On the 7th of October 2019, BBC Africa revealed that they were ready to release a documentary about the sexual harassment students in West African universities face from lecturers. The doc was made by gathering testimonies from victims and sending female undercover journalists to pose as students in the University of Lagos and University of Ghana. This revelation sparked a nationwide conversation about ways to fight the menace of sexual harassment in universities using the hashtag #SexForGrades – a conversation that has been long overdue.
However, we’re here today to talk about how we just kiki’d and danced along to the catchy tune when a veteran Nigerian rapper tried starting this conversation with a song 16 years ago.
This song and its accompanying video told a story familiar to many female students in tertiary institutions. A lecturer walks into the classroom and demands that a girl come to see him in his office immediately after. When she goes to see him, he demands sex from her in exchange for good grades, leaving her confused on what to do next (seeing as she doesn’t want to do what he asked but also doesn’t want to fail).
The video ends with her summoning the courage to get the police involved, which leads to the lecturer getting arrested. Because the artiste knew that such stories don’t usually have happy endings in real life, he ended the video with this message:
I’m talking about Eedris Abdulkareem’s 2003 hit, “Mr Lecturer.”