It is sad to say that many Nigerian women experience domestic violence in their marriages, it really takes a lot of strength for them to leave and even share their stories. This is the case of Olamide Agunloye, CEO of Iconola, a ready-to-wear women’s fashion company.
In an episode of DANGMonologue, a series which shares the firsthand stories of people we thought we really know, Olamide Agunloye shares her domestic violence story.
As a young woman Olamide was a strong advocate against domestic violence. Growing up, she had vowed never to take any form of abuse, she was one of those persons who would say “If he touches me just once I’m leaving him”.
However, when her husband who she met at the age of 17 started becoming abusive, she didn’t leave. Two years before they got married, her husband showed the first sign of abuse but she didn’t pay any attention to it. They were having an argument in his car when he suddenly grabbed her neck and strangled her. They broke up that day but three days later, they were back together.
According to Olamide, she felt it was a one-off thing that was never going to repeat itself again but this went on for 7 years.
“It went from once a month to once a week to two, three, four times a week, to everyday of the week and then, probably stopped for a month or two and then, it will start all over again.”
“I didn’t really know the weight of what I was enduring. I tried to understand it from the point of view of this is somebody that I know. This is not a mad man that walks in to my house from the road and slaps me. This is someone that we gist, we pray and laugh together.”
Olamide has three children and throughout their pregnancies, her husband beat her. Each time she wanted to leave her husband, she always went back but one day, she decided enough is enough.
Seven years later, Olamide says she feels it’s been a journey of finding herself.
“I have a peace of mind that sometimes, I don’t understand. I discovered that peace immediately I left but if I’m being honest, I probably didn’t appreciate it then. The more I’m alive, the more I appreciate the peace of mind. I feel a lot more fulfilled. I call my own shots and I don’t let things slide. Once you have a certain idea of freedom that comes from loving yourself, you can’t let anybody treat you any less” she says.
Watch her share the full story and how she left in the video below