Iyabo Ojo, film-maker/ actress comes out of the closet to reveals her rape experiences
Sensational Nigerian actress, Iyabo Ojo has revealed that she has been raped five times by five different men in the past.
The actress, who made the revelation on a recent episode of her YouTube series titled ‘Bare it all with I.Y’, said she was first raped by a non-family member when she was 14 years old.
She explained that she could not talk about it at the time because it was “taboo” telling people how one got raped.
However, she said the second experience, which happened shortly after the first left her traumatised, prompting her to run away from home. Even though she couldn’t tell any family member, she confided in a close friend.
“Like I said, yes I have been raped before. Not once but five times. And trust me when I say it wasn’t easy. The first time I was raped, I was 14. It happened at my aunty’s house (not a family member). I didn’t want to talk about it because it was taboo to talk about it. I felt I would be blamed for everything that happened.
“And the second one, that was another terrible one that happened. And I still could not tell anybody in my family. I summoned a bit of courage to tell a friend of mine then and it was one of the reasons I ran away at a particular time. The whole family was looking for me and when they eventually found me, I still didn’t talk about it,” she said.
Ojo stated that she was raped the third time, when she was almost 18 years old, by a neighbour, who was an older friend to Emmanuel, her first boyfriend. She revealed that the man picked her up at the Obanikoro bus stop after she had gone to visit family members, offering to drop her off on her way back to Ikeja when she was living with her aunt.
During the drive, he actress said the man stated that he too had moved to Ikeja and asked her if he could show her his house to which she accepted having seen him as an older friend of her boyfriend/
This trust led to her third rape by the neighbour. She said she didn’t tell her ex-boyfriend about the incident because of her fear that he could hurt the rapist. But she had to break up with her boyfriend.
“Now, the third one, the guy was a neighbour. We were very close to each other. My dad’s house and his house were the second or third street away in the same neighbourhood. He was a friend to my first boyfriend, though he was much older than him.
“I never knew that he had such an intention. I grew up in the Obanikoro area of Lagos. I moved to Ikeja to stay with my aunty. However, I went to Obanikoro sometimes to check on my grandmother, dad, and boyfriend. On my way from Obanikoro going home, I was at the bus stop waiting for a taxi, then his car drove past me and he stopped.
“We exchanged pleasantries. He asked me where I was going. I told him that I was going to Ikeja and he offered to drop me off. He said he had moved to Ikeja. When we got to Ikeja, he told me he lives in Toyin Street. I told him I know the street very well because I lived in Balogun Bus Stop in Ikeja. He said he should show me his house so that I could visit whenever I feel like it.
“I didn’t see any big deal in it because he was a friend to my ex, the first boyfriend then. When we got to his house, he had a rug, air-conditioner and television in the parlour. He suddenly said he was hungry and asked me if I was hungry too. I told him that I wasn’t because I was already late and my aunty would be waiting for me.
“He then said he had loved me even before Emmanuel met me and that when he found out I was going out with Emmanuel, he was heartbroken. At that time, I was almost 18 years old. He started trying to touch me. I got up angrily and made my way to the door. I noticed that it was locked. I told him to open the door. He told me that he loves me.
“Then he started dragging me. That brought back memories of the experience I had been through that first time. So, it dawned on me that it was about to happen again. I didn’t want it to so I wrestled with him. I tried to push him and ran into one of the rooms to open the window to scream but he pulled me back with my hair and then he held my neck to the wall.
“I continued struggling and wrestling with him so he dragged me out of the room because he didn’t want me to shout and gave me a dirty slap. I hit my head on the wall. I was a bit dizzy trying to find my feet and he went into the kitchen to get the knife. When he got the knife, his eyes went red and his face changed.
“He wasn’t the same person that I knew. It dawned on me that if I fight him, I will end up dead. Then he dragged me back into the room. I was just numb. He did whatever he wanted to do. When he was done, he went out and came back and started calling my name because I was still at the spot he raped me. Then he started calling me baby. That word baby was piercing my brain because I was mad.
“You never get over it, but it gets to a stage in your life whereby it becomes a story to tell. You have to deal with it. I have been able to deal with it in my way because before, I can’t talk about it. When I try to, I get so emotional, angry, and many other things come with it.
“Right now, I can talk about it. So, after the kissing, he said he loved me and I told him that I loved him too. He went to drop me off at my bus stop. While walking down home, I could remember that I was just calm. I had no feelings or emotions. I got home and luckily my aunty wasn’t around. I just went straight upstairs and climbed into the bathtub and just started crying.
“I cried my heart out. Then I pondered about telling my ex-boyfriend. My ex-boyfriend was a bad boy and I wouldn’t say I liked all the bad things he did. So I decided not to tell him because they might kill or do something terrible to him if I did. I didn’t want that because I didn’t want blood on my hands.
“I don’t know if what I did was right or wrong. So, the only way not to tell him was to break up with him,” she said.
The film producer said she was also raped by one of the armed robbers who had visited their house at Ikeja after she got married.
“The other one happened after I got married to my husband and had my kids, then we moved to Ikeja. I was raped by one of the armed robbers who came to our house. It’s not easy to talk about rape. No matter how much you talk about it, you have to realise that it is painful, but you are not alone,” she added.
She explained that she had decided to share her story to encourage others with similar experiences to also speak up and help tackle the scourge in society.