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Ayo Akinduro

She was twelve and happy.

Her parents had just changed her school to a better one and she was excited. The school demanded for a recent passport photograph and that was what she set out to get.

She ran two flights up the shopping complex, never had the patience to walk on any staircase; she either ran or jumped as is expected from a twelve year old girl.

She stopped in front of a shop that was painted yellow and had a big banner just above the door that read; “1 min Digital Passport – Wait and Get!” It was printed in about six outrageous colours, like the shop owner was scared people might not see the banner if it had just two colours.

She opened her satchel bag to make sure her money was still there, and then knocked rapidly on the brown door. Soon, a young fair man opened the door, stood there with one hand on the wall and the other on the door and stared at her waiting for her to state her mission at his shop.

“I’m here to take passport photographs,” she said in a perky tone.

“How many?” He stepped aside for her to enter.

“Four,” she replied looking at the portraits that hung on the wall.

Then she stood in front of the mirror admiring her navy blue flared skirt and her George’s Girls wear white top that had hearts prints in different colours. She ran her hand over head and concluded she didn’t look bad in her low cut after all.

“Are you ready?” He was standing next to her with a Nikon camera in his hand.

“Yes,” she made her way to a blue plastic stool that was sitting against the wall with a blue drape that served as the backdrop.

“Use this,” he said handing to her small plastic bottle of a Tony Montana white talcum powder.

She took it shyly, poured a little amount on her left palm, rubbed her palms together, clapped twice, lifted her palms to her face and rubbed the powder in.

While she was trying to blend it in, he took both her hands off her face and gently rubbed her face with one hand and held her chin in the other.

“Do you know you’re very beautiful?”

She shook her head sceptically in response to his question.

“Your mummy didn’t tell you,” he said pecking her on the left cheek.

She knew that was a statement and not a question. As a young girl from a very serious Christian home, where no one really spoke about beauty or other mundane things, she stayed put on the stool not knowing what to do or say. All she gave was a sheepish smile.

After he had taken her picture, he dropped the camera on a table. He took her hands and drew her closer to him and traced her face with his index finger. She was naïve, no one ever spoke to her about a situation like this; she had no idea what to do or what not to do.

He turned her around, and placed her hands on the wooden table that had ink stains all over it and made her arch her back like that of a camel, then pulled her skirt down. She stood there, numb and terrified of what he would do if she rebuffed, and she closed her eyes – expecting the worse.

She jerked when she felt his organ rubbing against her orifice; she winced when he pushed it hard against the cleft. She was too petrified to struggle, and too ashamed to cry.

She only prayed for her help, and hoped God would send help. He kept trying to force himself in, and she didn’t wince anymore – she only stood scared stiff.

Just as he was about to force the penetration again, after lubricating himself, there was a loud knock on the door. Immediately, he pulled his pants up, zipped up and told her to pull her panties and skirt up.

‘He didn’t even have the courtesy to do that himself’, she thought to herself as she picked her bag and watched him opened the door and greeted the guy knocking, as if nothing happened before.

Later the same day…

She knocked on her mother’s bedroom door.

“Enitan, is that you?” Her mum’s voice came from inside the room.

“Yes mummy.”

“Come on in, sweetheart.”

She opened the door and flopped into the queen-sized bed. She wanted to tell her mother what happen, she wanted to divulge every tiny detail, but she was too scared to speak. For one, she was ashamed and hated herself for not putting up a fight with the man at least.

Secondly, she was scared her mother would tell her father, who would in turn beat the hell out of her with the horsewhip (koboko). So she just sat on the bed, waiting for her mother to know what has happened to her just by looking at her flustered face.

“Mummy, my bumbum is paining me,” She said after she thought she had waited for too long, “especially when I sit.” She added hoping that her mum would get the message.

“Ahan! What happened to you?” She asked peering above the book she was reading, “come over here let me have a look.”

She hurried over to the bed where her mum was; she bent over in front of her and pulled down her pyjamas. “Check,” she said pulling down her pant.

Her mum held the buttocks apart, and scrutinized it with the aid of a rechargeable lamp. “You have a slight bruise around your rear,” she finally said after a long look at the place, “It is a result of a hard poop trying to force its way out.”

She pulled up her pants and pyjamas. “You should drink a lot of water, so you won’t find it so difficult to poop.”

She was disappointed her mum did not get the message, she wanted to break it out to her in words loud and clear – but then again she was ashamed and frightened of what would follow.

