HOW LOVE CHANGED HER

Written by: Ayokunle Olagoke

hlcm.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. NOON

Hosanna (17) is looking weak on the hospital bed where she is seated. She has bruises on her forehead, lips and part of her hand that is exposed. She is dressed in a hospital gown. Beside her are the doctor and another woman.

DR ESIRI
I was asked if you will like to press charges

Hosanna shakes her head in disapproval but says nothing

DR ESIRI (CONTD)
I must really commend you for taking the right step. The ideal thing is that victims should be present at a government hospital immediately after the incidence because only a government hospital’s report is admissible in court. Also, victims should be given Post Exposure Prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection, this should be taken within 48 hours and emergency contraceptive should be given to prevent pregnancy from occurring, it is available at every government hospital.

Hosanna is still in shock, she is mute, staring at the doctor’s shoulder

DR ESIRI (CONTD)
This is Barr Ohakwe, we call her Mama Justice… her NGO partners with us in assisting with emotional support, counseling and helping you get justice, I will…

Suddenly, they hear a loud cry at the corridor. A loud sound of a woman wailing

WAILING SOUND (V.O)
Olorun ti mo un sin loju mejeeji (the God I serve fervently)! It is not my portion, Labake mi o ni ku (my dear Labake, will not die), Yeh!

DR ESIRI
I will be back. Please, excuse me

Dr. Esiri leaves the room hastily. She opens the door hurriedly and closes it again. Hosanna looks through the window to catch a glimpse of what is happening

EXT. CORRIDOR. NOON
A young lady is being wheeled on the stretcher with the wailing woman running after her alongside some nurses

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM NOON
Mama Justice moves her chair closer to Hosanna with a simple smile

MAMA JUSTICE
Again I ask, will you like to press charges?

Hosanna shakes her head rapidly in disapproval, her eyes getting misty

HOSANNA
No

By now, tears are flowing down her eyes

MAMA JUSTICE
Whatever the decision you make, I will surely respect it but, can I know why?

HOSANNA
I’m not sure if it was a rape… I don’t know if I can call it a rape… I think I caused it to happen

MAMA JUSTICE
Do you mind telling me the full story?

FLASHBACK

INT. JIMI’S APARTMENT. 3P.M
Hosanna, dressed in touches of red is constantly wiping the sweat off her face with her face towel and off her sweaty palms. Knocks at the door but there is no response. After a while, Jimi walks towards the door reluctantly to open. She gives him a hug but he expresses reluctance

HOSANNA
Happy Val

She is beaming with joy but Jimi seems unwelcoming

HOSANNA (CONTD)
You are not dressed? Are we not going out again? You said we were going to see a movie or have you forgotten? I have been calling you to remind you, you were not picking my calls

JIMI
Hmmm

HOSANNA
You didn’t even ask about my test result I said was pasted… Eco 104, it was fine , though, I had 72

JIMI
Hmmm… good

HOSANNA
What are you up to? Your project?

JIMI
Hmmmm

HOSANNA
How do I look in this dress? I deliberately got this dress because of you, I know you love me looking sexy. Say something now, you like it?

She turns around for him to see

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Dr Sprinte

JIMI
Hossy, do we have to keep going round the same cycle over and over again? I have told you time and time again, we can’t go on a major outing with you looking like an inflated balloon, I’ve said, for now, we can only have our relationship in the room till you lose some more weight and form a reasonable shape… I mean, I can’t go out with you looking like this

HOSANNA
But I’m trying, I go to the gym on Saturdays until you said you don’t like the trainer and I should stop going till I get another gym; despite that I still jog every morning, I am trying

By now she already has misty eyes with her voice shaking

JIMI
Look Hossy, he that is good at making excuses will only keep making more. You are fat, you sweat a lot, your palms, your face, nose, sole of feet… see, my girlfriend illuminates me, my girlfriend is meant to be a reflection of me, if you are like this then, I can’t show you off, BURN MORE FAT!

He yells out at her. By now she is not able to control her tears, the tears run down her cheeks uncontrollably. Her lips are trembling as she sobs

JIMI (CONTD)
A friend’s sister is coming around, I will be going out with her because I really need to cool off, have some fun this season that happens once in a year… just friends

He avoids making eye contact with Hosanna who by now is soaked in tears

JIMI (CONTD)
Look it’s okay…it’s okay. You know I love you hum? You can take this time to read up some of the classes you’ve missed, exams are coming soon and in 100 level trust me you need a good CGPA okay?

