What We Learned From Busola Dakolo’s Interview
“I will teach you a level of grace that you don’t understand-” Ese Walters, a former member of COZA headed by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo in 2013, alleged that Pastor Fatoyinbo said this after he raped her.
Busola, photographer and wife of award-winning musician Timi Dakolo, has revealed that she was raped by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo when she was only 17.
During an interview with Chude Jideonwo, she explained in details how she met him from the formation years of Divine Delight club, a Christian club, before it fully evolved to Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).
In the interview, Busola tells her story of how, she, young at 16 had just finished school and was introduced to the Christian club by her sisters.
According to her, she was not comfortable with the club because she was used to the “solemn” ways of serving God and not loud music as Pastor Fatoyinbo’s club was introducing.
The deed was done twice and she lived with the trauma for more than a decade before she decided to grant the interview to YNaija.
Here are a few things we learned from the interview.
There was grooming
A quiet, vulnerable and unassuming child who had just returned from secondary to stay in her father’s house while waiting for admission, she says that he approached her because she liked to stay alone. She felt safe because he created a safe environment for her to talk and open up about her deepest secrets, giving her books and Christian audios to listen to. To ensure she was firmly secure, he started to visit her home.
This action, she suggests, may have been one of the ways of him calculating and monitoring her family’s movements.
What she goes on to describe explicitly is what psychologists have described as the actions of a “Power rapist- He pushed her into the living room, covered her mouth and raped her before forcing Krest (a soft drink) into her mouth. “He brought Krest and said I should be happy I am the one that did this to you. That he is a man of God that disvirgined [deflowered] you.”
Groth Nicholas author of Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender describes this as Power rapist.
“Rape becomes a way to compensate for their underlying feelings of inadequacy and feeds their issues of mastery, control, strength, authority and capability. The intent of the power rapist is to assert their competency. The power rapist relies upon verbal threats, intimidation with a weapon, and uses only the amount of force necessary to subdue the victim.
The power rapist tends to have fantasies about rape and sexual conquests. They may believe that even though the victim initially resists them, that once they overpower their victim, the victim will eventually enjoy the rape. The rapist needs to believe that the victim enjoyed what was done to them, and they may even ask the victim to meet them for a date later.
Because this is only a fantasy, the rapist does not feel reassured for long by either their own performance or the victim’s response. The rapist feels that they must find another victim, convinced that this victim will be “the right one”.
Hence, their offenses may become repetitive and compulsive. They may commit a series of rapes over a short period of time.”
Various research articles and confessions of rape victims point to the same conclusion: they feel guilty, dirty and angry at themselves for being the cause of the rape.
“I felt like my glory was gone. I would cry and go to the bathroom, I think I had my baths like 10 times in the morning, I felt like I needed to be cleansed”.
With the fear of society pointing accusing fingers at the rape victims and questions such as “what was she wearing?” “Why did she wear it?” “Why did she give him the green light?” “she was a prostitute”, she kept quiet because she was seen as a “flower” by even her siblings.
In Zoë D. Peterson and Charlene L. Muehlenhard’s research article, “Conceptualizing the “Wantedness” of Women’s Consensual and Nonconsensual Sexual Experiences: Implications for How Women Label Their Experiences with Rape”, they note that sometimes victims refuse to tell that they have been raped or describe it as ‘rape’ if the rapist does not: match their description of a rapist and there was no physical violence or resistance.
This is made worse when one has a religious background and the fact that he is an ex-cultist. In her case, it was a biblical quote: bed undefiled. Ironically, hers was taken away by the very one who was supposed to be a preacher of the Bible.
“I was in Lagos actually kneeling down as if I was praying. I was just crying and this was late in the night so my sister came out and she noticed, she was just hearing, ‘why me?’ That was just the question I kept asking for a long time, I felt I was faithful to God, I had led many to Christ, I felt I was too committed. I thought God didn’t love me as much as He loves him.”
