Six months ago, I was on a date with an urbane and I must admit, very fine Nigerian brother. I met him as most meetings occur; randomly and fortuitously. I was at a café and seemed tired and so, he made me smile. He asked for a date and I said yes. One date became two and then three. On the third date, we regaled each other with tales of our University days and then, he told me two stories that chilled me to the core.

In school, he resided in a hostel notorious for loud frat parties. The dorm had a reputation for Freshers’ welcome raves. At the end of the annual drink fest, guys would pair up with girls and the lucky guys would lead fresh conquests to their rooms for a night of sweat and sex. I thought this was all pretty normal until he told me about the screams.

Screams of women would rise through the halls after every party. On deeper inquiry, he told me somewhat shamefaced, that these were women who were being “punished”. “Punished”, I asked? “Yes”, he replied, “Punished for leading the guys on. For enjoying the party on a guy’s financial tab, only to then refuse to repay the night’s festivities with sex”. He then told me another story of a friend who was infamous for assaulting women anytime he was drunk. He’d been in trouble many times. All his friends knew about the guy’s indiscretions, but no one spoke up because of some weird guy code. I wondered briefly, if the same code would apply if the guy were dating their sisters.

I recalled this conversation with my date as I thought about the rape stories we hear in Nigeria. I have heard many “reasons” adduced for rape and surmise that many of our men do not even know what rape is. Or, they secretly believe that in some cases, it is justified. For dialectical purposes, I shall define rape here. According to, it is “The unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse” (Please note the word, “unlawful”, as I shall refer to it later.) We seem to live in a society where many of our peers feign ignorance of such a straightforward definition.

I have talked to many men. I acknowledge their pain and rage over being financially taking advantaged of by women who pretended to like them, but whose sole mission was to take from them. The deception was Machiavellian in conception and Napoleonic in execution. While many mothers teach their daughters to avoid sexual predators; who teaches the men to avoid financial predators? Sadly, bitter experience does. Arguably, a woman’s most precious possession is her body. For a man, it’s his ego and money. When some men are taken for fools, they justify their animalistic reaction of taking that which is most precious to the woman – her body – through rape. Many times, it’s not even the woman who perpetrated the “financial crime” who suffers. It’s the next woman or wife who is raped and punished.

Now, remember I asked you to note the word, “unlawful”? In developed nations, the consequences of the law restrain a man or woman from perpetrating rape. No matter how skimpily dressed women seem to be when a Nigerian man travels for Summer; it rarely occurs to him to rape the women, because of the long arm of the law. So, we cannot have a robust discussion about rape, without discussing legal protections in Nigeria. Without consequence, mankind will run amok. As a wise man once said, “where there is no law, there is no sin”.

I’ve similarly spoken to men who feed on porn, and the sad victims of sexual addiction. They have been subtly programmed to believe inflicting pain is a sign of masculinity, and that rough sex does not need to be consensual. This brings to the fore the subject of mastering one’s sexual drive. How many people have? There are boys who feed on explicit music videos and believe that any half-dressed woman with a big booty or enticing titties is fair game. After all, the celebrities say so and endorse such behaviour.  Very few say differently out loud. Few discuss issues of sexuality in chat rooms, on social media, in religious places of concourse, in families, in relationships and in marriages. There are very few sexual trauma centres in Nigeria and even fewer counselors at affordable rates. Our society is exposed to Western culture without the social safety nets of those same cultures. At the point at which Nigerian traditional values (whatever they may be) co-joined with Western values, who exactly was tasked with dealing with the fall-out? Who takes care of raped minors, by the way?

There are entire families reeling from generational abuse; fathers teaching sons to denigrate women; politicians purchasing virginity for school fees; deacons sponsoring monthly orgies in palatial homes. The list goes on. Is it any wonder that sexual molestation is tolerated in Nigeria? Do we even have respect for sex or the body that provides it? Aren’t sexual partners easily traded anyway? (Remember, Nigeria is said to have one of the largest populations living with HIV in Africa.)

Men typically advise women, “If you don’t want to have sex, don’t play with men and don’t turn a guy on”. Perhaps there’s some merit to this. But how exactly does this apply in a trusted committed relationship? At what point do you lose your right to say no? Should all girlfriends take a vow to stop visiting their boyfriends’ houses for fear of rape?

