“Yeh! Help!”, a female voice shouted

I got up from my bed, donned my hijab and took my position by the window. Or should I say my television? For a long time, I had looked on at the world from my perch. I had been staying indoors for about three weeks and power had been out for three days. The window had become my sole mode of entertainment. It was from there I learnt that a certain Iya Bolu’s daughter had been impregnated by her teacher and Bolu did not seem to care. I also saw a fishmonger who did not mind people touching her fish even after she was reminded of Covid-19. Of course, there were the occasional idiots who would not stop looking up. They were the only issue because, when did characters in a TV show start noticing the viewers?

“You will die today, you useless woman”, a different voice said. This one was deep and sounded angry.

Even though the noise was coming from down the street and my view was limited by the unapproved storey building beside my house, I still kept standing. I wanted to know if the hairdresser downstairs, Ìyá Ìbejì would go. She was my gist plug and no, she does not know.

“Please, please go”, I begged

She did not disappoint me. She took her gèlè off the dryer, tied it hurriedly and off she went. I sat back and relaxed. I could still hear indistinct voices though, I guessed it was a wife and husband thing. I picked up my copy of “The concubine” and started reading for the umpteenth time.

“Àrà meèrírí, mo rórí ológbò látẹ!”. Ìyá Ìbejì is back!

I stood up and braced up for the story I knew was coming.

” You can never imagine o!”, she started. Her audience were her apprentices, customers and the woman selling black soap. And then, there was me.

Apparently, the woman had beaten up her husband and it was not the first time. It was just the first time it would be in someone’s presence. The husband’s brother just got there the previous day and he walked in on her slapping her husband repeatedly while the latter begged. The brother flared up and slapped her. According to Ìyá Ìbejì, her husband did not say a word when she got there. Everyone marvelled at the inability of the husband to ‘handle’ his wife and how weak he was.

I was not surprised they found this case of abuse surprising, men are supposed to be stronger after all. I would have thought the same if I had not read about a similar case on Kintsukuroi, a website where you could write anonymously about how you were abused. The man’s wife looked like the most gentle person on earth but behind closed doors, she was the total opposite. She bashed him with words and whips and got him to be silent in the same way. The person he told albeit casually laughed it off, the words were “It’s either the man is a fool or his ancestors had committed an unforgivable offence against a woman”. From his write-up, he was still married to her.

I wondered how he was fairing considering he might be stuck with her all day, lockdown and all. I wondered when people would understand that abuse is not gender specific. I wondered when men in those shoes would be able to get help without shame.

I sighed and was about to sit when I heard “Close your shops o! Soldiers are coming”

Another show had started!

Àrà meèrírí, mo rórí ológbò látẹ – I have seen something amazing


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  1. Wow. This is a wonderfully written story, exciting yet shining light on a fact the society has failed to realize. The flow of words, the yoruba interjections, are all beautiful.

  2. Dear Khadeejah Kolapo 💖,
    I love the way you write about topics I’d normally consider boring and still manage to captivate me. I love the way you have my attention on lockdown. I love the way your thoughts flow. All in all, I love the way you write.
    Most importantly, I love the way you always bring a smile on my face.

    Your darling friend,

    1. If it’s only to make you smile, I will write everyday.
      Prepare for a shower of love sweetheart, to be dazzled 😘

      Thank you so much Faaidah 💕💖

    1. Interesting! A short one and captivating all through. Well done ma’am.

      This is one of the issues the society care less about. Beliefs, culture and stereotypes contribute greatly to the carelessness and sometimes it leads to Victims Blaming. I hope we’ll get through this someday. Thank you for this

  3. This was a major talking point in my CDS group during my service year, Gender and Charity CDS. When we discuss about sexual harassment and GBV, I always pointed out that the male folks get harassed more than the female folk. Guys are expected to automatically enjoy it when they are been victims of harassments (either publicly or privately) and not complain. For example, if in a rush to get my clearance papers for monthly clearance at the NYSC office, a lady behind me on the queue constantly brushes me with her heavy breasts, I must not complain, I am expected to enjoy the forced foreplay. Females enjoy the immunity from sexual harassment suit when they tease guys about sexuality.
    I believe there is being a blinding focus on females being victims of sexual harassment that has killed the voice for when males fall victim. That is why you rarely hear of cases of the female boss harassing at workplaces, you think it doesn’t happen? How many reported cases, relatively, have you heard of?
    Now to Gender Based Violence, this scenario rendered to you happens in many households. However, you would not hear of it because of a mistake our society is making. That is the misplaced belief or expectation that men are (or expected to be) the strong party. Be it physically or emotionally or intellectually, men are supposed to be stronger. Consequently, GBV is downplayed in men.
    Men are not supposed to be victims of GBV. That is what our society unintentionally teaches us. A quick question, to whom would the man in your story report his ordeal? He has to battle it within himself. He has to “Man up” and become emotionally disturbed. Although he mustn’t admit that either, it is still the same society. No matter how much you do not want to judge me, if as a man, I relate this ordeal to you, you would still say unconsciously “…but guy you fockop”. By this I have learned to not tell you if it ever happens again. It is rare, if not unheard of that a man reports rape even when we all know that it happens. He is expected to enjoy it and, even if he does not, “Man up”.
    We need to evolve a society that create safe spaces for men to talk when they are in these shoes. Make men know that it is okay to be weak sometimes and feel safe enough to admit their emotional or mental or (not so often) physical weakness. We need to strike a balance.
    GBV knows no gender.

    1. I agree with most of what you said but not the part where you said males are more harassed than females. Oh, I’m not saying it’s not entirely true, I have no statistics after all but I do not think it’s true. Most victims of abuse or rape are females.

      And back to people believing GBV is a female thing, I actually heard the ancestor thing from someone when I brought up Johnny Depp’s story. It’s sad really. I hope we stop ignoring the pain of the minority just because they are the usual predator.

      Thank you for reading 🌟🙂

      1. I didn’t say more males are victims of sexual harassment than females. I said, and would say t again, that there exists a skewness in focus favouring the female folk more.

      1. This is well written. And was pour out accordingly to an issue happened in my city town.
        With strength in hope, this shall be overcome

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