Read her story below:
I experienced my first abuse when I was 7 by my neighbour’s son. I had a series of abuse after the first one, but that was the only one my mum knew about. I was abused by her brother who would come to visit us during the holidays. At the time, I was 9. I knew what he was doing was wrong but I never told my mum. This went on repeatedly. I had already started masturbating when I was 7. When I was 13, I loved to read romance books, so when I needed inspiration to masturbate, I would pick up one of the romance novels and look for specific pages.
I had so much information stored up in my head. At 13, we had financial issues in my family, so my dad suggested I go live with his sister, my aunt. She never really liked me but her husband did not mind, so he gave the consent for me to move in with them. I remember one day, my aunt's husband asked me, “Kike would you prefer I spank or scold you when you do something wrong, or would you prefer I kiss or hug you?” I replied, “Daddy, I’ll prefer you hug me.” I never knew he was indirectly asking for my permission to abuse me, so I gave consent. One day, after writing my first West African Examination Council (WAEC) exam, I got home, and was washing the dishes. He came to meet me in the kitchen and he started kissing me, touching my breasts and playing with my genitals. I remember him pulling down my pants, and he saw the fear in my eyes. He told me not to worry that he wouldn’t penetrate or disvirgin me.
When he was done, I cried, thinking, "Is this what I was created for?" I was a bit surprised this was coming from him, because everyone adored him and he was very kind. My heart broke. I was in that house for 4 months and I can’t remember how many times this happened, because it continued. I eventually left and moved back home after my exams. Few months after secondary school, my mother walked out of our lives forever and we don’t know where she is till today.
I gained admission into Lagos State University (LASU) part-time after years of trying to get into university. By the time I got to my 2nd year, my dad’s life took a bad turn and his finances dwindled. He refused to pay my school fees. He came back to Nigeria not knowing he wouldn’t be able to go back to London. He started selling all that he had. I sold used clothes, underwear (okirika) and recharge cards to make ends meet. I had options of looking for an Aristo when it was difficult to pay my school fees but I made up my mind not to. In February 2010, my father died after a brief illness. My younger sister was brought back from the UK.
I was left with my siblings with no hope. People couldn’t understand how we survived because we had lost everything. By this time, I was born again, so I just handed over my life and my siblings to God. My siblings and I had to live with different people because we didn’t have a good house to live in. In my 3rd year of university, I started photography, got a place to intern and that was the beginning of my photography journey. I stopped masturbating, but I started having the urges over and over, again. I sought therapy and it was discovered that I never healed from all I bottled in.
I’ve started therapy and I’m also willing to go for more therapy with my spouse before I get married. I run an enterprise of my own and I have empowered about 500 Nigerians with the skills God has blessed me with. I believe God is real because despite everything that happened to me, I'm still here.