The YTV! exclusive interview with photographer Bukola Dakolo, wherein she revealed how she was raped as a teenager by the scandalously popular COZA pastor Rev. Biodun Fatoyinbo, is still rippling with reactions on social media and, most importantly, generating a conversation on how the Church routinely shields its spiritual heads from accountability when they do wrong. Pastor Fatoyinbo’s annoited halo has since been tainted by rape allegations, which he hasn’t bothered to refute. But out of those stories is the rumour that Fatoyinbo also sexually assaulted men – an interesting nuance that props up a conversation on male sexual assault within the church.
It’s real and it’s still happening, spiritual male leaders taken advantage of young men in their congregation. Male-to-male rape, generally, is still a taboo compounded with factors like homophobia and patriarchal toxic masculinity, which puts victims in a dark abyss of silence for fear of societal rebuke and mockery. That said, the timely arrival of #MeToo is pushing the narrative that the voices of male survivors matter too, regardless of their industry or field.
Rape and sexual assault isn’t gendered, and the Church has since been an enabler of sexual crimes right down to paedophilia. Busola Dakolo’s revelation speaks to the toxic mingling of patriarchy and religion and the insidious ways it’s weaponised against women and LGBTQ people. And while Dakolo’s story is fueling the discourse on sexual harassment and rape within the confines of the church, it’s time for male victims to siphon the same bravery and share their experiences.