Fatima Ishiaku was raped by her father when she was seven, but it turned out that he wasn’t actually her father and her mother had been lying to her. The mother decided to stay with the man, after she has physically mutilated her daughter based on the instructions and stories of this man.
She has forgiven her mother and written a book about her life’s experiences over the past 38 years since that rape.
She’s here today to tell me that story.
Fatima is different. She doesn’t have the buzz words. She’s not navigating all that political correctness.
What she came here with today was her truth, because you can see somebody who has fought and is still fighting in several levels for her peace of mind, for her clarity, for her dignity. She’s wielding every tool in her control; forgiveness, truth authenticity, writing. She shouldn’t be having to fight that fight but here we are.
So, what I took from her, is that you can fight no matter what life throws at you and even if it’s a monster step-father who rapes you at seven. You can fight for some freedom, for some joy, for clarity, for healing , for laughter. You can fight for your life.
My mother was the cause of all these problems, because sometimes when I try to tell her, she’ll just push me (away). It’s not the rape anymore that is affecting me. Because I’m happy that I’m helping the girl child. Most times when I look at the scars, I got through my mother, how she cut my vagina, she’ll put pepper, she’ll break my head… Those are the things that affect me. She said ‘The day you get married and your children ask who did this to you, you will tell them”. 💔
“When my mother died and she was still in the mortuary this man was defiling me and he said to me: ‘Nobody can protect you anymore. And if you do anything, I’ll kill you and your sibling the same way I killed your mother.’
At this time he’ll rape me and he’ll beat me. He’ll lock the room, so my younger ones will not come out. He’ll rape me and sometimes after he finished with me he’ll lock me in the balcony.
Those parts I didn’t put in the book because those parts are meant for another documentary which I’m supposed to do. But people need to understand what abused people go through. NGO needs to understand that it’s not about you carrying a banner saying ‘say no to rape’, it is deeper.”
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