This is Nonso’s Story:

“At 35 years old, I am glad to be strong enough to share my story. I come from a family of four, with an older sister and very busy parents. You know, money needs to be made. Considering their tight schedules, my mother made sure we always had a nanny. Aunt Lillian is one I could never forget, she took care of my sister and I from birth but when I turned 6, she had to leave. She was getting married, I didn’t understand why she had to go and I missed her terribly.

Mum was very worried about how I would handle it because she knew Aunt Lillian was like my second mummy. She was also worried about finding someone trustworthy that would stay with us at home while she and daddy were away at work. She took some days off work to contact agencies, interviewed a few people and then finally settled for Aunt Margaret. She trained and observed her for 2 weeks and Aunt Margaret proved herself to be hardworking and proactive. Aunt Margaret smiled a lot and never complained or scolded me whenever I made a mess. She ensured that all I needed was available on time and before we knew it, my sister and I became very comfortable with her.

My sister resumed boarding school in October of the same year and that was when things changed. I was scared of the dark and wasn’t used to sleeping alone so Aunt Margaret suggested sleeping in my room. She slept on my bed the first night and I was comfortable until I felt her hands on my penis. I moved because I wasn’t sure she did it on purpose but then she moved closer and touched me again. My heart started pounding fast and I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t want to shout because I didn’t want her to be upset with me. She noticed I had become stiff, turned me towards her and tried to calm me down.

Aunt Margaret asked, “Nonso, do you like me?”  “Yes,” I answered. “Then let me teach you something that will make us closer. If you do not behave or if you tell mummy I will leave and you will be alone in this big house by yourself.” The fear of being alone gripped my heart and I pleaded with her and promised to behave myself as she taught me. I also promised never to tell mummy and daddy just so she wouldn’t leave. This was my initiation into the sex world. That first night Aunt Margaret touched my penis and did all sorts of unmentionable things to and with me. I knew it wasn’t right but Aunt Margaret made it feel so right. This continued behind my parents’ back for the next four years until I secured admission into the secondary school my older sister was attending.

There was hardly any supervision in boarding school and so a lot of us had pornographic materials in our possession. Owing to the fact that I had already been introduced to sex, and I was no longer with my “sex partner,” I began to have sexual urges that I didn’t know how to handle. One of my classmates introduced me to masturbation and this seemed to relieve me for the time being. It however got to a point where the masturbation was no longer satisfactory and I also needed to try out some of the things I had seen in the pornographic videos. I decided to make advances at some of my female classmates, some were responsive and others weren’t but I always found ways to engage in my sexual pleasures.

I became attracted to senior girls and I noticed a few of them were attracted to me too. There was a particular one named Abigail who reminded me a lot of Aunt Margaret. She made me her school son, we became very close and before we knew it, we were having sex. I was in J.S.S.2 and she was in S.S1, so this “relationship” continued till she graduated. I felt a huge loss after she left, but managed pull myself together and survived on pornography and masturbation for the greater part of my years in secondary school.

When I look back and think about how so pre-occupied I was with sex, I wonder at how I was still able to maintain good academic grades and even win prizes! I also wonder how I was able to keep this side of me away from my parents and sister during the holidays. It baffles me how they never for once suspected anything.

I got into the university right after graduating from secondary school and you can imagine how excited I was to finally become an “adult”. I could do whatever I wanted, especially in relation to sex. My pre-occupation with sex became even worse than it was in secondary school, it was so bad that I undressed every female I met mentally before we could even have a conversation. I had heard of orgies and even watched them in movies, but didn’t realize we had them here in Nigeria, until a friend of mine took me to one. That first experience was indescribable! It felt like I had discovered another level to sexual pleasure, one I never wanted come down from. I continued to explore this new level and it got better each time. As a result, I stopped paying attention to my academics and would even skip classes or exams, just to maintain this high.

Of course, my actions eventually caught up with me as they resulted in a series of carryovers, which led to some extra years in the university. Initially I didn’t care because I was getting utmost satisfaction in one area of my life but I continued to struggle with my academics and this monster (sexual pervasion) that had totally consumed me. This went on for a while, until that fateful day, when I seemingly came to my senses.

I randomly decided to look up some of my school mates from secondary school and university and quite a number of them were doing very well in their careers and family life. I looked at my life and began to wonder, “How did I get here?” I took a trip down memory lane and remembered how academically sound and focused I was in primary school and a greater part of secondary school. I started asking myself questions and suddenly, Aunt Margaret’s image flashed in my memory! I then began to remember all that she did to me and how it made me feel. I shivered at the remembrance of the fear I had felt when she started the abuse. Right there, I went from feeling anxiety, to anger and then to rage! I was so furious, I started hitting the wall and kept asking “why Auntie Margaret, why?” I burst into uncontrollable tears and fell to the ground. I knew I needed help to be able to get my life back on track. I began my research for available help and started therapy sessions. Through therapy, I have been able to find the courage to share my story. It hasn’t been easy, as I am still on my healing journey; so many bottled up emotions to uncover and deal with. I can however say that I have made progress and I am grateful to my therapist, and equally very proud of myself!

Dear survivor, please know that you are not alone and it is not your fault. Help is available.

If you have been raped or you know someone who has, please visit us at The WARIF Centre – 6, Turton Street, off Thorburn Avenue, Sabo, Yaba or call our 24-hour confidential helpline on 08092100009. For questions or more information please contact: info@warifng.org

*Real name of survivor changed for confidentiality