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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 Michael Kovac/Champagne Collet for Getty Images.

Cynthia Erivo Responds to Stephen King's Tweet on Diversity

The British-Nigerian actress begs to differ with the veteran author's tweet on diversity and 'quality' in this year's Oscar nominations.

British-Nigerian actress Cynthia Erivo has responded to veteran author Stephen King's recent tweets on the issue of diversity and this year's Oscar nominations.

King has been subject to considerable backlash since his controversial tweet about how he would "never consider diversity" when it comes to evaluating art of awards citing that, "It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."

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Nnedi Okorafor attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Nnedi Okorafor's 'Binti' Is Being Developed Into a TV Series at Hulu

The award-winning novella is coming to a screen near you.

Binti, the acclaimed book by award-winning Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor, is being adapted into a TV series, set to premiere on Hulu. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the news.

The three-part, science fiction novella will be adapted for screen under the studio Media Res. The script is being written by both Okorafor and writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who has previously written for Watchmen and The Morning Show amongst others.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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