Hosanna nods in concordance with what he just said

JIMI
Oya give me a smile now my Hossy! Hossy!

She manages to smile

HOSANNA
Let me be on my way then so you can have some time to get set

She bends down to put on her shoes, her clothes are up her thighs, Jimi sights the exposed thighs, the tightly fitted top revealing her cleavage as she bends

JIMI
Ah! No now, won’t you cook for your Jim-Jim? Do you want me to carry empty
stomach around campus? Go and prepare something jor

He teases her. Hosanna is still sniffing, cleans the tears off her face. She bends down to carry the pot from the wooden cupboard close to the bed. She opens it and sees it is dirty, she carries it outside the room. Jimi heaves a sigh of relief as she leaves

                                                            THIRTY-EIGHT MINUTES LATER

INT. JIMI’S APARTMENT. EVENING
Jimi’s phone rings, he looks back to be sure Hosanna is not close by. The door is left open; it cannot be shut except when locked with a key.

JIMI
Hey, guy! I just want to eat before I call you

He tries to reduce his voice, still sounding confident too.

JIMI (CONTD)
I told you it’s a small matter. At the moment she is in the kitchen making me dinner… mumu

He chuckles

JIMI (CONTD)
I don’t know what she wants me to do with a fat girl with sweaty palms and feet, me Olujimi Festus… abeg are the girls ready?… Yeh! I’m dead… if today is when I will have HIV I am ready… who?… she said the bleeding has ceased, she’s at home with her mama. We will discuss more when we see… I will join you soon

After making the call, he turns back still smiling broadly. To his amazement,  Hosanna walks in, she has a pot of rice in her hand, she stares at Jimi as tears start to fill her eyes

HOSANNA
I heard you… I heard everything

She pulls the hot pot of rice towards herself so she can throw it out with full force towards Jimi but he quickly blocks it with his hand and the rice spilled over the entire room. He hits her hard on her cheeks causing her to land on the floor. Jimi goes towards the door, locks it and draws out his belt

JIMI
Are you mad? Look at the whole room, is it my fault that you are a shapeless ameba? You will never repeat this again in your life, now pick every single grain

He whips her with the belt on her buttocks, she cries out loud. Jimi puts his finger across his lips telling her to keep quiet

JIMI (CONTD)
Quiet! If I hear your voice again, I will wound you badly.

She is nodding her head nonstop

JIMI (CONTD)
Today is your day, now, take off your dress.

HOSANNA
Ah! Please Jimi, you know I’m a virgin

JIMI
No, I don’t know, I’m just about to know. Off!

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. NOON
By now she is sobbing profusely.

HOSANNA
I don’t know if that’s rape. I walked into his room myself, I seduced him, it’s my fault and I cannot press charges, my father is a Reverend, he will kill me

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Mama Justice has gone to her side to comfort her

MAMA JUSTICE
Hmmm! I am so sorry Hosanna but let me help you get some things clear. This is
not your fault, of course, I do not endorse your entire actions but this rape is not your fault and yes he did rape you, Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria stipulates that anyone who is convicted of using violence to have carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent shall be guilty of rape. As long as your consent was not given, it’s rape. Keeping silent and not reporting will further endanger you, as you will be exposed to the possibility of him striking again. You cannot afford to live in the bondage of silence, which is the power rapists have over their victims.

Dr. Esiri walks in looking tired and unhappy. The voice of the wailing woman is heard from outside

WAILING SOUND (V.O)
Ha, Labake! Kin se base so niyi (this was not what we agreed)! Jimi Festus, wherever you are, your parents will mourn over you like you are making me mourn

DR ESIRI
She’s gone. She was actually brought in dead. We were told they found in her diary that she was raped by one Jimi Festus some months ago…

Hosanna is shocked, she cuts in trembling

HOSANNA
That’s Jimi, same guy who raped me

Dr. Esiri and Mama Justice express surprise

DR ESIRI
So she kept it to herself, did not visit the hospital after then, I guess she was ignorant. Few months after the rape, she found out she was pregnant. Jimi told her to get rid of it… took her to where she terminated the pregnancy. Days later she developed   complications, septic abortion. She went back there; in short, they could not control the hemorrhage. On her way down here she gave up the ghost

MAMA JUSTICE
Hmmm

HOSANNA
So I’m not the first Jimi will…

MAMA JUSTICE
But you can be the last if you choose to press charges. Every time we lock up a rapist, we’re preventing him or her from committing another attack. You can be saving an entire generation just by taking this up. For the love of others…

HOSANNA
I think I’ll do this. If this lady had taken the case up maybe he would not have done the same thing to me. If I don’t take it up, he might do it to another girl. I will… I will do this

She breaks down into tears. The other two women walk towards her to embrace her

                                                                 THE END

Appreciation: Seun Abimbola
Between March 2012 and March 2013, 678 rape cases were reported in Lagos state alone
95% of victims are raped by people they know, love and trust.

