Love Zone

July 22, 2017

Putting the cart before the horse

By Yetunde Arebi

A couple of weeks ago, I published the story of a lady who eventually married her rapist. Ucharia described her husband as a serial rapist whose infamous escapades dated back to his secondary school days which even earned him a nickname among those in the know. A former banker too, she met her husband on her first day at work when he confirmed that he knew her in his neighbourhood.

They instantly struck a friendship and he offered her rides to and from the office. It was on one of these rides that he raped her at his cousin’s place. He subsequently proposed marriage which she accepted. Unfortunately, his new status was not enough to correct his perversion for masochistic sex.

Story of another rape incident of yet another junior colleague forced Ucharia to walk out of her marriage and eventually, her banking career. Interestingly, she described her ex-husband as a near perfect gentleman, a successful banker, loving father and dependable friend, but for this little ‘snag’.

It has been established that the enemy is closer home than many women imagine. Just as most abusers are known to their victims, most rapists prey on their friends, colleagues and neighbours, too. Our culture of silence makes it easier for them to get away with their dastardly acts. While the guilty walks away pumping the air with clenched fist, a satisfied smile of mission accomplished, the victim often retreats into a shell, covered with shame, a subdued spirit and an empty vacuum of hurt and pain too deep to reach.

Ucharia’s story prompted a couple of calls and mails from ladies who identified with her story and expressed desire to share their own experiences too, albeit, anonymously. The guys they called friends, raped them and they were unable to do anything about it. And though these women claim they had since moved on with their lives, their experiences remain unforgettable.

Unfortunately, there were other readers who blamed Ucheria for what happened to her. In their view, she had no reason being in Jude’s company all the time without being in an intimate relationship with him especially when she had been informed that he had a reputation with women. After all, can a dog and a lion be good friends? I intend to share their responses in subsequent editions.

Let us assume that a successful and close but platonic relationship is most unlikely to flourish between two people of opposite sex. Or let us pretend that guys who come as friends and potential suitors before they turn to rapists, meant well initially.  Why force them to have sex when they are not ready for it? Why put the cart before the horse if they meant well?


It happened during my secondary school years, I was in class 111 at the time and I had a bosom friend called Agbeke. She was a nice and well behaved girl whom my parents loved almost as much as they love me. Then, I had a boyfriend called Tunde.

Tunde was in Class V, and he was the Head Boy of our school. He had been pestering me to be his girl friend but I refused initially on the grounds that I was still a virgin and could get pregnant. This to me, meant that I would end up as a drop out and my parents would never forgive me because they always gave me anything I needed.

After severe punishments in school, I agreed but on a platonic basis which he also agreed to. For about six months he made sure no senior ever beat or punish me, which I enjoyed. Then one day, he invited me to his house. I hesitated initially, but he promised not to try anything funny. To further ensure that he kept to his promise, I went there with my friend, Agbeke. When we got there we met him and his friend who was also our senior in School. They entertained us and we later relaxed in their company.

Tunde then asked me to come upstairs with him to another room for some discussion. We were there discussing about our so called future when suddenly I heard my friend calling me and crying for help. I was afraid and decided to go and see what was happening to her but Tunde held unto my skirt, insisting that I should let her take care of herself.

I started struggling with him, reminding him about his promise and that I had asked Agbeke to accompany me, so it was not fair that such a thing should befall her. Tunde suddenly went wild and pounced on me violently. That was how I lost my virginity. All my pleas fell on his deaf ears.

He later apologised but the damage had already been done. On getting downstairs, I found my friend crying, she too had lost her virginity. It was only natural that she should blame me for what had happened to her. But who do I blame?

Nine years later, I ran into Tunde during a festival back in our home town. We stared at each other for some time, then he greeted and I replied. The memory of my experience in his hands many years back flashed before my eyes immediately.

I felt ashamed and walked away as he called after me. The following morning, Tunde came to our house with his cousin to plead and apologised.  Although he showed signs of remorse, I couldn’t bear his presence. He proposed to me, disclosing that the incident of that fateful day never left his conscience and that he’d been truly sorry and looking forward to an opportunity of a chance meeting with me, so that he could make amends. He reminded me that he was my first date with whom I lost my virginity.

He said that back then, he did not know the importance of being a virgin but he now knows and being the first, he wanted to be the last also. His cousin also pleaded for him adding that we were now adults and mature and can iron out our differences.

Though Tunde had become a medical doctor, all I could see was his cruelty when I needed his cooperation most. I did not consider the fact that I was also still single at 27 years then and turned him down. Besides, it would only damage what I had left with Agbeke, my childhood friend though she was already married with two children. Guys who rape their so called friends are nothing but selfish beasts.

Juliet also had this to share:

“I was raped, but I have come to terms with the fact that it was my fault. I had assumed that I was dealing with an enlightened, decent, well mannered and understanding guy. But I was proved wrong. Most guys are not worth being called friends. We met about a year before the incident at a youth programme. We were both presidents of our different clubs and had some other common interests, so it was only natural that we became friends.

Then, he began asking me out which I promptly turned down because I was convinced the relationship would not work and we were too old to be fooling around. Then one day, after one of our club meetings, he invited me for dinner somewhere at Ogba. The hotel was very nice, he said it belonged to his friend. He informed me that he had a suite there, where he usually spent his weekends when he wanted to get away from his parents as he still lived at home.

We were ushered into his suite, where we had our dinner and exchanged small talks. Then he requested for a bottle of stout and I protested because time was fast spent and we had to go to the office the next day. But he wouldn’t listen, and that was where the trouble started.

He came over to sit by my side and kissed my check. He’d done that several times before so, I didn’t initially think anything of it. He was my friend. But when he wouldn’t let me go, I tried to brush him off. I told him I would be angry if he didn’t hurry up with his drink, so we could leave.

Then, the trouble began. He said he was sick of my stubbornness and called me a frigid, uncooperative and wicked girl. He said he had loved me since the first day he set his eyes on me, but all I had ever done in return was to ridicule him in the presence of his friends and colleagues.

I didn’t understand what he was driving at, and I told him so, advising him to control himself, and demanded we left. But he refused, telling me that he had been patient for too long and that it was my turn to listen to him that night. He tried to cajole and entice me with promises about marriage, but I wouldn’t budge. I warned him that I would scream for help if he touched me again.

Then he dared me, stressing that no one would listen or believe my story as we were in a hotel. He asked me why I had come this far with him if I did not want him too. We began shouting at each other, and then he slapped me hard across the face, threw me on the bed and pulled up my skirt.

I struggled with him with all the strength I could muster up but he managed to overpower me. I wept through the ordeal as I couldn’t believe that such a thing could happen to someone of my age in the hands of a friend.

He began pleading with me afterwards, insisting he didn’t know what got into him. He prostrated, and cried but I couldn’t care one bit. I locked myself in the bathroom and tried to scrub him off my body but I could not remove him from my mind and I could not forgive him also. I picked my bag and walked out of the room. I refused to join him in the car but walked the long distance to the bus stop, while he followed in his car, begging me to grow up.

There were very few commuters and the time was close to 11.00pm. After a short while, I saw a bus heading towards Ikeja and jumped in. He was stunned. I guess he never thought that I could react in such a manner. That was the last time I set my eyes on my “good friend”.

He came around to my house and office a couple of times, but I refused to attend to him. Later, he sent a note, saying that I was too stubborn for my own good, that after he had ‘broken the barriers’, I would be forced to go out with him. But he was wrong. My reaction was that since he had forcibly had his way, he should be content with that.

Indeed!! Do have a wonderful weekend.