Blessing, Owerri, South East Nigeria

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My name is Blessing, and I am from Owerri, South East Nigeria. I work here now (a night club), and initially, it wasn’t what I wanted or bargained for, but I needed to provide for myself after my mum drove me out of her house.

On the fateful day, I was home with my best friend who she was familiar with. Mum had left for the market where she sells her wares. She usually doesn’t come until late in the evening. I had just graduated with a National Diploma and looking for a job.

One thing led to another, and before long I was in a warm embrace with my friend. We were gone with the passion and the emotion and was unaware my mother had come in while she stood there watching us. She descended on us when she could no longer bear it, and instantly sent my friend packing. She refused that I get dressed and sat with me in the room for a long talk.

At the end of it, she told me she could not bear to stay with me any longer, that I should pack out. I wanted to explain to her that I remained her darling daughter, and that what she had seen was the inner and real me that I had kept to myself for too long. But she would have none of it.

She threatened to call the neighbors to come watch my nude if I did not pack my things and leave. I left that night for my friend’s place.

After a while, I was left with very little option but to join her at the club where she works as a stripper. My first time was really difficult, and immediately I left the stage, I rushed to the toilet, locked myself up and cried my eyes out.

I never imagined this would be my lot, but I just have to move on. And I have. Since I left home, the most harrowing experience that remained fresh in my memory, and I am not sure if I can ever erase it was the day four men busted into our room, hours after we got back from the club, trying to catch some sleep.

It was a maddening moment of uncertainty, as they went scattering our stuff all over and ordering us to make love to each other! It was something out of this world. Before we knew it they had started beating us and ordered us to strip. We had no choice as they threatened to drag us on the street and call the crowed on us. One of them slapped me and said I should start doing what I used to do with my partner. Scared,  I had to hold my girlfriend and we started; they were recording us on video.

After everything, they collected my phone; they threatened us not to report to anyone, not even the police, if we did, they would release the video to everyone. We couldn’t report to anyone. It is so sad. One of them wanted to rape me but he was stopped by their leader. This happened at MCC number … They took our jewelries, phones and money. I did not even know how it ended. We had not much choice but to move to our current location where no one knows us and we are staying there under the cover of being sisters.

Quite a number of people like us have had similar or more harrowing experiences, and the question we always ask is why does it have to be this bad?