If every Nigerian knows what to do in the case of rape, we would have less rape  incidence, less unplanned pregnancies and a decrease in the number of people with HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

The Lagos State Government, through the State Domestic and Sexual Violence response Team (DSVRT), has approved the use of the 112 toll-free emergency line to report cases of rape,  domestic violence, defilement, child abuse, neglect and other
sexual assaults perpetrated in the state.

Rape victims should go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY after the experience so as to, among other things, get immediate treatment and evidence to prosecute the rapist because after 72 hours, evidence necessary to prosecute the perpetrator may be lost. For more information on how to handle a rape case click here

Some NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs) that offer relief are:
1. Mirabel Center in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital
2. End Rape And Sex Abuse (ERSA)

 

The least we can do is share and comment on this post, you just might be saving a life.

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Answer this question to stand a chance to win FREE recharge cards to call your loved ones.
Question
Whose love changed Hosanna’s mind about seeking justice?

kindly place your answer in the comment thread.
Thank you!

 

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MY WEANING STORY

Story by: Busayo Awodein

weaning mobile

Total weaning was something I really did not look forward to. Apart from the emotional stress being undergone by mother and child that period, I really was not ready to stop enjoying the benefits I derived from breastfeeding – especially that of the mother to child bond. Initially, I had planned to breastfeed for two years or at least 18 months, but a part of me just felt it was time to stop which I did at 16 months. Hence, here’s my weaning story.

story continues after the advertisement

HeartMINDERS RAPE2

Immediately my daughter clocked one, I intensified the weaning process. I stopped breastfeeding during the daytime and breastfed only at nights. I had come to terms with the fact that it would be almost impossible for me to stop breastfeeding completely on my own because I could not bear to see her cry so hard for something that I had the power to give her, so I was waiting for a ‘savior’. I knew I had to stop because I was not having adequate rest at nights; she woke frequently to breastfeed, and she also had little sleep.  Thankfully mother was coming to spend some time with me. So, the plan was baby would stay with mother at nights and when she wakes to feed, there would always be a substitute- pap, chocolate drink or cereal.

story continues after the advertisement

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So, the process of full weaning started. It required a lot of determination on my part. The whole weaning took about five painful days…painful physically because of engorged breasts, and painful emotionally because of my baby’s cry. Gradually, after the five days we started, she started sleeping all through the night and forgot about breast milk altogether.

PS:

Script It: did everything change in that 5 days?

Busayo: yes, more or less. After 5 days maybe 3 more extra days after mom left. When she woke up then, I would just pat her bombom until she slept back

Script It: so after a week you stopped she started sleeping all through the night?

Busayo: yes

Script It: do you think their frequent waking at night to suck is not really because they are hungry?

Busayo: for my child, well, thinking back, I think it was just an addiction, bus once she knew that breast milk was not going to show she stopped. That was why I did not want to give her food too because it might just mean waking up to eat, which will become another addiction.

Script It: I like the point you just raised about not introducing food so they don’t start the habit of waking up to eat again. When she woke up for the cereal and pap back then, was she sleeping off immediately after taking them?

Busayo: yes she was sleeping off immediately after taking them. Sometimes she would start sleeping as she was taking it

Script It: during the times when she was waking up to take cereals, did her intermittent wake up frequency reduce?

Busayo: yes, it reduced drastically. Instead of waking up 5 times before day break, it reduced to once or twice.

Script It: why pap and cereal?

Busayo: I guess pap and cereals are more filling so it made her sleep more soundly

Script It: thank you

Download the World Health Organization recommendation on weaning


BOOMERANG

boomerangWritten by Ayokunle Olagoke

INT. OFFICE RECEPTION. EVENING

LARA (35) is seating at the receptionist’s cubicle with a tag on her table that reads “kindly make all your inquiries here”. She is conversing with someone over the phone. Her food pack is on the right side of the table. She has the TV remote control in her hand, a Nigerian movie is being shown on the television. She is chewing a piece of meat in her mouth as she is also engrossed in the conversation.