She was totally convinced she was no longer a virgin, and she cried herself to sleep that night, the next, and every other night until she was sure she was not pregnant.

Author’s note: This fiction was written in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Chid and also to raise awareness about girl child sexual abuse, a topic I believe cannot be overemphasised.

As a people, we must adopt sex education at homes and in schools. While being observant of their physical and behavioural changes, we also have to teach them about issues on sexuality because these children are being exposed to different materials through the media and people they meet. They should know where nobody is supposed to touch or fondle with. As they grow older, we increase the education.

Parents as primary custodians of their daughters should do their best to develop a cordial relationship with their children. Let her see you as a friend and not as the judge of her life; this makes it easier for her to confide in you without the fear of being punished. Encouraging our daughters to talk and not judging them afterwards will go a long way in helping to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book, consequently putting an end to this barbaric act.

The effects of sexual abuse can stay with the girls for the rest of their lives and can pass from one generation to another. Hence, we must do our best to put an end to it. This evil must cease, please!

Ayo is a writer, poet and blogger. The Mass Communication graduate from Babcock University, tweets from @Selig_akb

Instagram: Ayooluwa_a and Selig__

[email protected]

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www.ayoakinduro.blogspot.com

BIG STORY

GTBank Fashion Weekend Returns for the 5th Year, Holds Nov. 14 – 15, Call for Exhibitors Now Open

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Foremost financial institution Guaranty Trust Bank plc has confirmed that the 5th edition of Africa’s premier fashion event, the GTBank Fashion Weekend, will hold on Saturday, November 14, and Sunday, November 15, 2020.

The two-day event will feature fashion-leaders and industry experts from around the world, whilst providing hundreds of indigenous small fashion businesses with the opportunity to expand their online presence, reach new markets, and position their businesses for sustainable growth.

Themed “The Future of Fashion Retail,” the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend event will feature a hybrid of online and physical experiences, including Online Master Classes, an Immersive Online Shopping Experience with Free Delivery Nationwide, and a Runway Show.

In line with its vision of Promoting Enterprise, the Bank will provide an e-commerce platform that will allow hundreds of small businesses connect with thousands of consumers that are online, whilst providing fashion lovers with an immersive online shopping experience. The Bank will provide custom-built online retail stalls for free and, at the same time, fully sponsor all promotional activities to drive visibility and sales for all the fashion brands that will be a part of the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend.

In addition to its innovative fashion retail experiences, the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend will feature a series of online masterclasses facilitated by renowned fashion industry experts.
A “must-attend” for entrepreneurs and fashion enthusiasts, the masterclasses have been designed to deliver the same quality in content and engagement as previous years, through interactive webinars that will focus on exploring new and exciting ways to build and sustain fashion brands in these times and the future.

The Runway Show will also keep its place at the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend. Designed with current realities in mind, the Runway Show will feature a carefully curated ensemble of bold and enthralling fashion statements by Africa’s Finest Fashion Brands, delivered in a socially distanced environment.

Commenting on the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of GTBank, Segun Agbaje, said; “Fashion is more than just art or endeavour, it is a way of life, and as we make adjustments to how we live in these new realities, we are also reimagining how we create value for small businesses, the local fashion industry and our customers through the GTBank Fashion Weekend. This year, key parts of our fashion experience will go online, but the focus remains the same; to drive the growth of our fashion industry by promoting enterprise for small businesses in the sector.”

He further stated that “At GTBank, we will continue to lend the full weight of our franchise to safeguarding lives and livelihoods not only by leading the fight to curtail the Covid-19 outbreak, but also creating and championing initiatives that help businesses and individuals thrive.”

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FASHION

It’s Almost Here! Are You Ready For Nigeria’s Biggest Lifestyle Fair and Music Concerts? [READ DETAILS]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Style by Zenith 2.0 will hold on the 29th of November till 1st December, 2019 at the Eko Energy City (By Eko Atlantic) Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island Lagos. To register, simply visit www.zenithbank.com/style

See video below

 

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LIFESTYLE

Style By Zenith: Zenith Bank Calls For Model Auditions [APPLY WITHIN]

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The audition for male and female models that will participate in the much-anticipated Style by Zenith 2.0 fashion shows is scheduled to hold as follows:

Date: 15th of November, 2019

Time: 9am prompt

Venue: Balmoral Hall, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

Find out more details in the accompanying fliers.

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