The Busola Dakolo in All of Us

The Busola Dakolo in All of Us

BACKSTORY: Busola Dakolo is an alumnus of my secondary school. That was where she was when she first knew Biodun Fatoyinbo. At the time, Busola was a school fellowship leader. Like Busola, I had been a student fellowship leader in the same school.

Back in Busola’s home town, Fatoyinbo was a fellowship leader. Nowadays he is the senior pastor of a popular, youth-oriented church, COZA.

Busola’s exposure to Fatoyinbo led to a series of sexual violations. The interview where Busola speaks for the first time about her experience has led to a public debate, including whether she should have spoken up, or whether she can be believed.

***

When I was 12 years old, I didn’t know a lot about sex, except that it was forbidden. I was raised in an environment where it was not okay to say the word “penis”. That was a bad word. So, we used euphemisms instead. Like, kòkòrò.

Yes, we conflated sexuality with morality.

Then one sunny afternoon, in the Staff School at Ibadan, Mr. Boadi broached the subject of puberty to my Primary Six class. As he described the sex organs and their changes, the boys sniggered and the girls blushed.

Then one boy at the back of the room, Sola, who was bigger than the rest of us, whipped out his kòkòrò. When the other boys who sat on his row saw how big Sola’s kòkòrò was, they burst into excited laughter. Some girls saw it too, and squealed.

That’s how my generation was raised. To be awkward, ashamed and dismissive about sex.

By the time I was 14, I had moved on to the School for Gifted Children, that had just been established in the Federal Capital Territory. The same school Busola Dakolo would later join. Our set was the pioneer class, and many had never been so far from home. Boys and girls stayed in separate boarding houses, and from the window of my room in the dorm, I could see Aunty Dupe’s home.

A slim, dark young woman, with a scarf over her demure perm, Aunty Dupe (real name) was the boarding housemistress, who lived beyond the mechanical water pump, facing the girls’ hostel.

At the time, I had become the leader of the students’ Christian fellowship. Aunty Dupe was a prominent elder there, among the teachers who regularly participated in the fervent prayer and worship sessions we had twice a week. On Sundays and Wednesdays, Aunty Dupe was a deeply spiritual woman who spoke in tongues and received prophecies direct from Heaven.

But, during school hours, she was also my Economics teacher.

Under Aunty Dupe’s tutelage, I would become the star student, who always scored the top grades in Economics tests. So much that whenever Bimbo or Justin overtook my first place, I’d get upset. I felt I knew Adam Smith and Inelasticity of Demand and Supply, like the back of my hand.

And at night, Aunty Dupe taught me other things.

Things that were not in our textbooks.

In those days, the new school had yet to be connected to electricity. We operated a standby generator, which was switched off after prep every evening. And after all students had retired to the dormitory, I would get a handwritten note, delivered by any one of the girls who lived in the dormitory right next to Aunty Dupe’s house.

That she wanted to see me.

And I went.

I would walk the short distance between my hostel, past the mechanical water pump boys often used for testing their muscles. I would knock on the door to Aunty Dupe’s bungalow. She would open, and let me in.

Inside, it was dimly lit. A rechargeable lamp with a bulb that had seen better days, a flickering candle on a table in the corner, and that was all. At the door, I could make out a dining table, with two chairs. And in the distance, a soft sofa.

Someone sat there. It was Michael. Michael and I had grown up in the same university campus as children, but he had gone off to school in Ilorin, and now we were together again in this gifted school. He was friend, confidant and brother all at once.

And he sat there, in the sofa, in the dark. I said Hey. Mike said Hey.

And Aunty Dupe sat smiling, at the dinner table. In front of her, an open bible. The big, black type, with many appendices and colored bookmarks.

Aunty Dupe pulled a chair for me, and I sat with her.

Silence.

Awkward silence.

Feet shuffling.

Crickets chirping.

Mike coughed.

“I have to go,” he said.

He got up.

“Ok, Michael. God bless you,” she said.

And my friend was gone.

And the teacher and I were alone.

Then she told me things. About the Holy Spirit. She’d had her eye on me, she said. She knew I was gifted with the things of the Spirit, she said. But I need to go farther, you see. I needed to develop a deeper discernment of the Spirit, you see.

“Pull your chair closer to mine,” Aunty Dupe said.

I drew closer.

“No, closer,” she said.

And I did, until we were face to face.

The candle flickered.

The crickets chirped.

I smelt her fragrant talc and her misty breath.

