On Sunday, March 5, 2017, Ekemini Ekerette, aka Kemen, was disqualified from the Big Brother Naija show. The 27-year-old fitness instructor was caught on camera groping fellow housemate Tokunbo Idowu, aka TBoss, while she was asleep. While I was (still is) super excited with Big Brother’s decision, I was appalled by the debate Nigerians were having on and off social media over Kemen’s disqualification.
Social media user: “How can TBoss, a 33-year-old, be sexually assaulted …?”
Me: Oh wow! I didn’t know sexual assaults had anything to do with age. So now I guess, once you are over 30 or so, you are automatically immune from sexual assaults.
SMU: “Why give a guy hope when you are not game? Nne let us be truthful to ourselves, you led the guy on, you roped him in.”
Me: Errr … When and how did she do this? While she was fast asleep, or perhaps in a state of hypnagogia? Or the other countless times she had told him off.
SMU: “The same TBoss that asked Kemen to massage her while she was naked. The same TBoss that shows her breasts to the housemates at every given opportunity.”
Me: I’m sorry but I didn’t know “come massage me” was a code for “come fondle me in my sleep.” Or that being naked was a default invitation for sex or sexual assault as in this case.
SMU: “What Kemen did was wrong but Big Brother’s punishment was too harsh.”
Me: I know right. It’s a steep price to pay for just what … 30 or 40 seconds of action? Remember Brock Turner?
SMU: “Biggie could have placed Kemen on alcohol ban or something … To save him the disgrace and possible damage to his career.”
Me: Did Kemen say he was drunk? And shouldn’t he have thought of his career before molesting an unconscious woman.
SMU: “The guy finger no even enter finish …”
Me: I have no reply for this … This one rendered me speechless.
Unfortunately, women joined in making some of these stupid arguments. Yes, you read that right. WOMEN were screaming foul over the fact that a pervert got the treatment he deserved for molesting one of their kind. Let’s not even address the reaction of the other housemates over the issue; the fact that no one saw it fit to ask TBoss her side of the story, before jumping into conclusion from what Kemen told them. The fact that they wasted no time in labelling her an “evil white witch” over her molester’s disqualification. The fact that 36-year-old father of two, ThinTallTony, was quick to make stupid arguments like the ones mentioned above, talking about all the colours of light TBoss had been giving Kemen. Well, why did he have to wait until midnight, and peek around like the flesh eating thief that he is, before acting on this supposed green-light?
Prior to the event of Saturday night, Kemen had been called to order by Big Brother on several occasions regarding his perverse behaviour towards other female housemates, including Gifty and Uriel. Fondling TBoss under the sheets without her consent was just the straw that broke the ‘Kemen’s’ back. Kemen had on other occasions tutored the men in the house on how to take advantage of women. Once, he advised the other male housemates on how they can go about having sex with the now evicted housemate, Gifty; by getting her intoxicated, getting drunk themselves, have sex with her, and then blame it on the alcohol. On another occasion, the sorry excuse for a man told housemates that adding Knorr cubes to Coca-cola makes a girl weak and horny. The young man clearly knows his craft.
As I read these nonsensical arguments on social media, all I could remember was the case of Brock Turner, the 19-year-old Stanford rapist. Turner was caught raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster in January 2015, and when he was given a notably lenient sentence of a six-month jail term, his father called it a “steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.” Sadly, Turner did not even get to complete his sentence but what his story did in America at the time was move the conversation surrounding rape and consent forward. Which is exactly what the event of this past weekend has done in Nigeria. I am glad that although there are people making really dumb arguments over the Kemen-TBoss story, there are many more educating people about rape, and what consent is. As a matter of fact, the call to eject Kemen started on social media. For a show that is highly controversial and regarded as pointless and immoral, BigBrother has certainly raised the bar with its decision to disqualify Kemen. However, this is relatively subjective.
Dear Nigerians who do not understand what CONSENT is, this video explains it perfectly: