A few months ago, an unfunny comedian made a short skit on rape , deeming it justifiable (by his standards). Diji Aderogba’s short film, Victim, does the opposite by delving into rape and its stigmatisation. Through a monologue, Aderogba dives into rape culture in Nigeria, by employing the narrative of the protagonist played by Bunmi Akins.
She speaks of entitlement to her body, a free for all deemed permissible by her boyfriend. More often than not, questions attempting to justify rape rear their heads in situations pertaining to relationships. More often the term ‘love’ is used to excuse this urging for leeway is to be provided because love automatically equals sex, an integral part of every relationship. But as she says love does not make me a sex slave. Too often, people forget that rape is a violation of one’s body and it requires consent. The presence of love does not make up for the absence of consent, and consent makes all the difference. A reminder then that if it is a one sided interest, it is not consensual and it is still rape.
The ‘burden’ of being a girl is also addressed, due to the higher rate of female rape cases within the country. This once again draws attention to the harrowing event that recently took place in Ikoyi; the gang (and attempted) rape on school girls by the various men around them. Bunmi struggles between the negativity perceived and associated with being a girl as well as the society in which we live, attempting to understand why things are the way they are. We see her thinking of the mockery, the shame, the stares she’d receive if she tried reporting but stays strong in the truth that she is a victim and she is not to blame. A sliver of hope is provided through in the recognition that rape is undeserved in any situation. Rape as a punitive action remains a contradiction against its very being.
Aderogba canvasses rape culture and ends Victim recognising that there are different forms of rape suffered by many women worldwide and taking a firm stance in the inability to justify it.