What She Said: There’s No Escaping The Violence

September 4, 2019

Navigating life as a woman in the world today is incredibly difficult. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their takes on everything from sex to politics right here.

Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their takes on everything from sex to politics right here.

In South Africa today, a woman is murdered every three hours. The statistics in Nigeria doesn’t match these numbers but we come close. These statistics are what you get when the culture of male violence against women is allowed to hit a climax. On this week’s #WhatSheSaid I talked to 7 women about their experiences with male violence in situations ranging from relationships to just taking a stroll.

Stories of women encountering violence when doing something as mundane as trying to park a car are not only angering but terrifying. While the responsibility of ending this violence falls on the men who perpetrate it, we’ll do the only thing we can – continue to share our stories.

For talking to another man.

We were in a relationship. We got into a pretty serious argument about some other guy that had been moving to me as we were walking down the road and he pushed me to the ground and kept walking. I scraped my knee. The crazy part is I got up and started running after him to beg. See love will make you foolish.

For parking my car.

He said he was about to park in the space and that I came out of nowhere to take his parking space. He was already by my car screaming before I got out, but I had no plans to engage. When I got out he stood in my way and won’t let me pass. I didn’t say anything I just tried to push pass him and he pushed me back unto my car. He did it two more times before someone intervened.

As a joke

It was a small slap we were arguing about something silly and he said, “Shut up jo. What are you saying?”and slapped me. Everyone I told about it said it wasn’t a big deal, that he was just playing, but it raised alarm bells in my head. People have a weird perception of what a violent relationship is supposed to look like. It’s like if there are no bruises or physical evidence then it’s not real. When I told a friend that he hit me, she was like “When, where?” I told her my face and she said I don’t see anything. 

During a verbal argument.

We weren’t dating; we weren’t even that close we were just arguing at a house party and “I’ll slap you, oya slap me now” turned into an actual slap. I was expecting everyone at the party to react or say something, to come to my defence, even kick him out, there was just awkward silence after it happened. I didn’t even react, I didn’t say anything because if I had opened my mouth, I’d have started crying. 

For passing through the market

Every weekday, after a long day of work, I have to pass through Yaba Market to get home. This is tedious because the market is always overcrowded with pedestrians, drivers, market sellers and buyers. It’s especially worse because the market sellers — the men — do not understand boundaries. They grab me, or any other woman passing through by our arms, hold our shoulders, link their fingers in ours etc. It’s infuriating. I always cuss them out, but they end up pushing me, insulting and cursing me. And this happens every single weekday. They’re never apologetic; they feel like they have a right to my body or personal space. It scares me to stay at work later than daylight because that means I might be met with an even worse fate.

For being assertive.

If I’m being honest, I saw signs of violence when we were dating. He slapped me once, but I forgave him. Between 1997 when I got married and 2005 when I left, he beat me on average, once a month. He was always angry with me, because I’m an assertive person who believes I should have a say in my marriage. He said I should only be seen, not heard. Whenever I disagreed with him, I earned a beating. On one occasion he threw a lit lantern at me. In another instance, he held a knife to my head.

He was just fond of beating me.

We never got married but we lived together. He promised he’d come and see my people, but he never did. He was fond of beating me. I remember vividly, a day he beat me and packed all my clothes and burnt them. It was neighbours and friends that gave me clothes to wear. After that, I went back to my father’s place with my children. He came to beg and promised to stop but he never did. One day I reported to his friend. That angered him, he came back home, beat me thoroughly and asked me to pack and leave his house.

You'll like this

September 30, 2020

African women have had a complex relationship with birth control, so we ask 10 African women, to tell us their experiences using birth control. Ann; 26, Zambia I don’t like taking medicine unless it’s really necessary, and I barely finish my courses so I knew the pill was a no. I didn’t like the idea […]

October 16, 2020

The feminist coalition is a body run by a group of women with their main focus being fighting injustice. They do not organise. Rather, they’ve assisted, structured and dispersed funds for the #EndSARS protests. Here are some of the things they have done. 1) Feeding Some of the money has been used to pay for […]

September 2, 2020

We asked women from Kenya, Uganda, South Africa & Nigeria to answer 1 question: “What do you hate most about being married?”

From annoying inlaws to a husband who expects his wife to wash his boxers, their responses are universal.

Toketemu Ohwovoriole

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

Watch

Now on Zikoko

October 19, 2020

1. Food If you don’t have groceries at home, I don’t know what to tell you. With everything going on, it might be a little difficult or even near impossible to order food from restaurants. But hey, na who dey alive dey order food. 2. Data We’ve all seen how social media has played a […]

October 19, 2020

I’m pretty sure nobody saw the #EndSARS protests coming. Since the 7th of October 2020, when Runtown and Falz announced a demonstration at the Lekki Toll Gate, the movement has spread like wildfire to every corner of Nigeria. Protests are springing up in almost every state and people are catching on to demand better for […]

October 19, 2020

Women have been said to be at the forefront of this protest. Although some people say women should not join the protest, they did anyway. We asked six Nigerian women why they joined the #EndSARS protests. Linda, 21 Every day I spend on the road, is for the women and the queers. Police brutality affects […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer.

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

More from Her

October 19, 2020

Women have been said to be at the forefront of this protest. Although some people say women should not join the protest, they did anyway. We asked six Nigerian women why they joined the #EndSARS protests. Linda, 21 Every day I spend on the road, is for the women and the queers. Police brutality affects […]

October 16, 2020

The feminist coalition is a body run by a group of women with their main focus being fighting injustice. They do not organise. Rather, they’ve assisted, structured and dispersed funds for the #EndSARS protests. Here are some of the things they have done. 1) Feeding Some of the money has been used to pay for […]

October 14, 2020

When the women in Agbaja area saw a decrease in domestic animals and observed an increase in female mortality, they stayed away from home for a month in protest. These women left their husbands’ villages and went to either Umunumu or to Orie Ekpa (market) with their mats so they could sleep wherever night met them. When their husbands went to ask the reason for their withdrawal, they said too many women were dying.

October 10, 2020

In different locations all over the world, people are holding protests to call for the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. During these protests, people are demanding their right to live freely without being profiled. However, female protesters are announcing incidences of sexual violence from protesters. Sexual harassment is one of the most prevailing forms […]

October 8, 2020

Using a cab service as a Nigerian woman seem to be an extreme sport. From drivers who try to touch you to those who try to harm you because “tHey hAvE yOuR tYpE aT hOmE” women have been through it all. These five women in the city’s capital share their worst cab ride experience.

October 8, 2020

Have you ever gotten a message so weird you did not know how to process it? Well, these seven women to tell us the weirdest messages they have received. Jane, 32 A picture of his penis. No introduction, no nothing. Just a picture of his phallus. Amaka, 19 A man once told me he wants […]

October 7, 2020

Navigating life as a woman in the world today is incredibly difficult. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their takes on everything from sex to politics right here. The subject of this week’s What She Said is 26-year-old Busayo. She talks […]

October 6, 2020

Female sexual pleasure comes in different ways. For some women, squirting is how they know they have reached peak sexual pleasure. So, 7 Nigerian women talk to us about their first time squirting. Angel, 20 So, there I was masturbating and exploring my body when all of a sudden, there was this intense feeling that […]

October 6, 2020

They said something about how I fit the description of an accomplice for some yahoo boys around the area because of my nose ring and face. They didn’t even do the routine Nigerian police “may we meet you,” they just asked me to open my car door and get out. I mean, I had to because they had guns.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.
September 24, 2019
A group of Zikoko staff go on a road trip to every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X