by Eromo Egbejule, for YNaija
Cherry-popping undergoes a 2.0, reports Eromo Egbejule on a recent trip to Abuja
On average, Sonia sells three to four sex toys a week, returning a substantial profit, funds that she says “helps me, especially as ASUU is on strike.”
Discreet sales of the artificial hymen and other related toys are alleged to also go on in special apartments similar to whorehouses scattered across a number of locations in the city. Young ladies pay N1000 per day to get a ‘space’ to lay their head, dress up and bathe at mornings and night. In-between, they are picked up by randy men, with orgies on the table.
Nneka recalls that, after she declined the vendor offer mentioned earlier, the vendor threw up her references – clients including a popular preacher’s daughter, who was set to marry a pastor. Just one for the road.
To lure and protect
“Don’t mind all these women. Call them on phone and dem go dey talk ‘I love you, baby’, while they’re with other men; na to dey find ways to deceive good young men be their trade.” Taiye Taiwo, a taxi driver rushes to judgement, on the ride back from Krystal, pointing at Cubana nightclub on the way, as another hotspot for commercial sex workers.
The cabbie, no relation to the footballer, says the artificial hymen is a no-brainer in this case – loose women trying to cover up their tracks.
But Sarah Effiong (not her real name), an Abuja-based photographer, says it isn’t so, well, cut and dry.
She recalls a friend of hers – 21 year old at the time – who was raped by soldiers in Yobe, during one of the raids in search of members of militant sect, Boko Haram. A virgin before the unfortunate incident, and a strict Muslim upbringing under her, she had to conceal the incident.
“If she knows about this, she’ll buy it,” she insists, as we sit at the lobby of Nackovad Hotel, Wuse 3. For people like her, this item is therapeutic in a way. You can’t blame a woman for trying to protect herself and get her self-esteem upped.”
A serious (Kayan) Mata
As with any problem, there is more than solution. For those who cannot access the designer hymens?’ for instance, there is the expensive hymen reconstruction surgery known as hymenoplasty. Then there is the traditional method made popular by ethnic groups in Northern Nigeria.
“People are very secretive about it,” says Fati Saidu, a young Abuja ‘socialite’ who hails from the neighbouring Niger state. “People from Maiduguri (Borno) and Sokoto who are known for it; its called ‘Kayan Mata’. There are different types; some come in a form of powdered herb that you mix in a glass cup with milk and drink; some as soaps that you use to wash, some as tablets and some like ‘Dankwa’ (round powdered solid ball) that you eat. The powdered one can be taken with yoghurt too or milk, depending on what you like.”
However, these do not regenerate the hymen, Saidu explains. “I think it’s to block the place, not necessarily to form a hymen. And forced entry will lead to slight bleeding.
“Those items will make the muscle there tighten. No new skin is formed, just the muscles around there that tighten, and the skin around there shrinks. You know it expands and shrinks back to its size, just like after childbirth.”
What are the risks?
“The vagina is sensitive and could be hyper reactive to this substance,” argues Chisom Nku, a Ukraine-based medical doctor. “There just could be infections when you introduce a foreign body into someone’s body.”
In Egypt, where lawmakers once debated on whether or not to ban the item, there are isolated cases of women who bled profusely after inserting it for long periods at a stretch. So far, Abuja appears to be on a good luck run, pun intended. No cases have been reported at the National Hospital, Garki Hospital, the University of Abuka Teaching Hospital and the Maitama District Hospital so far.
A staff nurse at the latter, the only medical hand who confirmed knowledge of the product however disputed claims of any side effects. According to her, her boss, the Deputy Managing Director briefed her of its use – but acknowledges no known dangers.
While the jury is out on that, it is in for at least one Abuja man worried black about the integrity of sexual relations.
“Now women can fake everything,” Fidelis Alechenu, a soldier stationed at one of the busiest hotels on Sultan Abubakar Way, Zone 3, says. “Fake character, fake hair, fake lashes, fake toto. This world don spoil finish.”
– Additional reports by Kelechi Udeogu