by Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri
This is perhaps the most difficult article I’ll ever write. It is difficult because I write with a frustrating reality in mind that I am most likely wasting my time. For once I write about an evil, so evil it is unspeakable, yet I feel there is no hope; no one will come to my aide, no one will come to the aide of the women who were violated and their dignity taken away so much so that death will feel better. No, people will celebrate the culture and people will dance to its tunes. Oh, I feel hopeless!
We heard, and some others watched, the other day when some undergraduates took turns to rape a fellow student and videotaped it somewhere in South of Nigeria. And we heard, and some watched, as she begged them to kill her; oh she would have been relieved if only they would oblige her and sniff life out of her; it was better than this horror, this pain, this hurt, this humiliation, this violation, and this absolute damage. Oh, death is not this bad she must have thought; for once she must have desired it, instead of this. Just anything instead of this. I can’t imagine, if you have not been raped, you also cannot imagine. If you could imagine and if we, as a people, could imagine we would not promote songs that praise rape no matter how subtle
I first heard Mr. Olamide Adedeji’s song “Story for the Gods” in a cab. The driver kept repeating the song so I was forced to notice it. Any person with a musical background will notice the wittiness of the producer and the smoothness of the artiste but for my religious convictions I decided to ignore, as I will usually do. Two days later the song kept playing in my head and as I try to fight it I gave a thought to the lyrics of what was coming to my head and I was shocked. In curiosity I searched for the lyrics, got a translation from a Yoruba friend for the Yoruba parts and my mouth dropped open. What? A song praising rape? I died!
Mr. Adedeji begins his song by telling his fans how he took alcohol and weed and then he proclaims “I want to do Sina today”. The translator described “Sina” as a street slang for “fornication/adultery” but that is what he knows. Sina is how some Yoruba persons will pronounce “Zina” which is the technical term for fornication and adultery in Islamic jurisprudence. So he was not only boasting about fornication as a lot of his colleagues do, he was calling it a religious name to make his point clearer and more grievous.
The fellow goes ahead to narrate how the girl with whom he wants to fornicate with is giving excuses. He spoke of how she said she can’t wait, how she said it is getting late, and how she said she wants to faint, and he dismissed this excuses as “story for the gods” meaning he is not going to take no for an answer, he is not going to listen to her, he MUST do this today and nothing, not even the absence of her consent will stop him
In case that was not convincing enough he continues so that there will be no doubts. He narrates how the lady started saying he is in trouble, “he has broken my back, he has broken my arm” and he again dismiss this again as story for the gods, meaning not even the back breaking and arm breaking or the trouble he is threatened with will stop him from having his way with her. He MUST do this and he must do so by force. Oh God! Our people did not stone him, they did not even say please we do not want this; they accepted this obvious and heartless glorification of rape. What have we turn into?
By telling us her excuse yet insisting he must force her, Mr. Olamide is telling the world and teaching his fans one of two things. It is either she wants it but she is lying because that is how they lie, or ‘she does not want it’ must not be a good reason for “big boy” not to have it. You may think the latter is more clearly rape but ironically the former is even more popular among rapists; they assume the no of women mean yes. If a musician of his calibre endorses this then what happens to the millions of youths who want to do everything he does? When will they ever hear a “no” and take it as such? How many girls will be raped for this wicked orientation? And who will give them justice?
Someone said rape is the most easy accusation to make and the most difficult to prove. This explains why even in the so called advanced countries about 90% of rape incidents are not reported. The victim either “end it all” or enters into prostitution thereafter and/or she becomes enslaved for life, often, to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), flashbacks, sleeping and eating problems, dissociative personality disorder, guilt, feeling of worthlessness, among other countless psychological problems. All of these while dealing with the usual physical challenge of painful sexual intercourse, urinary infection, Uterine Fibroid, and whatever sexually transmitted disease her rapist has to offer. All of these while Mr. Olamide makes his money, drinks more alcohol and encourage the public to rape more girls
I do agree with those who say rape is the crime in which a person is left with the most violation. What violation can be more than being a victim of rape and hearing a song praising rape everywhere around you because the people do not care neither does the government
As if this impunity was not enough, Mr. Olamide goes ahead to make a video of this song. A video so painfully humiliating to women you will excuse the song itself. He tops all these atrocities with a display of lesbianism whereas the law of the land says:
“The public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly is prohibited. A person who registers, operates or participate in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY MAKES PUBLIC SHOW OF SAME SEX AMOROUS RELATIONSHIP IN NIGERIA COMMITS AN OFFENCE AND IS LIABLE ON CONVICTION TO A TERM OF 10 YEARS IMPRISONMENT.” – Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013 stated in Section 4&5, subsections 2
But then after presenting all these facts to me I asked my Secretary why such a man has not been arrested and he gave me an answer that broke my heart. He said “sir, he has a lot of money, so nothing will happen”
While innocent Nigerians spend years in detention without trial for as much as being accused of stealing water melon, we are watching to see what will happen now that the boastfully wealthy is on record promoting rape and bullshitting the law. We truly hope something happens this time around. We truly hope that Mr. Olamide withdraws this evil of a song and apologises to everyone or the police does the needful. None of these two seem likely however. I guess the Rape (mind the “e”) Ambassador will laugh within wine and tell his boys how this is yet another story for the gods….and nothing will happen.
I am glad God Almighty is not man and I am glad He has promise to pay everyone back in their own coin. There is hope after all
Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri
(Director, Moral Project)
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.