What She Said: There’s No Escaping The Violence

September 4, 2019

Navigating life as a woman in the world today is incredibly difficult. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. 

Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their takes on everything from sex to politics right here.

In South Africa today, a woman is murdered every three hours. The statistics in Nigeria doesn’t match these numbers but we come close. These statistics are what you get when the culture of male violence against women is allowed to hit a climax. On this week’s #WhatSheSaid I talked to 7 women about their experiences with male violence in situations ranging from relationships to just taking a stroll.

Stories of women encountering violence when doing something as mundane as trying to park a car are not only angering but terrifying. While the responsibility of ending this violence falls on the men who perpetrate it, we’ll do the only thing we can – continue to share our stories.

For talking to another man.

We were in a relationship. We got into a pretty serious argument about some other guy that had been moving to me as we were walking down the road and he pushed me to the ground and kept walking. I scraped my knee. The crazy part is I got up and started running after him to beg. See love will make you foolish.

For parking my car.

He said he was about to park in the space and that I came out of nowhere to take his parking space. He was already by my car screaming before I got out, but I had no plans to engage. When I got out he stood in my way and won’t let me pass. I didn’t say anything I just tried to push pass him and he pushed me back unto my car. He did it two more times before someone intervened.

As a joke

It was a small slap we were arguing about something silly and he said, “Shut up jo. What are you saying?”and slapped me. Everyone I told about it said it wasn’t a big deal, that he was just playing, but it raised alarm bells in my head. People have a weird perception of what a violent relationship is supposed to look like. It’s like if there are no bruises or physical evidence then it’s not real. When I told a friend that he hit me, she was like “When, where?” I told her my face and she said I don’t see anything. 

During a verbal argument.

We weren’t dating; we weren’t even that close we were just arguing at a house party and “I’ll slap you, oya slap me now” turned into an actual slap. I was expecting everyone at the party to react or say something, to come to my defence, even kick him out, there was just awkward silence after it happened. I didn’t even react, I didn’t say anything because if I had opened my mouth, I’d have started crying. 

For passing through the market

Every weekday, after a long day of work, I have to pass through Yaba Market to get home. This is tedious because the market is always overcrowded with pedestrians, drivers, market sellers and buyers. It’s especially worse because the market sellers — the men — do not understand boundaries. They grab me, or any other woman passing through by our arms, hold our shoulders, link their fingers in ours etc. It’s infuriating. I always cuss them out, but they end up pushing me, insulting and cursing me. And this happens every single weekday. They’re never apologetic; they feel like they have a right to my body or personal space. It scares me to stay at work later than daylight because that means I might be met with an even worse fate.

For being assertive.

If I’m being honest, I saw signs of violence when we were dating. He slapped me once, but I forgave him. Between 1997 when I got married and 2005 when I left, he beat me on average, once a month. He was always angry with me, because I’m an assertive person who believes I should have a say in my marriage. He said I should only be seen, not heard. Whenever I disagreed with him, I earned a beating. On one occasion he threw a lit lantern at me. In another instance, he held a knife to my head.

He was just fond of beating me.

We never got married but we lived together. He promised he’d come and see my people, but he never did. He was fond of beating me. I remember vividly, a day he beat me and packed all my clothes and burnt them. It was neighbours and friends that gave me clothes to wear. After that, I went back to my father’s place with my children. He came to beg and promised to stop but he never did. One day I reported to his friend. That angered him, he came back home, beat me thoroughly and asked me to pack and leave his house.

You'll like this

April 22, 2020

This week I talk to a 20-year old lady who in her own words ‘just wants to vent’. Hi there!  I’m not sure if this is an actual problem. Especially right now. It’s like there are people dying o Funke* and this is what you are talking about.  Lol, I haven’t even asked anything yet.  […]

May 13, 2020

Nigerian hairdressers are in an untouchable league of their own. You can’t live without them, you can’t live with them. Here are some of the funny and annoying things they love doing: 1. They love their product mixes- Coconut oil, shea butter, and vaseline in one container. It’s never just one product in there, it […]

Toketemu Ohwovoriole

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.


Now on Zikoko

August 8, 2020

We like to think our bodies are our own. Like we own and control them. But you see this body you call your own, it chooses to disgrace, embarrass and betray you, occasionally at the worst of times. Read on to see the  6 terrible ways your body can betray you so you can cast […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out:

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

More from Her

August 6, 2020

Finding someone of the same sex attractive is more common than you think. More often than not, we get curious enough to explore that option Today, 6 Nigerian women share their first time experience with a woman. 1. Favour, 20/ Lesbian It was in secondary school. The first time I noticed her laugh, I felt […]

August 3, 2020

Housing is a problem for a lot of Nigerians. It is not uncommon to find several people squatting together in a small apartment. I spoke to a 25 year old woman who has been evicted thrice because of her vagina. How did everything start? My first memory of being evicted happened in my 300 level […]

August 1, 2020

We all know losing weight is tough, but gaining weight flips both the script and the switch on that struggle. Even more so because people never take your struggle seriously. Apparently, if the issue being discussed is weight then weight gain takes all the attention while weight loss remains the underrated topic no one ever […]

July 30, 2020

Attaining the perfect Nigerian girlfriend status is not a day’s job but here are a few pointers to help nudge you in the right direction. 1. You may be the side chic or main chic.  Don’t try to find out which. It rains everywhere sis, just bless the Lord you have a man. It’s cold out […]

July 29, 2020

The woman in today’s WHAT SHE SAID, there’s nothing worse that being single and fat in your 30s. She talks about how the problem of finding clothes her size made her start making clothes for plus-sized women and why she’s currently doing everything she can to lose weight. Tell me a bit about yourself.   I’m […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.
September 24, 2019
A group of Zikoko staff go on a road trip to every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.