The #MeToo campaign, launched after Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein’s sordid past of rape and sexual exploitation of women was exposed, has prodded dozens of women across the world to come forward to share scary details of how they were sexually attacked in the past by one big name or another.
After weeks in the Americas and Europe, the bug has finally hit Africa, and the latest revelation is coming from South Africa.
Former South African lawmaker and singer, Jennifer Ferguson, claimed in a blog post that the head of the country’s football federation and organizer of the 2010 World Cup, Danny Jordaan, “painfully” raped her in a hotel suite nearly 24 years ago.
“He overpowered me and painfully raped me. It must have been over in about 20 seconds although it felt like a lifetime,” Ferguson said. “He left immediately without saying a word.”
Jordaan, 66 who organised the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has not yet responded to a request for comment, according to the BBC.
Now living in Sweden, Ferguson said she had been moved by the Weinstein scandal-triggered #MeToo campaign on social media to speak out.
She said the attack took place when she was “high and happy” following her unexpected nomination by Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) party to serve in South Africa’s first democratically elected parliament in 1994.
Jordaan, a prominent member of the ANC and president of the South African Football Association, came to her hotel suite after she had given a performance at a dinner.
Ms Ferguson said she had been “bewildered” and in a state of “complete shock”.
“Not sure what to do, I washed and left the hotel and began to walk. I reached the beach and sat there a very long time trying to process what had happened,” she said.
“The thought of going to the police felt intolerable. What would I say? Should I have screamed louder? Fought him off harder? Had I been complicit in some way? All these questions raged in my mind. I wept.”
She accused the football boss of using her as “an object for his sad need for power and twisted gratification”.
“I am not speaking out to get revenge on Danny Jordaan or a million South African men like him. I am doing this so we can help each other be courageous, speak out and begin to heal as we find we are not alone,” she added.
The claim naturally pushes the ball to Nigeria, another of Africa’s most influential nation by all standards. So the question to ask is, are there some past high profile rape stories hidden somewhere in this nation of upright people?
Something like rape between a politician and an actress, entertainer, musician, politician, civil servant, and more? If there are, do we expect some spill-all any of these days?
Is there a Nigerian woman willing to brave it all to speak out? If they do, what could possibly be the repercussions? Or will the well-known Nigerian “swept-under-the-carpet” take effect?
The channels for disclosure abound and it would be nice to come clean, as clearly there are dirt somewhere.