And she leaned in toward my face, and asked: “Do you trust me?”

Why not. In this dark house. In the middle of nowhere. With other students and staff fast asleep in their beds. Yes, I trusted this woman. She was a mother in Israel, and she wanted to help me develop my spiritual gifts.

“Yes, of course,” I answered.

“Good,” she said. “Now I’m going to teach you to fully trust the Holy Spirit. Open your mouth.”

She gazed into my eyes. The flickering lights from the candle became a blur as I accommodated her dimly lit face in my field of view, and blocked out everything else.

Obediently, I said, “Aahh…”

Then she leaned into me, and slowly, began to insert her moist tongue into my opened mouth.

I flinched.

“Don’t,” Aunty Dupe chastised, drawing back.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

Then she smiled. “You have to relax, and let the Lord use you.” Again, she said, “Do you trust me?”

I nodded.

She leaned in, and inserted her tongue farther, exploring my buccal cavity.

Silence. Crickets. A flickering candle in the corner of my eye.

I closed my eyes and felt how open I had become to the Holy Spirit. Or Aunty Dupe. Or the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t sure which was which any more.

And my heart beat faster with each gentle flick of the teacher’s tongue inside my open mouth, but I was doing what the Holy Spirit wanted me to do.

Time became a blur, until my teacher withdrew her tongue, leaned back, and smiled. Her big, black bible still lay open on the dining table, so she took it and flipped a page or two. She read out some verse I needed to meditate upon, until our next meeting.

She escorted me to the door, and I crossed the road. The crickets no longer chirped, and the stars above had gone to bed. And so, did I.

And on other nights, there were other meetings.

***

If I had wanted to tell a teacher, or my parents, how would I describe what happened?

In those days, difficult discussions would often close with “now, let us commit such-and-such into the hands of the Lord.”

That’s not the kind of culture that helps a child to open up.

Until years later, I hadn’t even known not every action committed by a trusted Church leader was “led by the Spirit”.

Which is why, what Busola Dakolo has done, years after it happened, takes growth.

And when one person’s outspokenness exposes the unhealed traumas of very many others, there are bound to be those who’d shout her down, to avoid confronting their own repressed truths.

But one person’s honesty can also help others.

When I told my friend Tola (real name withheld) about my nights with the teacher, she shocked me with her own revelation. That the boarding housemaster who lived across the road from Aunty Dupe’s house had sexually assaulted her too.

***

I have one picture of me in Aunty Dupe’s house.

Even though the photography is no longer clear, there’s a lot of body language to interpret.

My teacher leaning into me.

Me crossing my hands and legs defensively.

And my face – the innocence, the naïveté.

But I didn’t understand any of that when I was 14, like all the Busolas out there.

What makes adults who exploit positions of power over children unstoppable?

Silence.

If you’re reading this, you know that as Nigerians, the way we think about how the world works, and the conversations we have about sexuality, and sexual abuse, need to change.

Written by Ayo

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18 Comments

  1. Opal
    June 30, 07:22 Reply

    Such a touching piece. Can we all take steps to break this silence? Share experiences and hold people accountable.

    Thanks Ayo

  2. Houston Scholar
    June 30, 08:07 Reply

    Sigh! Thank you for sharing your story, Ayo. Since Bukola unveiled her story, I have read so many other stories, including this piece, that unleashed a torrent of psychological trauma upon me. From Ola, Steve, Taofeek, Boye, Abayomi to my Arabic teacher, the scenes of how I was raped again and again kept ambushing my state of sanity and trapping me back into my previous state of neurosis. The blood stains, the screams, the pain, the stigma, the seclusion, and withdrawal, the fear to speak up and the desire to be believed.

    If I may ask Ayo, is the School of Gifted Children the same with Federal Government Academy Suleja?

    • Tman
      June 30, 09:18 Reply

      Wow, just wow! Thank God you’re good mate. A friend of mine came out to me on how she’s been raped by six different people on six different occasions. I’m just happy she was strong like you.

      Keep living dear!

  3. Posh
    June 30, 08:07 Reply

    I strongly believe you dear Ayo, I have slept with Catholic priests, pentecostal pastors , many of them. And you needed to see them on the pulpit on sundays like one innocent minister. Whenever I see any man of God involved in any sex scandal. I don’t even doubt because they are all perverts.

