I was 13 years old, in SS1 that particular year. Kunle (15yrs old) was my mother’s friend's son. He had beef for me because I refused his sexual advances
How would I tell mother what Kunle was up to? The only option was to refuse when sent to deliver a message to his mother. If only mother could have a deep conversation with me regarding sexual harassment and what I could have done in such situations?
One evening, my mother gave me a package to deliver to Mama Kunle. My heart started pumping faster. What other excuses do I give mother? Headache? Chest pain? Toothache?
"It's urgent...quickly go and come back now now."
I picked up the package and left with the hope that his mother was at home.. #NoShaking
I knocked on the door and his sister opened up (deep relief)
"Good evening ma, my mummy said that I should give this to you." I gave Kunle's mum the package. “Oshee Peju, bami ki mummy ee.“(Greet your mother for me) She replied.
To head for the stairs became a problem since his sister was not in view and he could be somewhere hiding. (aiye mi... Temi bami poo!) The woman looked at me and said " Haa! The door is not locked or are you scared of our dog? It's chained at the back. You are free to go." How do I tell this woman that her son is on my case? I'm here because of my mother oo!
Half way to the stairs had light while the other half was dark. The only option was to tread carefully to the last part of the stairs. My intuition kept telling me that something was wrong. I kept moving on the stairs slowly and sensitively.
The next thing I heard was "You" in the dark and before I could mention his name, he threw a hard punch in my right eye. He was waiting for me in the dark. I was dazed. I missed my calculation and fell from the stairs with my hands covering my right eye full of stars ✨
I got up quickly and exit the compound. Dusting my skirt and cleaning the water from my eyes. I got home like nothing happened, delivered Mummy Kunle's message and dashed to my room to re-strategize on how to handle sexual harassment from boys, big uncles and men.
I became my own coach. I developed survival mechanism. Now, I am helping the young ones.
Dear Mothers, please pay a little more attention to us.
START HAVING THE HEALTHY CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR CHILDREN.
MY NAME IS PEJU.
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