My submission is this. Addressing the rape issue in Nigeria includes speaking against it and telling the truth about it. It requires a deeper understanding of the factors that fuel it and the players – both men and women. It requires a cleansing of the legal system, a reorientation of the culture that empowers it and a robust response to the media products that compound it.

I rest my somewhat disjointed case.

Addressing rape in Nigeria includes speaking against it and telling the truth about it. Click To Tweet

16 Thoughts to “What’s Wrong our Men and Women?”

  1. Exactly that.

    I refuse(d) to say a single thing about the whole thing because as far as I’m concerned, we (Nigerians) have a unique gift of missing the point.

    The whole date/rape thing I blame on both parties (male & female). A woman would call a guy impotent or gay if she came to his house and he did not put any physical moves on her.

    A man thinks he has invested money (time is of little consequence) in a woman and so therefore sex must go down. A woman thinks all the guy wants is sex and she is going to give it to him anyways so why not milk it for what it’s worth?

    Let me not go as far as to remind us of a video (probably still is on youtube) showing a UNilag chick talking about how a woman’s privates are a pot of gold and therefore she should only serve it to rich males and not just any (I quote) ‘broke-ass nigga’.

    What is my point?

    The title sums up my opinion – ‘Something Is Terribly and Frightfully Wrong With Our Men and Women’.

    Nice one, Subomi.

  2. Great piece, Subomi. Lots of food for thought. Yes, we really, really need to talk about this, and we need a complete reorientation and a legal system that works. I know of a woman who went to a police station to report a gang rape, only for the officers to ask her for sex. Their reasoning was that having been used by other men, her body was now ‘public property’. We really need help and a complete overhaul of our thinking.

    Speaking of needed overhauls, I disagree with Seun Odukoya’s comment about date rape. It makes me wonder if he actually read Subomi’s well-worded and thoughtful post. True, both men and women need to consider the serious consequences of their choices and actions, for themselves and for others. But this does not change one clear fact: rape is always, always, always the rapist’s fault. There are no excuses. No woman asks or deserves to be assaulted. It’s a gross generalization (and misrepresentation) to say that a woman who goes to a man’s house is asking for it or would regard him as ‘gay or impotent’ for not making sexual advances. But even if she does, is this really being given as an excuse for rape?! Come on.

    1. I wonder if you read my post AT ALL.

      At what point did I say rape is right or attempt to justify it?

      All I did was point out the kind of thinking that leads to rape at times. Whether you accept it or not, some women wonder if a guy who doesn’t put moves (and sometimes hands) on them in certain situations is normal – simply because that’s what a lot of guys do, so it’s almost become the norm.

      There’s no justification for rape. But there are causes.

      And identifying the problem leads to a solution. Do you think Basketmouth created that joke in isolation? All he did was capture the way a lot of people (note; I said PEOPLE) think – however wrong he and they are.

      The issue; like I said before, still remains that we as a people have a gift for missing the point. How do you cure a disease without understanding it?

      My one naira now.

  3. I tend to agree with you. The angle on ‘financial rape’ is rather interesting, but I fear the ‘I am responsible for what I say, and not what you hear’ scenario where it can be abused, as we have seen it done. But for a ‘disjointed’ case, the arguments are salient and thought-provoking

  4. Insightful post.

    ‘Break the silence’ has become the slogan for anti-rape and its great to see this issue getting so much attention. Beyond the talk though, how much ‘doing’ is going on?

    If every person who has tweeted (let me restrict myself to twitter) about rape (and all forms of sexual abuse) in the past two months was to do something practical to fight the rape scourge we’d be well on our way to reducing it.

  5. Great write up Subomi, you’ve done something most people would rather talk about in hushed tones..speak up about rape.

    It’s unfortunate how our society. Once renowned for its virtues has degenerated far below acceptable standards and ethics of conduct. I often hear people say that when we (Nigerians) copy something, we do it better, in this case worse.

    We’ve copied date rape and rape in all its ramifications part of civilisation and we’re doing a terrible job at it.

