“If you tell anyone about this, I will stop paying your school fees.”
For people with options, education is a choice. You will hear the average Nigerian on social media talk about how going to school is not synonymous with getting a better life. This is true on twitter or Facebook. In the real world, it is the only vehicle to see the world, to break the cycle, meet people who do not feel like you and think like you. Inside the school is how you run away; it is where you meet yourself.
My name is Becky, I’m 20 years old and I live in this real world.
I was born in Shira, Bauchi State. I currently live just north of Lagos, in Ogun state. I stay with my uncle because he can afford my fees, my father cannot. I do not remember what it feels like to be loved and protected – my mother is dead.
My uncle rapes me everyday.
In this choice between getting an education and avoiding daily rape, at first I chose school. Now, it is no longer a choice. If I stay here I will die. And if I leave, I will die as well, only, a different death.
“If you tell anyone about this, I will stop paying your school fees”, he says. Lying there I think there is as much horror in the mundane as in the spectacular. He grunts like he always does, consistently like the drone of a neighbor’s generator and I go away like I always do.
Latch on to a painted wall, the kitchen floor, cobweb in the store and when he decides he will rape me in the backyard in the evening, searching for something to hold, I roll the threat on my tongue. He says it now with such lack of conviction. None of the wide-eyed theatrics of that first week. A well worn cloth of a threat, familiar now, but still packing, just as brilliantly, all of the horror.
Inside of the house, I have lost my words, except to mutter always our familiar threat. And I am lost inside of my worlds. It is that first week and I am still hitting wall corners jittery with gratefulness, finding out in a minute how I will pay for my uncle’s generosity. It is night time and there is an evil ramming into me, grunting like a neighbor’s generator, it is morning and Mr Solomon is teaching us something in class that I will not learn, it is later and the soup is burning but I am in the stars and on the ground and in class and there is the slap on my ass. Then he smells the burning food and the hands travel to my face.
Have you ever been beaten and raped? With blood from your head and the orifice in your back that he had refrained from touching before now?
If I do not leave I will die here. And if I leave, I will die there.
Please I need your help. I need 650,000 Naira to complete my schooling. This money will let me look in the eyes of my uncle’s threat and not fear. I will go back to Bauchi to my father, I will remain in school. I will start to live again.
Please help me.
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