I lived on campus . It was my first year as an undergraduate and my elder ones insisted that staying on campus was what every first year student should do . It would help me get a hang of what was really going on . I am not sure if I really knew what was really going on but I saw things . After two years of living on campus, I moved to an off-campus accommodation .
It was a little village that was fortunate to be close to the university . The streets hardly had any names and student houses were best identified by names. Some names were popular and for various reasons and the accommodation had different star ratings . This village was sometimes said to be the den of the cultists and so while I lived on campus, I only visited it when absolutely necessary .
I belonged to a group in my university Christian fellowship that had the primary business of telling other students in their various accommodation(on campus and off campus ) about Jesus. But it was not always that people understood enough to make a decision and so, sometimes there was a need for another courtesy visit in the line of duty.
One day, I went to the village to see some of the students I had previously spoken to and was met by one of my classmates at the gate . He was not my course mate but in 100 level, all the science students sort of took courses together in the largest lecture theatre on the campus.
He was a part time student or will I say he worked on shore and then whenever he was offshore, he attended lectures. He and his friend were both Engineering students but we became acquainted because of the need to photocopy my notes as my hand writing was very legible and neat.
This guy . let’s call him Emeka because he is a typical igbo guy expressed his surprise that I visited the area and insisted that I come and visit his accommodation. I was not keen but somehow with the way my bag was held , he was able to get a hold of it and carted away with it, insisting that it would only be returned when I knew his place. He also mentioned the name of his hostel.
I knew the hostel by name, It was one of those “La crème “ student accommodation where all the rooms were self- contained and furnished.
When I finished my follow up visitation, I went to the hostel . Everyone seemed to be in competition with who had the loudest sounding stereos . His room was upstairs and by he time I located it , the door was already ajar for me to enter .
He welcomed me with a loud cherry voice and he urged me to collect my bag .
I looked at the set up and immediately could picture what could happen mentally if I did as he
Emeka was sat at the middle of the bed with his feet on the floor , my bag was on his left, on the floor and closer to the head of the bed . There was no way I could take my bag without crossing him and he could easily swing me on the bed. Everywhere in the hostel there was music blaring. I doubted if anyone would hear my screams for help . Moreso, any attempt to fight back was doomed to fail as this guy was heavily built and I was a tiny 100 level undergraduate.
If anything happened, I would be painfully irreversible
I responded with a loud laugh and said to him while still standing at the ajar door, “Emeka , I have seen where you live now , can I have my bag?”
You would think I said something else . This guy went on a chorus of strings of abusive words, asking if I thought he wanted to do anything with me, defending himself over whatever he planned and at the end of his tantrum charade, Emeka flung my bag out of the room with so much anger . It came flying out and the contents scattered in several places on the corridor.
Devil ,you have failed ,I muttered to myself as I bent down to pick my bag and the scattered contents which included a new Bible.
It was an escape that was well deserved. I was not his girlfriend and none of us has expressed any such interest. All I did was to give my notes to be photocopied and after that incident, Emeka never asked for my notes again.
The truth is that some guys do not care whether or not they are in a relationship with you to try and act funny so it is left for us to be more on the cautious end and teach our daughters (sons also) to do the same.
A very close friend of mine recounted her own experience to me when a guy friend of hers sent a message that he was ill.
She went visiting and initially on arrival, his room was full of other guys who left one after the other until she was left alone with the supposedly sick guy . He tried to rape her and she fought with all her life and managed to leave untouched. While she was fighting and screaming, none of the other guys came out. It was all planned work.
There have been several advocates for getting our daughters to have some self-defence lessons and I would encourage everyone of us to look into this .
And before I sound like this thing is more of what would happen with strangers, let me just reiterate that most rape or attempted sexual assault cases are from people who are known to the individuals which means we ought to keep our eyes open for “insider activity” and while we are doing this, let us remember that even our little boys can sometimes be molested by female carers too.
If you can afford it, put some webcams in your house and insist that your children are only undressed in certain rooms .
It does happen but it should not necessarily happen.Not all have lived to tell the story , not all have been fortunate like my fried and I to have a narrow escape .
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