Let me introduce myself to you. I am Ayomide. I have so many qualities that might interest you (or not), but I am only focusing on one in this write-up.
I am busty. The kind of busty that will make you say ‘phew! This girl has boobs’. During my early teenage years, I was very conscious of my body, ashamed even. I remember when I was in SS2, MrsOgbukwa, my CRK teacher called me aside and said; ‘I have noticed that you are shy of your breasts. You have nothing to be shy of. Stop cowering everywhere, hold your head high and carry yourself with dignity’. I appreciate her for that talk till date.
No. My shyness about my breasts didn’t come from heaven. It came from the environment. As a petite girl, you’d be walking on the road and men old enough to be your father would say;
‘Small girl like you, what are you doing with this big load?’
‘My dear, let me handle these your melons. You will enjoy it very much.’
These are the least of the gross things they say which made me retreat into my shell and I thought big boobs were bad luck. I am very confident about my body now but I am still careful about the kinds of clothes I wear. When I am in school, I wear whatever I want. It is a sheltered environment. I have never been harassed in Unilag except for the time of the famous Sodeinde boys in Year 1. Those ones used to troll everybody though.
When I am going outside school now, to some extent, I do not wear clothes that will make someone focus on my chest. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t matter. The lewd comments will still come.
I used to avoid passing through a particular street in my area because of catcalls and lewd comments. I have grown a thick skin to their harassment now.
Yaba men are notorious for harassment. There is never a time I have visited that market without anybody talking about my boobs.
‘Hey! Black and shine, I like these your oranges o.’
‘If I carry this your load ehn, I no need a straw. I go suck am like say tomorrow no dey’
Today, this cold morning, I was at Yaba bus stop waiting for Sabo bus when I felt arms across my shoulder and the guy whispered ‘Babe, follow me go house. This cold plenty.’
I was dumbfounded. I just shoved his hands away and walked forward. I couldn’t even look him in the eye. I was disgusted. This is something he wouldn’t have gotten away within a saner environment.
I thought of several ways I could react but I cautioned myself. Just leave. People won’t take your side. The usual comments of
‘Wetindey do you sef? You no be woman?’
‘Person dey look am, e no happy. Na so dem go dey do till dem no go see husband marry’.
Why do I even expect them to fight for me? #ThisIsNigeria where SARS will shoot innocent citizens in their presence and they wouldn’t do anything. They’ll cower and rant on social media. That’s all.
I got into a huge fight with a guy at my IT company. We were talking about ladies wearing revealing outfits and he said anytime he encounters such ladies, he buys pure water and pours on them. I was so angry. We exchanged bitter words. He even said to me; ‘If they born you well, wear something that will show your breast to this office on Monday. I will squeeze your breasts until people beg me to leave you’
Of course, I didn’t report him to the manager. His colleagues begged me and all. And they started playing the card of ‘Forgive him as God expects us to forgive everybody…’.#ThisIsNigeria where we bring God into different situations to suit our selfish needs.
I don’t know if such environment exists, but I want to live in a place where I can comfortably wear bum shorts to the market or an outing without anybody harassing me in the bus or on the road. I want to wear whatever I like without having to first think if this will make guys drag me on the road.
I want my girl child to not grow up thinking having big boobs is a thing to be ashamed of or thinking catcalls and lewd comments from men is normal.
I want several other things, but as long as it is dependent on this society, I don’t think it will be possible.
Why? Because #ThisIsNigeria.