PHOTOS: Nigerian teens whose s3x tapes are published, monetised on porn sites by ex-lovers
Sixteen-year-old female admission seeker identified only as Folu had no hint that a boy who once confessed love to her was responsible for leaking videos of their intimate moments on the Internet.
A fun-seeking teenager, who sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations in September last year, would have to live with the trauma of her nakedness on pornographic websites and blogs globally.
Folu wore a flowing black gown and a shimmery peach-coloured shawl wrapped around part of her face and neck when our correspondent visited her.
Still visibly shaken from the trauma, the distraught teenager sat on a bench by a waterfront, overlooking a compound in Lagos housing a tree with scanty leaves.
She was with an older woman whom our correspondent later got to know as her cousin. The older lady, who gave her name as Linda, wore a pair of bogus glasses and a bucket cap. From their mannerisms, it was obvious that the duo don’t live in the area.
Folu’s eye bags looked like they carried the weight of her shame and guilt of the past which had come to haunt her. She stared at the water body ahead and became quiet for minutes before sobbing.
“I didn’t know he was recording me. I wouldn’t have let him record me. My future is finished!” she sobbed louder, with Linda consoling her with pats on her back.
Folu said she and a neighbour, whose name she gave only as Atanda, 24, started dating in December 2019, a month before her 15th birthday. The duo, who met on social media, started out a friendship that, according to Folu, was not defined but ‘had a lot of benefits.’
“He buys me airtime and sends me data. Anytime we meet, he buys me things,” she said.
Asked about how she got entangled in the web of pornography, she said, “Atanda told me he liked me during one of the evenings we met. Before I knew what was happening, we were kissing and it ended in lovemaking. It was not my first time though. I had had sex in the hostel during one of our inter-house sports the same year so it was not much of a big deal. I liked the guy, and he didn’t give me any reason to doubt his love.”
Folu said she later found out during one of the evenings she spent with Atanda that he lied about his age.
“I saw a birth certificate among his things when I was arranging the room one evening; it showed he was 24 (years old). He had told me he would be 20 in a month’s time, which was part of the reason I dated him. But, I had already liked him and there was not so much difference, so we continued the relationship after he explained that his reason for lying about his age to me was because he didn’t want to lose me. To be honest with you, I told him I was 16 (years old), not 15,” she added.
Folu told Saturday PUNCH that the love-making became a regular occurrence as she sneaked out of her parents’ home, when they were away to visit Atanda in his apartment; a few kilometers from hers.
She added, “He would cook me noodles; we would bathe together, after that, we would make love. It was a routine.
“One day I got a message from one of my friends to check out a link online; what I saw when I opened the link made my heartbeat stop for a while. It was as if I was dreaming.’’
She picked a stick lying carelessly nearby to scribble some illegible words on the ground. Tears had begun to flow in rhythmic silence down her cheeks but wiped with the shawl wound round her neck.
“I saw a video collage of myself and Atanda having sex. All the times we had sex at his house, he recorded it with a secret cam and made a collage with it which he posted online. In all the videos, none had his face in it. It was mine in full glare.
“Each of the videos had an odious title: One read thus: ‘See what dirty Nigerian teen was caught doing with her lover inside bush’ even though it (sex) didn’t happen in the bush. One of the commenters called me a ‘slut’; the other said I was a ‘cheap Nigerian b*tch.’ I have never been so humiliated,” she said.
She told our correspondent that she decided to confront Atanda with her discovery only for him to say, “Oh! So you saw it?” and hung up the phone.
“That was the last time I heard from him. His phone line stopped going through and his house was locked the many times I went there. I later learnt that the house was up for sale. I almost died. I came down with a terrible fever. My limbs were sore.” she added.
She said she lost so much weight as she stopped eating, and it made her parents worried.
“As the views in that video grew, it shrunk a part of me. At one point, I found it difficult to breathe well. I became numb for weeks; and since I could not talk to anybody about what was going on, it was eating me up slowly,” Folu added.
Folu said she confided in Linda who found out that Atanda was only a house agent contracted by former occupants of the house to evacuate the things there, sell them and make returns.
Folu said, “All the talk of him moving into the neighbourhood was false. He only used me. I even found out he was 32 years old and not 24 as I saw on his birth certificate which I think was forged. How am I even sure his real name is Atanda? My sex videos with him are now online and maybe there for a long time. I don’t know how many people have seen it.”
Linda said she sought to get Atanda arrested but, at the time, Folu refused to cooperate with her, and warned her not to involve her parents.
“In the videos online, his face was not visible, and since Folu was hiding the relationship, she had no pictures of him on her phone. His social media pages were not coming up. Maybe, he deactivated them or something. We wanted to report the matter to the police, but it will look awkward,”she said.
Checks by our correspondent showed that Atanda’s social media accounts have been sold to online fraudsters.
Folu noted that the incident affected her mental health so badly that she had become a ‘shadow’ of herself.
She added, “I hide behind a veil whenever I come out so I don’t get recognised by anyone who may have seen the video. I deactivated all my social media accounts and barely used my phone. I can’t even stand my parents face-to-face. When they call my name, my heart skips. It is traumatising, I must say.
“Please, help me get that video down. I don’t want my parents to see it. If they do, I am finished; not only will they disown me, my future will be truncated. Please, help me!”
When our correspondent traced the link to the video online, it was hoisted on one of the x-rated pornographic sites and had over 17,000 views as of 10.06 pm, April 23, 2022.
A message was sent to the official mails of the x-rated sites for the videos to be taken down. At the time of filing this report, three of the sites have sent back inquiries that they were working on “verifying our claims” and would “do the needful.”