‘Don’t wear mini skirt to Yaba market’ is the latest advice to pretty young women in Nigeria these days as the level of harassment by area boys and traders in the popular market reaches new heights.
One lady who had just returned from Canada shared her story on popular forum, Nairaland.
‘I decided one weekend to go see my cousin who schools in Unilag. There I was feeling fly in a short tight skirt, a crop top and these mad high heels (that I got as a gift from my boyfriend) still thinking I was in Ontario. We had a wonderful time and when it was time to leave, I invited my cousin and her friends over to my place. I called my driver to come pick us up but he said he was stuck in traffic and said i should give him just 2 hours. I considered waiting but all the patience I had built up got swallowed suddenly by darkness- a power outage. The heat became intense, so one of the girls suggested that we take a taxi. We agreed.’
‘We got to the taxi park on campus but eventually took a bus because we couldn’t get a taxi. You could have seen the way everyone was judging me with their eyes as I climbed onto the bus. Their piercing gazes made me feel so uncomfortable. We got down at Yaba and had to walk to catch the next bus. As we strolled, with light laughter punctuating our chitchat, a bunch of scary men with sweat all over their faces started running toward us. They seemed to be arguing amongst themselves. They started telling us they had clothes for us to buy. Oh my Gosh! I was so scared. They even smelt of alcohol. It got to a point they started pulling us by our wrists. I couldn’t take it anymore and one of the men even had the guts to hold me by the waist. I gave him a dirty slap. Everywhere went silent and my cousin looked at me like “you done f**k up”.’
‘The man, mouth wide open started spraying saliva all over my face. He starting shouting some language (maybe Yoruba) which I couldn’t comprehend. His hands were raised, probably threatening to slap me back. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt and I could see the hair under his armpits and I was disgusted. I stood there dumbfounded until my cousin came to my rescue. She held my hand and started to drag me out of the market. Then the other girls started to rain all manner of insults at the man and his band. As we were leaving the confusion, I felt many hands slapping my butt. I cried my eyes out for the rest of the day. I was so embarrassed to tell the story when I got home. Nowadays,I just laugh whenever i remember that day.’