    • Posh
      June 30, 08:10 Reply

      And my uncle that raped me continuously at age 7? I always remember one word he said “You wan suck my preek? You be ashewo’ oya come” I still see him everyday and I just want to tell the world the kinda person he is. He is a pastor now too. But been fucking childless… That Word “You wan suck my preek? You be ashewo” keep playing repeatedly on my head

    • Pink Panther
      June 30, 09:33 Reply

      Having sex with Catholic priests is really not the issue here, Posh. This piece is not talking about the violation of celibacy vows. It is talking about sexual abuse. Please, keep that distinction in mind.

      • Higwe
        June 30, 09:51 Reply

        Depends on the age he had sex with them .
        If he did so as a minor , then that certainly counts as sexual abuse .

        • Posh
          June 30, 11:26 Reply

          Thanks Higwe.
          @Pink panther, I was age 15.

  4. Chinoo
    June 30, 08:56 Reply

    Thank you so much Ayo for sharing.

    I didn’t know so many people had similar stories o share. Busola broke our silence. I had revealed to a few of my friends how I was raped by a supposed bishop 10 years ago. I was young. I buried the memory until now.
    It’s sad that these things keep going on and we rarely get to hear about them. And then of course, think about stories like mine, which may never come to light.
    Bishop still runs a successful church in FESTAC, Lagos.

    Busola’s story is my story.

  5. J
    June 30, 09:40 Reply

    My dear he kept the picture 😮 your mama in the spirit 😂. Seriously? Some people are evil, using religion to abuse harmless people 😫😫😫

    I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. Molestation is totally wrong.

  6. Delle
    June 30, 09:45 Reply

    I felt every word in this, every sentence leapt out at me.

    Thanks, Ayo.

    You know, after seeing the number of rape apologists making numerous posts, my heart shrank. It’s scary to think such an amount of people will make excuses for rapists. It’s very scary.

    A lot of Nigerians are disturbed perverts.

  7. demi
    June 30, 10:40 Reply

    never been molested b4.. but the chilling stories have been hearing about child abuse, rape is really sickening.. my heart goes to all that are a victim of such… funny how the high and mighty, holier than thou are the sickest Culprits

  8. Mayor
    June 30, 11:14 Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. If only we will learn to listen to people’s story with empathy. I have my own story too…I was in primary school then, can’t remember my exact age, she was an older neighbour who we all referred to as aunty. She will always call me in when no one was around and force me to remove my shorts and lie on her naked body. I hated it, I hated the hairs down there, I hated that the place was always moist and I hated her breath. But it happened again and again and again (I lost count) till we moved out of that neighbourhood. Did I tell anyone? NO. Did I try to stop it? NO. Ask me why I didn’t do any of this, I can’t even answer but I hated the act and I hated her. Until we’re victims ourselves we might want to watch the way we discard some of these stories. Sexual molestation of minors is real (both boys and girls). Rape is real. The least we can do is show empathy…

  9. Persimmon
    June 30, 11:52 Reply

    The story is saddening… I pray you heal my dear❤️.

    Although, I honestly don’t ever remember being molested personally. I was very sexually active from a young age and this made me more discerning, mature and in control of my choices.

    From hooking up behind pulpits, to very very popular pastors and even an alter boy who served communion after we left his house from an all night romp… to mention but a few.

    The truth I have come to believe is that a lot of Nigerians are very hypocritical and will only show their true face, when no eyes pry.

  10. Higwe
    June 30, 12:38 Reply

    There was this “straight ” guy that used to come over to my house so I could tutor him.
    He is about three or four years younger than me.
    He didn’t have money to pay so he allowed me to massage him .
    *He would be naked as the day he was born and I would squeeze every squeezable *
    When he left after we were done with the massage and tutoring , I would masturbate thinking of the encounter- it was glorious 😩

    He had three donts though :
    He didn’t like his nipples to be sucked .
    He didn’t like his penis to be touched .
    He didn’t like to be kissed.

    He said the three acts were too intimate for him and reserved exclusively for his girlfriend .
    Everytime I tried to convince him to change his mind , I was met with a deafening and reverberating -NO .

    He told me that was as far as he could go and I either had to take it or leave it .
    On the final day of my tutorship * a week before he retook his JAMB * I decided to take certain liberties .

    He was lying naked on his back as usual but instead of going to his abs or chest like we always did ….I dived straight to his glans , tugging his shaft and squeezing his balls .

    He wanted to protest but my parents were in the room next door.
    Any ruckus might have alerted them, thus exposing us .So he just lay there and took it.

