July 19, 2024

The Eye Of Africa

How I was pimped to Nigeria governor and other rich men in Nigeria – Yvonne Nelson

6 min read

Yvonne Nelson has also revealed how she was pimped to some big men in Nigeria during her stay.

She according to her described them as horrible and failed attempts.

“Another time, an actress friend told me his uncle wanted to meet me. I told her I had a long day and wouldn’t close early, but she had all the patience in the world for me that day. She came and parked her Range Rover and waited until I finished shooting after 11 p.m. Nigeria was scary and driving that late at night was a risk, but she made it sound as though we were going for an important business gig, so I obliged. She picked me up and it was midnight when we got to the Eko Hotel, where the supposed uncle was.

The said uncle of my friend was in the luxurious Signature Suite. She introduced him to me as a popular governor or senator of one of the states in Nigeria. She then went to the lounge of the suite and left me with him in the room. There was no chair in the room, something that seemed deliberate. I sat on the edge of the bed and the most awkward silence I can remember in my life ensued. He, perhaps, had the impression that I knew what to do or say, which I found ridiculous.

That wasn’t all there was to the drama.
There was a fourth person in the lounge. The politician went to speak briefly to him and came back to tell me the man was his doctor, and that I should give him my blood sample for an HIV test. He said it was just a prick and that everything would be done in a short time. I found it disrespectful and shocking. Even if I wanted to sleep with him, that alone was enough to put any normal woman off. If he was interested in knowing my HIV status, why did he think I would not be interested in his?

I told him that was not the reason I came there and that I wasn’t going to do any test. I was calm but firm, though afraid. There were two men and two women in the suite, but the other woman was on the side of the two men, so I was alone. If things got out of hand, I was going to be on my own. I later found out that the man was not her uncle as she had claimed, but she knew why he wanted to see me. When he realised he wasn’t going to have his way, he muttered something to my friend to the effect that I was acting weird. Soon, we were on our way out of the hotel. For our “transportation” back home, he gave my friend some dirty Naira notes he had produced from the briefcase that lay on the bed in the room.

 

It was 1 million Naira and my friend gave me half of it. When I later googled his name and saw his photographs and association with a number of female actors and celebrities, I wondered what happened before or after those photographs.

Years later, my curiosity about the politician I had met in the hotel piqued when a Nigerian friend in Ghana told me he had gone to him for a contract but failed to secure it. In the discussion, he revealed that the politician belonged to a cult and had insisted that joining that cult was a prerequisite to doing business with my friend. My friend said he couldn’t join, so he cut all ties with him. I have since been thinking about whether the blood sample he wanted to take of me was actually for an HIV test or for something that had to do with his occult business. But that was not going to be my last encounter with powerful men in Nigeria.
The one that turned out to be the scariest of them all was initiated here in Ghana and ended up in the palace of a powerful traditional ruler in Nigeria. I didn’t know the traditional ruler who wanted to see me, but the man who told me about him said he knew me and would be instrumental in supporting my Glaucoma Foundation. The foundation was dear to my heart because my grandmother had lost her sight before she passed. I had loved her dearly, and, growing up, I thought she had not been given enough care.

Later, my mother had a problem with her eyes and went to the hospital. When the specialists investigated our family history of glaucoma, they realised my mother and I had what they called high pressures in our eyes. Deep in my heart, the foundation was in the memory of the woman I dearly loved and I hoped that through it, many others would have their sights saved. When the man told me how the Nigerian traditional ruler was supportive of charities such as mine, I was happy to meet him and tell him what I wanted to do with the Yvonne Nelson Glaucoma Foundation.

From Accra, we flew to Lagos and boarded another flight to the traditional ruler’s home state. The turbulence on that flight is the most violent I have ever experienced. At one point, I thought the worst was about to happen. At that point, I began to regret embarking on the trip. When we survived what appeared to me like a near crash, I hoped something extra-ordinarily useful would come out of that trip to offset the torture I had endured. It steeled me against any possible nonsense before we got to the palace. The palace was a magnificent castle. One had to go through several halls before coming face-to-

face with the ruler. Wait here. Come here. Go there. These were the instructions I heard until I met the powerful ruler, who was not so powerful in physique.
He was a frail old man who looked like someone who could not survive another five years. The inner court I was ushered in to meet him had a magnificent royal bed, where he beckoned me to join him. Whatever the intermediary had told me did not happen. The traditional ruler was not interested in my foundation. He was not interested in my career or anything I was doing. He didn’t even deem it necessary to strike up a conversation with me. It seemed, like the governor, this old man expected me to know why I was there. He expected me to go ahead and act on cue. I had prepared to resist anything untoward and his attitude fortified my resolve even more. When he asked me to join him on the bed, I wondered what he needed me there for. At his age, what was he up to? I didn’t move. And when he realised he had made a wrong choice, he dismissed me.

He gave the man who took me there a wad of dollar notes, who then gave me a share of $5000 as compensation for travelling to see the king. I was so angry with him that we ceased to be friends upon my return from that trip. He organises an awards ceremony that is wellpatronised and I wonder whether pimping for powerful men is part of his job. If it is, then in my case, he got the wrong target. I used to respect him because of the kind of people who patronised his programmes. I had known him back in my university days because he was dating my friend.

In the encounters with the powerful Nigerian men, one thing surprised me above all others. The intermediaries did not ever tell me the expectations at the other end. Somehow, they assumed that once a big and powerful man wanted to see you, you were old enough to know what they wanted and should submit to them. It is one of the worst insults to womanhood and one can only imagine the rate of success that keeps them motivated to continue to explore”.

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