PhynoFest, Phyno’s Defence And The Perpetuity Of Rape Culture In Nigeria

Posted on December 17 2017 , at 07:10 pm
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Recently, news broke that as many as 20 women have been confirmed to have been raped at PhynoFest. It is tragic, but it is not so shocking, knowing the rape culture and the culture of sexual harassment in Nigeria.

The sensible thing for the artiste to do is issue a statement offering his sincere apologies that such atrocities happened at an event he convened, promise to investigate, offer support to the victims and promise to stand by them and give legal backing to any who want to prosecute.

But what did Chibuzor do? He came on Twitter to tweet that there were a million and one security personnel as well as the commissioner of police in attendance.

In other words, he had provided enough security and so he was sure that there is no way that women could have been assaulted or raped. Really Phyno? As if security personnel themselves cannot even be perpetrators.

As if we didn’t see some stories of rape and harassment shared by Nigerian women with the #EndSARS campaign. As if Stand to end rape has not taken up the case of a teenager who had been raped by a DPO in Lagos.

In other words, Phyno thinks that perhaps the women were not raped. I mean, how dare any man rape someone when the commissioner of police is in the vicinity. Here’s the problem with Nigerian artistes, they react very badly to criticism, their first instinct is to be defensive and label the critic a hater.

This is the same thing Phyno is doing. Except that this isn’t criticism, it is a much bigger issue. He also tweeted that why are the women coming out a month after the concert. As if there is a time frame for speaking about rape. As if if you don’t speak out within 24 hours, you become magically unraped. As if you can tell people how to deal with the trauma of rape.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is rape culture in Nigeria. When victims come forward, we look for ways to discredit them. Nigerian men will jump over themselves to defend rapists that they do not even know. Look at the comment section and see the awful things men are saying about the victims and how they’re standing in solidarity with the rapists.

 

This is just an example of the inanity many Nigerian men display when rape is reported. They will ask what the victim was wearing, why she was in the place that she was, how her actions attracted her rapist. Today, Phyno is asking ‘why are you just speaking up?’

The bitter truth is that with many Nigerian artistes, beyond their music, they have absolutely nothing left. No sense of social responsibility, no social awareness, no values and at times like this, no empathy.

In saner climes, Phyno would be buried in lawsuits by now and he’d have dug a deeper hole for himself with these thoughtless tweets of his. Drake stopped his concert to warn a man to back off and stop harassing a woman. Wizkid did same at a show as did Dbanj. This happened close enough to the stage for these artistes to see. Now imagine being waaaay behind, under the cover of darkness and with the music to drown out any screams.

It is in fact very possible to be raped at a concert, regardless of security personnel being present. All it takes is a man with a criminal mind and an unfortunate woman in a secluded area of the stadium.

Women get assaulted in broad daylight. On BRT queues, in queues at the banking hall, at the bus stop, at the market every single day. Women were harassed at shows where Drake, Wizkid and Dbanj were present but somehow, Phyno thinks it is impossible for this and to happen at his concert on a larger scale.

 


He does admit that some ‘hoodlums’ harassing women was apprehended, but rape? Nah. My giy thinks that’s taking it too far.

It’s a damn shame how one of Nigeria’s biggest stars has refused to take responsibility for the atrocities committed at his show. Phyno did not rape those women, but he has certainly created an enabling environment for rapists. Now, every sick mind out there knows that they can attend a Phyno concert and grope or even rape women and the artist would get behind them, making excuses for how they could possibly have not raped those women, instead of investigating and getting the victims justice.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is 2017 and women are still not safe because of people like this.

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