LARA
I already told her, until she leaves that church I don’t see an end coming to her pro… You married a husband who has no job as if that is not enough you are now attending a church where your pastor who is 68 years old has no child, how do you think he will pray for you to have a child?

She pauses to get a response from the other end of the phone. Femi, a young man walks in, looking exhausted with a small sheet of paper in his hand. He wipes off the sweat from his face with his sleeves. He takes a glance at the sheet of paper then takes a looks at the name of the company boldly written on the insignia hung on the wall, he walks towards Lara, taking a bow with his head as a form of greeting. Lara stares at him from head to toe, his appearance does not look impressive or choice.
She signals to him with her left hand to hold on while she continues with her conversation. Femi attempts to speak but Lara repeats the signal again. Femi waits right there standing in front of Lara’s desk, hoping that Lara’s conversation will end soon. Lara continues to chew on her meat.

LARA (CONTD)
Since we all left school, no progress in her life. There is so much of bad luck following that so-called husband of hers… really? Is that his new lie? He can never get a job. Until I see him working with my two eyes and paying bills at home, I will never believe he… ah you know you believe things so easily.So, have you heard from Leye? Is he still dating that Nike girl?

She makes a long hiss to depict hopelessness on the matter.

LARA (CONTD)
Nike has cast a spell on him, how can a lady tell you her two siblings died of sickle cell and she is AS, and you still want to go ahead and marry her… ehen? Even if he is AA nko? AS and AA, there is still “S” there so they can have SS child o… ehen? So they can’t have SS child that way? Are you sure? Anyway, you work in the hospital… me I sha don’t like Nike, she’s even slim like an ogbanje… her tiny legs like that of Miss Pepeye

She bursts out into laughter,

LARA (CONTD)
Yes now, she wears skinny trouser like a prostitute

She hisses in disgust. At this point, Femi walks to where the seats are to take a seat, he seems  restless as he checks the time on his phone which is bonded with a rubber band. Lara glances at him as he goes to take his seat and quickly takes her eyes off him.

LARA (CONTD)
All I know is whatever we all sow we will… Muyiwa leave me jare, all you men are the same, show me a man who does not cheat and I will show you a first class liar. I lived with Lanre for fourteen years yet he went about chasing after tiny legged girls and me I don’t have patience, before he  could say “Jack” I’ve packed my… So you are saying your wife left just because she doesn’t want to relocate to Nigeria with you? I don’t believe that Femi’s phone rings, he goes out to receive the call.

Lara stretches her neck to peep at him and see what he is up to, pulling the land line closer so she can see him clearly.

LARA (CONTD)
I have a visitor jare, he resembles all this aboki selling suya, he has been so impatient, ah I told him to wait, I will attend to him, nobody can even do any shakara for me in this office. They never pay me my three months salary so I will work at my own pace… my battery is flat, we’ve been talking for more than an hour… She is fine o, she is back from school so I sent her to the market, she should even be back any moment from now. Amen ooo, all of them will give us great delight. Her brother is writing his WAEC next month, I am getting relieved gradually…

Femi walks in and approaches Lara’s desk impatiently, looking worried

FEMI
Madam…

LARA
So we will talk later jare

Turns her revolving chair towards Femi, staring at him rudely

LARA
So how may I help you?

FEMI
My name is Femi, an accident occurred close to Azizat Market some hours ago involving a young girl and a taxi, the taxi did not wait after the collision so I took the girl who was lying there helplessly, to the hospital, there was no way we could recognize her, she
wasn’t speaking. On my way home to go change my shirt because it was stained with blood, I saw this piece of paper in my back seat with this company’s letterhead so I thought someone here might know her

He dips his hand into his pocket to bring out the sheet of paper. Written on it is the list of things to buy from the market. Lara quickly snatches it from his hand trembling as she recognizes her own handwriting on the paper, she is shaking uncontrollably.

LARA
Yeh! Yeh! She’s my daughter

FEMI
We need to hurry now, I just got a call from the hospital that my attention is needed

LARA
Ah! You should have told me… you should have… yeh

THE END

Ogbanje – a child believed to repeatedly die and then return to its mother to be reborn
Miss Pepeye – a character in the Wale Adenuga’s Papa Ajasco comedy who tries to create the impression that she is classic but is truly not. She is simply plastic