March 19, 2022

Boyslivesmatter, CEO tells gory tales of boys abused by women

How Akwa Ibom lawyer was arrested for allegedly assaulting wife — Police

•Regrets Nigeria focuses on girl child, leaving the boy child to be hooked on drugs, ‘yahoo yahoo’, cultism 

By Prisca Sam-Duru

Nkechi Macaulay popularly known as Boy’s Mama, is the CEO of Boyslivesmatter Foundation, an NGO designed to create awareness on the sexual abuse of the boy child, educate boys on comprehensive sexuality education, promote positive values in boys, and empower them with Agricpreneurial skills.

In this exclusive encounter, Boy’s Mama explains reasons for spike in level of societal ills of which boys in particular, are fully immersed in, as well as way forward. Read on.

It’s rare to find NGO’s focusing on the boy child, what informed the establishment of the foundation?

For decades, we have beamed our searchlight only on girl child abuse, and neglected the boy child. This is major factor responsible for rise in sexual violence ravaging our society. It is also,  one of the reasons I founded Boyslivesmatter. 

Actually, my passion for boy’s advocacy all began with the privilege of working for Boys Project Nigeria, where we mentor about 18 street boys in Oshodi. As I began to try and understand the world of street boys, sexual abuse of boys came to the fore and I realised it is an issue that has been underreported.

As I began to interact with them, cankerworms of viscous boys’ sexual abuse with its devastating psychological impact on their mental and social growth, was opened. More so, I began to receive graphic details of sexual abuse and rape of boys. To this end, I saw the need to champion and project the voices of the boys.

This led to the creation of the Boyslivesmatter, a movement to get boys’ voices heard and to sensitise the public on sexual abuse of boys and, its attendant impact which is corrosive to the mental and social development of the boy while growing into a man. That’s why our slogan reads- “ a broken boy is a broken man.

When was the foundation established and what age bracket do you target in your campaign?

Boyslivesmatter foundation was established in December, 2019 and my targets are boys between ages 10-17What are the ways or methods you employ to engage them? I run conferences for boys in different locations, and also tour schools teaching boys comprehensive sexuality education, while exposing them to better understand their sexual health. We also engage in community outreaches for boys and we’re about to embark on training boys in final year secondary schools on Agricpreneurial skills to empower them.

How effective has the campaign been?
Our campaigns have been very effective as we have succeeded in sensitizing the public that boys are also vulnerable to sexual abuse too. We have also organized several masterclasses for over a thousand parents; teaching them about boys and their sexual health, boys and sex education, boys and puberty, boys and erection etc.I have been on several radios, television and churches talking about boys and sexual health. The awareness is growing.

What discoveries have you made so far? 
I have discovered that a lot of boys don’t have information as regards adolescence, reproductive health and puberty, reproductive health rights of girls, no proper information as regards rape and consent, girls and sex, etc. Some don’t understand why they have sexual urge, some are hooked on aphrodisiacs, under pressure to have unprotected sex, they’re hooked on alcohol and drugs, exposed to ‘yahoo yahoo’, a lot of them are in cult and always involve in cult clashes and bullying. Boys have been discovered to underperform in their academics compared to girls.

Can you share one or two startling stories from the boys you’ve encountered?
There are so many heartbreaking stories of boys that have been abused while still very young. There is the case of Dr. Edet, now 42 years who was sexually abused when he was about 8 or 9 years. He grew up in one of the suburbs in Lagos with his parents and siblings and was molested several times by their 24-year-old landlord’s daughter. Overtime, he started enjoying the act.

They were about three young boys of same age bracket she was molesting and would always give them money to buy sweet. Dr Edet got hooked when the lady who is now late, told him that his other friends were better than him, so he started looking forward to the act in a bid to outdo his other friends.

That had adverse effect on Dr Edet as he lost interest in women and also became very arrogant with them. His story is a wake-up call to parents to look out for their boys especially at tender age because lots of predators abound who may strike at any given opportunity. 

There is another sad story of a young boy of about 4 years old who was sexually molested by a relative who was helping in their house. But the experience that almost damaged him almost beyond repair happened when he was 12 years.

According to him, he had gone to a hostel to deliver a message but didn’t meet the person he was to give the message to and was encouraged by her roommates to wait for her. Unfortunately, he was tied to the bunk and after they locked the door, all 5 girls in the room took turns raping him.

Afterwards, he became depressed and aggressive towards all females, including his sister and cousins. He went haywire. He was however lucky to meet someone who he said touched him in ways he couldn’t imagine and made him whole again. She’s now his wife.

The case of a young boy of about 6 years old, who became a sexual predator at about 9 years, is another sad case. He was sexually abused by two different housemaids and a friend’s elder sister, at three different stages of his life.

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The last housemaid introduced him to soft porn and also hooked him with other smaller girls of his age. Somehow, there was always a willing older Lady for him and he kept sneaking to them at night and mounting them in their sleep. That was how he took interest in older women. It also marked the beginning of his journey into addiction to sex, masturbation and pornography. 

What challenges do you encounter?
I get criticised for focusing on the boy child instead of the girls. I get comments like, boys aren’t that vulnerable like girls. Lack of funds is another challenge because people still don’t see the need to attend to the boy child. Some women feel I’m anti women.

Trending now, in addition to rape and sexual abuse, is teenagers engaging in money rituals, where did the society go wrong?

I will blame firstly the parents because charity they say begins at home. A lot of parents don’t pay critical attention to what their kids watch, say or who is influencing them. They don’t make efforts to instill the right values in them.

I have been to two boys’ correctional facilities in Lagos and Abeokuta and discovered how boys engage in juvenile delinquency and our correctional facilities are not enough. We still have street boys who of course, lack parental supervision. They engage in crimes to make ends meet.

The society has been unfair to boys for decades; neglecting their needs and importance like they’ve done for the girl child. Now we’re paying the ultimate price as more boys are involved in sexual violence, bullying, occultism, drugs, and cyber crimes. We don’t tell boys that they can be sexually abused by both male and female sexual predators. Also, the society sees boys in a bad light; this is why the police constantly harass them.

How do we get out of this quagmire?
We must begin first with the family circle which is the fabric of the society. Lots of children are being raised in dysfunctional and toxic families while many live in abject poverty. These are factors that trigger most crimes; rise in juvenile delinquency and sexual violence. The absence of fathers in the lives of children especially boys is another reason boys are involved in social ills.

Is it not worrisome that every young boy wants to become rich which is why they get involved in cyber crime, ritual killing, armed robberies, kidnapping and sexual violence. The more we strive for peaceful homes where both mother and father figures are available to nurture well behaved children, the better for the society.

The society is also guilty. For decades, we have paid critical attention to only the girl child and women, neglecting the boys. We create platforms, programmes and empowerment schemes for girls. Any wonder we’re seeing a grave rise in bullying, cultism, cult clashes, drug abuse, cyber crime and sexual violence. The standard of living of families must improve so they can adequately cater for their families.

There should also be serious orientation campaigns to convince parents to have only the number of kids they can cater for. The government needs to pay critical attention to boys and ensure we have programmes, opportunities, platforms where boys are exposed to the right value system. We also need to go back to the drawing board on our education system and rejig the curriculum so boys are better exposed to a system of education that captures their interest.

Our law enforcement agents need to have a change of mindset towards boys; every young boy is seen as a criminal long before he is caught in any act. This is wrong! Nigeria should also build more correctional facilities to aid in rehabilitating broken boys and transform them to humans with right value system.

Vanguard News Nigeria