Some people believe I deserve what happened to me bit you see that one is their business.
I did not plan that I would enter the lion’s den. When I entered, I entered with a pure mind because of the things happening in my life.
One day, I was sitting in my aunty’s tailoring shop with three other girls who were alsolearning sewing at the main market; there was no light that day and we had no money to buy fuel for the gen because my aunty wasn’t around. So, when NEPA took light, none of the girls in the shop volunteered to bring money to buy fuel and because we didn’t have any urgent material to finish before aunty came back, we just sat there gisting and waiting for light to come back.
Not too long later, this man in white celestial gown passed in front of our shop. He greeted us and walked past; then he came back and told us the Holy spirit had a message for some of us. Me, I just yimu, ‘which kind holy spirit be dat?’
But he began to talk to Vero; he told her somethings about her life. He said Vero was planning to go and join her boyfriend in Belgium; told her that her mother just died three months ago, told her she should be careful with her neighbor…
See, he was saying things that we knew but there was no way he could have knowm them because I am sure at that time, even Vero had never met him before. Yes Vero was going to meet her man in Belgium, yes, Vero and her neighbour quarreled the day before and yes, her mother died in the village.
Then he turned to me and told me my life history.
Everything he said was intoto.
That day, all of us were just silent; the man, who we all believed to be a ‘prophet’ now said that if we wished to be prayed for, that we should come to his church and he would conduct deliverance for us. It was only Vero and I that he saw ‘visions’ for that day.
See, me, I don’t do Cele, I don’t do any of these churches that say they speak in tongues. I don’t o but that prophet mentioned some thing that day, some thing only I and my family know about. He used a code and only those of us in my immediate family understand what that code means. he said, ‘nomanlife.’ that is the word we use to describe the females in my family.
So when I heard it, I just believed that, truly this man is from God. What does the code mean? All the women in my family become single when they get to a certain age…unfailingly!
It is either their husband dies, they get divorced or they get separated once they get to that age. It must happen and they said it is an ancestral curse that cannot be broken.
When I knew about it, I did not even bother saying that I wanted to get married, I just decided to have a boyfriend that I would not marry, abi?
Anyway, after that prophesy; the rest of the girls in the shop were scared because of the accuracy of what the man had seen about Vero and I. In fact, one of us, Rita after the man finished with me, she just ran out of the shop, she said she didn’t want to hear anything about herself.
So, I decided to go after the prophet for prayers because I thought he could help me and deliver me from the curse in my family.
When I caught up with him, he told me he would pray with me; he pointed to one uncompleted building nearby and told me to follow him. I did.
I did not know that I was asking for trouble upon all the one piled on my head.
He asked me to kneel down and raise my hands.
He began to pray and told me to close my eyes and pray along. As he was praying, he touched my head. he touched my breasts and that was all I remembered.
I don’t know what else happened. Did I fall under some spirit or what?
I don’t know, maybe I fell into a deep sleep.
What I know is that I woke up and it was dark and I was being assaulted, I was being raped. At first, I didn’t even remember where I was, I was on the bare floor, I looked around, nothing, except someone pressing me down and breathing heavily, it was a man on top of me. I tried to push him but he quickly put his hand on my mouth. I felt bruised all over, my arms were bruised and they hurt.
I realised what was going on and I was so scared.
When he was done; he told me to get up and get dressed and leave because some area boys would soon be coming there and they could rape me as well.
I was crying at this time because I realized what had fully happened to me. I was asking him why he did this to me? That I thought he was a man of God. He just told me to hurry because if he left me there, area boys would descend on me.
I was so afraid, and all I wanted to do was leave that place.
The following days were terrible for me. I couldn’t talk about it, I was ashamed. I was just depressed and crying. I couldn’t even go to our shop; how could I have fallen for such a cheap scam?
When my aunty came to see me at home, I summoned courage to tell her what happened. She just consoled me and told me we had to report to the police. But I didn’t even know where the prophet lived or if in fact anyone would even believe me.
At the police station, when I finished my statement, they told me to leave my phone number and address in case they find the so called prophet. I did but I wasn’t sure he would be so bold as to come to our area again after what he did.
He did. He came, just two days afterwards. He came, still carrying Bible and speaking to people about ‘visions.’
My aunty ran out of the shop that day and went to hold him by the long sash on his waist and she was shouting ‘tif, tif’ that’s how come the police came because people had started to beat him when they heard ‘tif.’
They have charged him to court but it is still pending.
What would he say I did to deserve being raped?
I was foolish to believe he was a genuine man of God, I never asked to be raped, this was just an unfortunate incident for me.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)