Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, a 79-year-old actress, journalist, and television presenter, has told how she became a mother at the age of 15, dropped out at the age of 16, became a widow at the age of 52, and was r*ped horribly at the age of 65. In a recent interview with TheNation, she shared this heartbreaking disclosure. She described how she was robbed, brutalized, and r*ped in her own home in Egbe, Nigeria.
“I’ve been through the fire, and I’ve come out fortified,” she says. I had my first child when I was 15 years old. By the age of 16, I was living on my own. I felt confident that I would receive a decent education. I intended to be a lawyer.
However, I was well aware that I was on my own. My family had abandoned me. After relocating to the United Kingdom in 1959, I married David Akinduro, but I divorced him owing to domestic abuse. Long after I divorced my first husband, I met Thomas Lycett. In the end, I married him. We had a wonderful time together. I was 52 years old when he died. Every day, I think of him.
He was the one who convinced me that I would be better off as an actor. At 2006, I was r*ped and robbed in my Egbe home. I was tethered. I had been defeated. I was beaten mercilessly. My health had been wrecked. I was r*ped while blindfolded. Because I wasn’t wet, the man who r*ped me claimed that he couldn’t easily enter me. ‘Widows don’t get wet,’ I told him.
‘Are you doing this to your mother?’ I asked them repeatedly as I continued to speak with them. They taped my mouth in an angry manner, but I stayed fearless and prayed throughout the attack. The cops arrived. They expected me to take the case farther. I was familiar with the masterminds. I could have had them imprisoned, but I chose to move on.
Look at me now; I’m done with it. The mind, you see, is a wonderful thing. When you cling to the pain of the past, you bind yourself to grief. You become afflicted by its venom. Rather than wallow in despair and self-pity, I got up and went to the doctor to make sure they hadn’t infected me with an STD. In the same year, the Obasanjo administration awarded me the national honor of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).
A few years later, one of them came to me and knelt in front of me, begging for forgiveness. I advised him to pray to God for forgiveness. “I told him I’d moved on,” I said.