One of the top entertainer wives in Nigeria, Lola Omotayo-Okoye recently opened up on suffering sexual molestation at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest when she was in secondary school.
The wife of Peter Okoye, one of the music group, Psquare made this disclosure at the Kinabuti Dare2Dream Project in Lagos. She said that this painful experience led to her being rebellious as she could not even up to her family over the abuse she suffered because she thought nobody would believe her.
After she left secondary school, Mrs. Okoye recounts, she fell in love with a man whom she thought was the love of her life. But he turned out to an abuse who would beat her up at every turn. She encouraged young girl to reach inside them for their best selves and realise that they can overcome their past.
Omotayo-Okoye is a mother of two children with her husband, Peter.
In her own words:
“You shouldn’t let your past determine what your destiny will be, we all have our past whether good or bad or makes us unhappy, we all had a life that we lived that we are not happy about, you shouldn’t let it bother you from succeeding.
When I was a young girl in my early teens in high school, I was molested by a Catholic priest. I blamed myself, I didn’t tell anyone because I was ashamed, couldn’t tell anyone because I felt everyone would blame me, so I carried on the guilt and bitterness with me for years. I was filled with hate and I became a angry person, I was rebellious, I didn’t want to listen to anybody… and because I wanted to be expelled from school to avoid seeing this person, I would do so many terrible things, everything around me was just so negative, I felt I wasn’t good enough….
Anyway I moved on to the university, met the love of my life and I’m like, okay this guy is cool, he loves me…and then he started to abuse me…. Iwas beaten black and blue all the time, in front of friends, in public and at a point I felt, you know what I am not worthy enough, there is nothing about me that is nice, nobody loves me but I hid this from my family. I felt like a loser. So it was hard for me to focus… so one day I woke up and said I am going to change my story and I dumped that person, focus on my education and decided to be serious and be something. I decided to get a job and go to school full time in America.
I worked hard… my parents were sending me money because I didn’t tell them I was working but I was working because I wanted to be independent… I didn’t want to depend on any man or on my parents even though they would have done anything for me… so I did all sorts of job, I was a makeup artiste, I worked in a cafe, school library, I did so many things and I didn’t realise that these jobs were building me up as a person, building my resume, my confidence… People began to like me because I was adding value to their live. At work I was excellent and so was I in school and that built me as a strong woman… and at some point, I sought counseling to get over my molestation issues where I was made to see reasons why I wasn’t at fault cos I was a child then…today I am accomplished.
You can be whatever woman you want to be but you have to believe in yourself, if they reject you today, it doesn’t mean you should let your dreams die, you have something unique about you. Look at my husband, when I met him peeps were like what are you doing with him, he has nothing but I stood my ground and choose to stick with him because he had a dream. He and his twin brother did not let their dream die, they worked hard… look at them today! I stuck by him because he had focus and drive and today I am happy. I have a good life, we are happy and we have got a beautiful family. No one can make you a loser.”