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#SexForGrades: Twitter is Ablaze With Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in Ghanaian and Nigerian Universities

A new undercover BBC report verifies what female university students in West Africa have always claimed, professors are demanding sex for grades.

UPDATE (Oct 08, 2019): One day after premiering the exposé, The BBC reports that Igbeneghu has been suspended from his position and the University of Lagos officials have sealed off entrance to his office. The BBC also states that many more students have come forward with their experiences via the link provided at the end of this article. They have also now provided a full hour's long documentary of their reporting, embedded below.

Ghana and Nigeria are rallying against the same upsetting news today. Students and parents of all genders have joined together to show outrage at a subject that has long been taboo: sexual misconduct and extortion in the education system. And West African social media has been buzzing with discussion about "Dr Boniface," "lecturers," "University of Ghana," "Unilag" and, the most important, "#SexforGrades."


The activity is sparked by an exposé released earlier today by BBC Africa Eye called Sex for Grades. In it, reporter Kiki Mordi and a team of undercover female reporters used hidden cameras to document how top lecturers at the two universities conduct themselves with female students. Mordi states that they knew which professors to target after spending nine months interviewing current and former students. The professor that has received the most mentions on social media is Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu of University of Lagos, a former sub-dean and the head pastor of a local church (he's been asked to step down after the release of the report).

Watch here:



In the report, an undercover reporter assuming the identity of a 17-year-old–under the legal age for sexual consent in that region—went to him to inquire about admission to the school. There is video footage of Igbeneghu commenting on her appearance, stating he can easily have 17-year-old girls, making lewd movements during a "prayer," asking her about her sex life and, in another instance, asking the under-cover reporter to lock the door so that he may kiss her. The BBC report goes on to interview multiple women who say they have been abused by Igbeneghu, one of them stating she has attempted suicide multiple times because of the abuse.

In Ghana, the reporters sent an under-cover reporter posing as a graduating student interested in a master's degree to Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor at the University of Ghana. In the video he is seen asking to be her "side guy' and also offered her a work placement in his department though the deadline had passed. In every instance, it seems there is an unspoken agreement of sex in exchange for career advancement. At one point, Igbeneghu states it outright that "there is a benefit" and that "she pays for it with her body."

The responses online have shown solidarity with the women, pleas for more investigations, punishments for those found guilty and connections to a larger systemic problem in how both countries treat women. The exposé comes at a time when many countries around the continent are calling for government attention and social action to improve the safety and lives of women.

Read on for some of the tweets from Ghana and Nigeria. If you have any stories of sexual harassment in an African university, the BBC is looking to hear more experiences that can help in this investigation. Contact them here and watch for more footage to be released in the coming days.








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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Convener of "#Revolution Now" Omoyele Sowore speaks during his arraignment for charges against the government at the Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 30, 2019. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Nigerian Activist, Omoyele Sowore, Re-Arrested Just Hours After Being Released on Bail

Sowore, the organizer of Nigeria's #RevolutionNow protests, was detained by armed officers, once again, in court on Friday.

Omoyele Sowore, the Nigerian human rights activist and former presidential candidate who has spent over four months in jail under dubious charges, was re-arrested today in Lagos while appearing in court.

The journalist and founder of New York-based publication Sahara Reporters, had been released on bail the day before. He was arrested following his organization of nationwide #RevolutionNow protests in August. Since then, Sowore has remained in custody on what are said to be trumped-up charges, including treason, money laundering and stalking the president.

He appeared in court once again on Friday after being released on bail in federal court the previous day. During his appearance, Sowore was again taken into custody by Nigerian authorities.

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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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(Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage via Getty)

Listen to Wizkid's Surprise New EP 'Soundman Vol. 1'

Wizkid treats fans to new songs featuring Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more—just ahead of 2020.

Wizkid is back. The Nigerian pop star surprised listeners early this morning with the unannounced release of a new EP, Soundman Vol. 1.

Though Wizkid has released a couple of singles this year, fans had been awaiting a new drop and more extensive project from the artist. With it being so close to the end of the year, it didn't look like we'd get a new body of work from the artist till 2020, but he proved otherwise when he took to Twitter at the wee hours of the morning to quietly share streaming links for the new project.

He also announced that a second EP, Soundman Vol. 2, would drop sometime before his highly-anticipated upcoming album Made In Lagos (MIL).

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