    I agree with Dee that there’s no excuse for forcefully taking advantage of individual whether make or female. We may cry murder from now to eternity but half of those who cry ‘crucify him’ are also guilty if rape. They only cry when it affects someone close to them.

    Until we have the rule of law, police and judiciary who take rape cases seriously and not blame it on a woman’s dressing or attitude, an epidemic will be just around the corner.

    Finally, having worked in this field for over a decade, I heard a story that shocked me to my bones. An 8 year old girl was raped sometime ago and the female police officer who was assigned to the case asked the girl if she ‘enjoyed’ it?!

    For me that was the height of this sympathy towards rape..something is definitely wrong with our men and women!

  6. well, who’s to be blamed, men, women, perverted culture, dysfunctional system or our parent; I will say we are all to be blamed. is it not when we know better, then we can fight or advocate for the rape noisy riotous fight. let just say our social network really helps us now, a lot have happened in the past and still happening. I hope we learn, understands and know what/who we are, respect ourselves and humanity, regard gender vulnerability, you may expect me to say fear God (everything fear God) so don’t let keep quiet, let’s keep saying, talking and trying to liberates whosoever cares to listen and take full responsibility for his or herself. As for men that take advantage of young, naive or weak girls/lady, time will tell, they shall reap it no doubt. Ladies/girls that falls a victim through force, stupidity or circumstances; it’s hard but please look beyond the hurt turn it to around. that all I have to say. Adesubomi that a nice one, keep it up!

    1. A female officer asked an 8 year old that? And of course nothing gets done to her for displaying such insensitivity to a child. Rape is wrong. No justifying it. The reason why the males in Nigeria do not speak out against it is because they have being a part of a rape. Actively participated in it or tacitly aiding in a rape.

  7. Hi Subomi.
    There is no way the issue of rape can overflogged as long as there are fresh cases still being reported.
    The issue is one that has been with humanity from time immemorial. Sadly, it may be with us till the end of the world. The media inundates us with cases almost on a daily basis. No country is spared the shame of under-reported cases of rape.
    I really don’t know what can be done to almost eradicate it.
    What I know is that to really confront the demon of rape, every part of the society must be involved. We can create hashtags and rants on social media but until we put boots on the ground and tackle all the legal and juducial bottlenecks that prevent women from getting justice, until we get our hands busy with actual door-to-door (if need be) campaigns in the name of enlightenment programs in the villages and rural towns, we will only be paying lip service to the cause.
    These atrocities go on daily and it is not bound by ethnic group, race, age etc; even some people on twitter have been victims and they tto have chosen to keep quiet, why? Shame? Fear? Trauma? I don’t know.
    We must be ready to engage policy makers and not just ‘create’ our own group and expect the world to come begging for our ideas. We should take the battle to the gates of the authorities.

    Be that as it may, I know many people would love to join campaigns and be advocates for good causes but you see, people have to pay their bills first. I wish I can just start one advocacy group and choose one of these monsters to confront but I will have to wait a little till I have fed my wife and son; in short, the hardship in the economy can frustrate the best intentions.
    I pray we get at least one thing right because if we do, other things will look surmountable.


