died and I drifted to someone close because he was the only one that I felt understood me.

One day he kissed me against my wish, I told a few friends, they laughed, I pretended to laugh, we called him a fag and other names.

Inside I felt dirty, I felt betrayed, I felt life is full of people who will use and use you. For days I watched him move around freely, I remembered others who had the same experience but we kept silent, wounded, afraid nobody would believe us.

He was handsome, intelligent, and had a swag girls wanted. Who would believe someone like that defiled little boys?

It took me years to open my heart to a man, it took me years to sit down and talk to men without that fear hiding in my head. I swore to myself to always stand for those going through such because of what I felt, but these last few days has been hell.

I have been sick and still yet my head can’t just leave these issues. I have cried. I have called, I have tried to know the truth because in issues like these one has to be careful but the truth is always constant, it will always come out, it does not stay hidden forever.

It is often said that ten people can’t lie the same way. As a security personnel, one of the ways to detect lies in a witness is to have the person write his statement again and again and then you pick the truth from it.

The truth is bitter.

But it is a pill I must swallow.

No man should kiss people forcefully because he gives them things, goodness should not come at a price. It is wrong and what is wrong is wrong. I’m broken but one should always stand on the truth.

For those that think I’m an ingrate, I agree, I am but it could be your sister, it could be you…

Life is a funny place.

For those  that chose to speak out, even when people doubted you because of love and loyalty, I say you are my heroes, you have done more than I was able to do.

For snitches, I also say well done. Life is a funny place.

What more can I say, I have learnt. I will heal. Life is funny, life is real. I am no longer disappointed. People will always be people.


Oluwasegun Romeo Oriogun



This year has seen a resurgence in women finding their voices and refusing to be shut down…


This year has seen the transformation of your garden variety, everyday sexist into… The Thing!


For some of us that are not comic or cartoon  or Manga buffs, The Thing is this mild-mannered young man who can hardly swallow even the water that has been placed on his lips. But watch him ‘rub’ his balls rings together … And he becomes this huge,  destructive troll with anger management problems.










Sorry wrong picture


Yup this picture…

So The Thing is the representative of the Nigerian Sexist Troll Cabal. A bunch of misogynistic types with mummy or daddy issues.






This does not leave out the ‘cultural’ troll cabal like marketing outfits


Bloggers who have perfected the art of victim blaming by turning stories upside down…


The sheer El Stupido



And the most heartbreaking… Parents


But seriously you troll cabal guys need to up your game because it appears your bullying game is getting old…

Of course feminists don’t take any prisoners…

Like bang!






Oh and a quick reminder


Happy New Year!!!


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