It happened to me in September, 2002….

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing this article since I started this blog but I kept pushing it until we had a sex pure centric meeting with Praise Fowowe a few days ago and then, that was it! I knew that nothing just happens, sharing it might help someone.

I finished from UI as a pharmacist in 2001 and had my 1yr internship programme in Military hospital, Yaba; by September, I was meant to have rounded up and go for NYSC but I had been involved with Forever Living Products business a few months before then; I was doing very well and had gotten bonuses and promotions; at that time, I was really close to another level of promotion but it had to do with a summation of purchases made by myself and my down lines; I had spoken to my down lines and they had given me the worth of purchases made but I needed to collate their receipts to ensure that I had the required points. I had a down line in Mende who I had spoken with earlier in the day who had told me she would be home for 7pm, I had to make it to her place that night else I would lose the promotion and benefits. You won’t believe I got to her house and didn’t meet her. I left very upset as I headed for the nearest cab that took me out of Mende.

I got down from the cab (harbor works bus stop), considered the option of crossing the pedestrian bridge but decided against it cos it was getting late, then moved forward and made to cross the express when a guy grabbed my arm from behind and dragged me to a shed (looked like a vulcanizer’s shed). I prayed very loudly, they tried shutting me up, I didn’t budge, I got there to discover that he had a partner, they took my phone (then, na Samsung blue eye dey reign) and threw the SIM away, (un)fortunately, I forgot to take some money with me when I left home that morning so I barely had any money on me. Then they told me to take off my clothes!! That was it; at that point, I knew that that was one thing I would not do. SEX before marriage? Forget it! God had kept me for 24years and I had a few months to my wedding; I wasn’t ready to lose my virginity just yet. I screamed out loudly and pleaded with them not to destroy my life; because my voice was so loud, one of them had to move towards the main road so as not to attract the attention of passersby. So, I had one person to contend with, then he threatened to tear my clothes (I had a long top and skirt on), when I wasn’t cooperating, he started beating me. My God! He gave me some deafening and resounding slaps and beat me mercilessly. He pulled my feet off the ground and hit me badly; his plan was to beat me to submission. At that point, I told myself that this couldn’t be happening to me. I then remembered something I had learnt from my fiancé and that was, ‘what’s the worst that can happen in this situation?’ To me, rape was not an option, death was the worst and I braced myself for it. I asked him if he had a knife or a gun and if he did; he should just use it on me because I was ready to die there and then rather than be violated. I had already pictured my obituary in the papers and felt that if my family mourned me for a while, they would recover. He was as determined in having his way as I was in my effort to resist him.

Suddenly, he stopped. I jumped on my feet. He then asked if I was married, I said NO but that my wedding was some months away. Thinking aloud, he said he didn’t believe he wasn’t going to have his way with me. He then said I should go give a testimony in church cos it seemed really strange to him. He helped me with my bag and shoes which had flown in different directions. I ran on barefoot towards the next stop and took a cab to the apartment which I shared with my elder sister. I went straight to my wardrobe (after mumbling a greeting to my sister) to get money to pay the cab guy when she saw the back of my clothes (very dirty and slightly torn), she screamed, asking me what happened to me. It was at that point that the thoughts came rushing through my mind afresh; how close I had come, to rape, to death. At that point, I broke down and wept profusely, my body shaking very visibly. She held me and comforted me. After that, I took a bath and TRIED to sleep.

I didn’t feel the physical effect of the experience until the next morning when I could hardly get up from bed: I had aches, pains and bruises all over my body. I couldn’t go anywhere for a whole week, but during that week, different scary thoughts flowed through my mind, like, ‘what if the second guy was with him and I had been overpowered? What if I had been shot dead and everyone was looking for me and my dead body had been found under the bridge? I was at a loss for words as I gave God thanks.

I wondered at how persistent I was in protecting my ‘valuables’ against defilement, even to the point that I was willing to give up my life, I never thought I could be that assertive in the face of ‘blows’; I believe God honored this decision I made to keep myself till I married by stepping in on my behalf.

Of course, I did give my testimony in Church because God kept me!

Lessons I learnt from the experience

• Values are things about you that will not change irrespective of price or condition (good or adverse)
• If you believe, you will not be ashamed
• You are a lot stronger (within and without) than you think
• Never give up in the face of adversity
• Until you are willing to die for something, you are not worthy to live for anything.

I’d like to have your comments on what you learnt from my story, it will help someone.