  8. “Naploeonic in execution” – that’s just sensational rhetoric 😀 . Nice piece. Don’t quite agree with the author’s attempt to create an equivalency between actual rape, and a “muggu-nised guy” . attempts to draw a false parallel between the callous, usually very painful assault on the very citadel of womanhood and an opportunistic lady’s skill at parting a guy from JUST MONEY, must surely collapse like a prim Victorian era lady at the unexpected sight of a gentleman’s dong/dick/penis (underline as appropriate). I put my points forward as thus (Please pay attention, I certified rape issues expert – that’s because Ive bothered to read 3/4 of the way through Wikipedia’s entry on rape 🙂 : Every man, myself included ( even accounting for Societal values, social conditioning, etc), innately knows that rape is wrong, except when its simulated (not really my cup of tea…..but i must admit something primeval within me stirred when I tried it, there was this latent, palpable masculine need to exercise that kind of elemental domination over the female spirit)….so much so that, without condoning…..I can totally get the draw some other guys have to raping girls….that’s why it happens, simple as….on some level it feels good, but instead, the rape can be sometimes discussed in the context of mitigating circumstances….I call bullshit on that and say again, everyman knows rape is wrong….but also fun in some dark way. In spite of that though, I utterly condemn rape in every circumstance and name such guys to be yankee doodle shitbags. Even under provocation, sexual or otherwise, rape cannot be justified. As a less self assured, younger man, Ive lost money to 5ft 6 inches of sultry perfection, a girl who could undo me with a flutter of eyelashes ….eyelashes which seemed to generate enough wind to power a shower nozzle factory or blow my common sense ( HMS Intellect ) off course with every blink. To be fair to the lady though, 1) I was hoping the financial investment would pay off in sex dividends (so that somewhat diminished the currency of my outrage when she skipped), 2) with an initial chat-up line “the name is Bond, James Bond” – I didn’t deserve a shot at her holy of holies anyway.
    Besides, like i always tell my younger brothers, If for any reasons you cant seal the deal, invest in tube of astroglide or KY Jelly, as you continuously practice ur control while ur a solo artist, you will eventually meet the right girl who ull can play long happy duets with. Even if masturbation isnt your thing……Blue balls have never killed anyone….I should know…with my appallingly dire lack of game during my teenage years, I was basically blue from the waist downwards….better be thought of as gay, than get convicted and locked up for rape then being systematically made into someone’s actual gay bitch in prison.
    In summation the psychological and physiological fallout from rape can be too horrendous to contemplate, I do not believe that the mental trauma of money lost to the ultimate promise of withheld sex makes a man the aggrieved party and subsequently justifies that kind of animalistic behavior. The author is absolutely correct in pointing out how hilariously inadequate our judicial system is at treating the subject with the firmness it deserves. Theres something wrong with our men and women, but that something may even be creating a false equivalency between 2 things: a woman’s sexuality and a man’s money. One is special….the others just…..u know….money
    Anyway, those are my opinions on the subject.


    1. There is no “equivalence”. There is an attempt to explore the convoluted reason men adduce for “punishing” women with rape. Addressing this may help to reorient young men so they understand that there is ABSOLUTELY NO JUSTIFICATION WHATSOEVER FOR RAPE

  9. Subomi, you have a lots of point, we really have to fight this rape matter seriously, with prayer, and I know God will help us in it. God bless you.

  10. Food for thought.
    Sadly the circus that was the twitter outburst was irritating in its misdirected obtuseness.

    Meanwhile fair enough you mentioned ‘financial rape’. I doubt that I agree with the premise though. No coercion preludes the spending.

    Meanwhile in this society nobody even understands the table could be turned. Raise the point that a man could be raped and you hear all sorts of remarks from the plain idiotic to the ribald folly jibes.

    I have heard of a few such cases. And yeah those are NEVER SPOKEN ABOUT AT ALL. Go figure.

    Add the many cases of homosexual rape the taboo that will never get outed by the victim ever. Even to himself.

    Nobody ever talks about these instances

    hPersonally induced Pressure

  11. Good point. What bothers me in all of these, is the fact that, we potray women as the only victims of rape. Who is speaking for the men who are being sexually assaulted by women and even other men. We’ve chosen to ignore this. Women are not the only victims, men also are

  12. Nice piece, great comments as well.
    I’ve been enlightened and I believe we’re getting there…. God bless you all.

  13. Subomi’s piece is exceptional in that it maps out a social context within which we can discuss rape. However, such position I have always disagreed with because it tells us that there is an opportunist factor to it. I am of the opinion that you cannot profile a rapist by trying to study the issues and situations that led him to do it. It is futile doing so. The reason is there can be as many reasons given for raping someone as there are victims. I believe there cannot be the same reason for even two rape cases.
    Now this is my view: I believe that rape was first a decision ever before there was any “opportunity” to do it. This is the only thing I believe is common to all rape cases and it is where it could be curbed. No degree of social and legal protection can address rape as it should if no consideration is given to the fact that rape is first and foremost a decision. My culture treat rape this way and it was therefore an abomination. unfortunately, westernisation of my culture has changed this perception.
    Therefore, I believe the best way to curb rape lies in focusing on the factors that shape a man’s decision making – his upbringing.

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