I was born in Croydon England where I grew up as well as in Nigeria. I am the firstborn of 4 children and all my life was responsible for my siblings actions let’s just say I wasn’t a happy child.
Growing up I always knew I was going to work in the entertainment industry and after school I did an industrial attachment at a TV channel in Nigeria and have been in media since then.
I continued to pursue my career in media and thoroughly enjoyed it until…
The turning point
My story changed one evening in 1995, I was in Nigeria organising a premiere for my Television show which I was about to launch. At that time I was seeking sponsors for the event. Anyone who does projects knows how exhausting this can be.
There was a man named peter I knew, previously he wanted to date me because of the job I did, out of principle I would not date such men because they wanted me based on a job they saw me do.
I went to Peter’s office at coca cola where I was seeking sponsorship for my launch, he was in charge of sponsorship approval, when I got to the office he was in another meeting and asked me to go see him at his house that evening.
I went to his house that evening , he lived in a huge house and it struck me strange that he lived alone with 4 house guards ( we call them maiguards in Nigeria)
He offered me a drink which I declined as I was tired and just wanted to get the business done and go home. He asked for my proposal which he read through and then threw aside, at this point I was surprised. I was watching him to hear what he had to say I mean was the proposal not good enough? Was the money too much? I had alot of questions in my mind and was waiting to hear his thoughts.. He looked me up and down in a suggestive manner and said ….”Evelyn my dear…I have longed for the day I will have you alone to myself away from all the men that chat you up on TV…you know I can give you this sponsorship with a snap of a finger…”
I was stunned, I got angry, this was not what I had signed up for I got up ready to leave and said to him,” if you want to have sex with me that’s not going to happen”…I took my bag and started walking towards the door when he grabbed the collar of my shirt and pinned me on the ground.. At this point I was scared it happened so fast and a lot was running through my mind, will I make it out of here today what was he going to do? Did I tell anyone I was here? I was struggling to think straight how do I get myself out of here?
He held my neck, I started screaming for Jesus to save me from this vicious man I cried and cried no one came to my rescue despite the 4 guards he had guarding his house.
He ripped my shirt and raped me, he was very violent and I was surprised that I didn’t pass out. The whole time I was scared and was hoping will leave the place alive.
He then called his 4 maiguards to have their turn but they just stood there looking at me. He then told me to get out! And pushed me out of the house. Just like that the whole ordeal ended.
As I walked away from the house a sudden sense of strength came over me and I just said “this incident would not affect how my life will go in the future”. I went to church and told my Pastor who blamed me. I didn’t understand how it was my fault and that made me very angry! …how could it have been my fault? I remember clearly I was wearing a black pair of jeans and my brothers black long sleeve shirt!! I expected counseling and comfort but all I got was blame from her a place I was meant to find refuge and healing I received judgement. When I got home my brother saw my torn shirt and asked me what happened when I told him got very angry at the whole situation and got violent smashing things up in the house in anguish, because at that point there was nothing he could do for me, he felt helpless….both experiences didn’t bring me peace …I decided to remain quiet after all what will the police do?
I blanked out what happened that evening, determined not to talk about it for a while…I didn’t want to remember it. After about a week I started having very bad panic attacks and I would re-live the whole experience, smell him and remember the words he uttered, just the smallest details of the evening…the only way I knew how to deal with it was to immerse myself in work determined to continue living my life.
I am an over-comer
I was determined to pursue my life and career in media and determined to live a normal life not letting what happened to me weigh me down or stop me from achieving my goals.
I started dating, I remember once I mentioned about the rape to a man I was seeing and all he could say was, “you know this changes everything” , that was the end of the relationship. I still believe there are some wonderful gentlemen out there who would be strong enough to walk with me and other women who have gone through what I have, knowing about their past and what they have been through, it takes a real man to stay by your side.
Since then I have pursued my career in Media and been involved with great productions.
It’s not been an easy road, but I am here and still pushing for my ultimate dream which is to own and run my own TV channel wherever in the world that maybe.
That’s my story. Sounds like a script from a movie? But it really is my story.
Why am speaking out
Because of what I went through and overcame, I founded an organisation called “Haven of Light”…the justeve organisation supporting survivors of rape…, we want to give women hope… In our cultures women are not allowed to talk about rape. They are expected to live with it , they block it out, wallow in pain and silence. The strength that came from within me, I want to use to help others find theirs and overcome especially in the healing process.
I feel the need to help them release the pain, bottling things up slowly kills us.
I want to offer training in media to those who want to get into media this was a great outlet for me and am very passionate about it.
There are a lot of projects we are working on that will be released in the near future but want to let you know that you are not alone, you are an overcomer and victorious . If I made it through so can you “your story matters”
Story submitted by Evelyn.