“I will teach you a level of grace that you don’t understand”
For fear of being judged, she attended the mid-week service where he preached about Grace of God. In Nigeria, there have been religious arguments on Grace and its misuse. Many have argued that it is a privilege to be raped by a man of God because of the anointing that he might pass onto her, a claim one of his alleged rape victims accused him of.
To me, it appears like a CONSENTED Rape…
But wetin I know self???
— Lere Olayinka – Aresa 1 (@OlayinkaLere) June 28, 2019
Enabling Fear and Slavery
The rapist needs to believe that the victim enjoyed what was done to them, and they may even ask the victim to meet them for a date late- Groth Nicholas.
Despite the rape which has happened earlier in the day, his wife invited her to the house to help with the baby. He volunteered to take her home and raped her again saying the chilling words, “Nobody ignores me… I am Yours, you will do what I want you to do.”
“Because this is only a fantasy, the rapist does not feel reassured for long by either their own performance or the victim’s response”- Groth Nicholas.
After the rape, he started to reassure her that “it will be fine and it is not a new thing”. He also mentioned that “men of God do it” but denied it in front of the pastors.
“Rapists” are scared when they are threatened. Once he was confronted, he and his pastors pleaded with pastor Wole (her second-cousin) who had resolved to leave to stay because “pastor really needs their help and this is not the right time for the pastor to stay… As it was an act of the devil.”
Just told a woman in my office that her pastor is a rapist and she said “ who dem never rape before , free that one “ madness
— seittitevoli (@Mako__TG) June 28, 2019
For years, she struggled with it and now that she is healing with her reliable support systems, she is using her strength to help others.
“The hurt is not the kind that you can say I know how to come out of it, it is a strong struggle within. You are trying to see yourself in that high esteem, you are trying to get out validation through people, love, you are sort of in a situation where you don’t have control of things, you are just depending on everything around you.”
It has also affected her belief in pastors and churches and is more concerned about her “relationship with God.” Despite the fact that Busola’s sister had a dream relating to this incident, Busola still denied it but for persistence, Busola finally gave in.
Her actions from then on affected her relationships. “It was a mindset that I built over time, I didn’t know. There were things I would do that the person would say this looks so absurd, why are you doing this? I never knew I had issues. I never saw a professional, it was more of a walk yourself through this. I was trying to find my voice, feel like I’m living again.”
“My cousin would make comments about something and I would interpret it another way. He would say something and I would interpret it so you think I’m useless… I was still struggling to tell myself ‘you are special.’
Her husband, Timi Dakolo, has recently been in the news due to accusing him of hiding under the “touch not’’ umbrella to rape women.
Again, years later, Ese Walters would accuse him of raping her and his church members would come to his defence and he would say nothing. Like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein cases, the world was unaware of how many they had been involved with until one person spoke up.
Despite the testimony of Ese Walters, Busola didn’t think to speak up because she felt she was no longer a part of the church and didn’t want anything to do with COZA.
On the societal questions of why now? She says that she started hearing another version of the story and decided to tell her own side mostly from social media and their habit of playing the judge. She also says that Pastor Biodun claimed that he had an affair with her, a minor. She felt safe that she was not going to say anything because of the ‘false’ assumption that she was getting over it.
Years later, after she has gotten married with children, people who are aware of the incident will comment on her husband’s post on the paternity of her children as well as accuse her of having a relationship with the pastor despite the fact that her husband has never mentioned her name or the name of the pastor.
Her healing started when she decided to seek God for herself. “I said, ‘I want to feel you in my life, let me know that you are real… I had come to the end of myself.’”
Like Ese Walters and others who have accused him, the pastor is yet to make a statement and his defenders, in their usual fashion, have risen to his defence with the Biblical quote, “Touch not my prophet and do no harm”
“If we can all be truthful to ourselves, healing will be like a circle especially men of God. They want to be seen as the perfect being… I want to safeguard my space, my church, it is no more like a body of Christ, it is more like this is my organisation. If we can’t open up to use our stories to influence people, how can we say we want a better society,” Busola says.