    When I was done squeezing the life out of his penis , I proceeded to his nipples and sucked them like he was a lactating mother and planted a whopper on his full soft lips .
    He grimaced in disgust and spat out which made me chuckle .🤭

    Then I went back to his penis and began squeezing again like it was my due .
    Using my left ring finger to gently caress his anus .
    Soon he was moaning …but we had the good sense to keep it down .
    *The fear of my dad (an ex military man ) is the beginning of wisdom .😁*

    He rewarded my dilligence with cum all over my face and chest .
    And before he left that day , he gave me a look that could kill 😪😭.

    Note : this guy was twice my size in lean muscles. I’ve seen his squat what I wouldn’t dream of . He’s younger .A lot more agile and athletic .
    Basically he would kill me in less than a minute in a real fight but he just lay quietly that day while I molested him .😑
    Just because he was scared that everything we’ve been practicing in the dark could come to light if he so much as made one inappropriate sound .
    So he just lay there and took it like a bitch .🤭

    When he left that day , I had the best masturbation of my life.
    But once the cum was out of the sac , I felt like a total shithead.
    I wanted to apologise but he has blocked me everywhere .
    It was months later that his mother would visit us to thank me for selflessly tutoring his son *if only the poor woman knew* who was then an undergraduate at a state university.

    **************

    Summation of this whole story .
    Rape is not just when you forcefully insert your organ into an unwilling hole .

    When you take certain liberties not necessarily given….it also counts as rape .

    When someone tells you to stop and you continue or don’t go there and you go …IT IS ALSO RAPE .

    I did something you could call miraculous .
    I mentored a total air head and he not only passed his jamb , he did so with flying colors .
    And I can’t even be proud of that because of the dark shroud surrounding it .😪

    So before any one us can criticize Pastor Biodun search thoroughly inward .

    If you ain’t a rapist ,then please shoot !
    If you are (like me ) keep shut and reflect on your own sins .

    Often time we try to justify it with …… he or she enjoyed it.

    Butiiiiiii

    A consent not given is a consent not given .
    Whether taken by force , trick or manipulation .
    It’s pretty much the same.

    All in all , reflect and repent .
    Leave the criticism and condemnation to those who are justifiable enough to give it .🙄

    • Malik
      June 30, 18:24 Reply

      I respect you for sharing this.

  11. Segun
    June 30, 23:35 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. I feel like hugging the writer and telling him how brave he really is, to even share his picture.

    The many comments I read on social media, reacting to Busola’s rape, eroded the last vestiges of respect and decency I’ve attributed to the Nigerian society. Ours is an extremely sick society; it will probably take a generation or two for these armies nitwits to be cleansed by nature.

    Once you get past the unnerving ignorance about rape and sexual assault rife in the Nigerian public space, what you are invariably left with is a gaggle of mentally sub-normal and religiously suffused people who shame victims and laud their violators.

    I understand the dynamics of sexual assault. I was a victim. And I’ve had friends who raped underage boys. I still remember vividly how Israel (now late) in Warri caressed the two year old son of his neighbor left in his care — right in my presence. “He likes romance a lot,” he told me, with a horny goatish smile on his face.

    I still remember some straight teens Jackson in Akure used to fellate and he would narrate to me how they succumbed to his seduction.

    I’ve once sat with Emeka, a bonafide rapist in Ibadan (now late as well, thank the Universe) who described to me how he lures in and “converts” unwary straight men by showering them will gifts, playing them with alcohol, showing them porn and finally raping them. He boasted to me how he “discards” them once he’s done with then, because he never fucks the same guy twice.

    I know of others who brag of converting straight young boys by pressuring them in their weak or desperate moments (like when they have financial problems or accommodation issues) to have sex with them.

    I’ve once chatted with a man from Abuja in his 50s who bragged of making his 17 year old houseboy give him oral sex and swallow his cum almost daily.

    None of these guys would identify themselves as rapists; they would even repudiate such a term being affixed to them. But it’s still rape nonetheless. And we need to take some hard stance on this.

    People, even within our community, may change the labels and try to rationalize it the same way Fatoyinbo’s mindless robots have done, but it doesn’t negate the nature of it.

    And will the way this stuff is being exposed in the church, I foresee a weakening of religious dogmatism in Nigeria. Perhaps I’m just being idealist.

  12. Temi
    July 03, 09:47 Reply

    Hmmmm may God heal us all…
    I was raped at age 5.

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