In higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, degrees are awarded after students have been found worthy in character and learning. But with the level of moral decadence that has set in, one cannot but wonder whether graduating students still fulfill the clause on the certificate most of them brandish.
The days of “Aristo”, where female students are packaged for rich men outside their campuses seem to be fading away gradually. It is a modernized form of prostitution used by female students to meet their financial needs. There are also tales of students who went into “Aristo runs” just for the sake of adventure. It is an open secret that girls from higher institutions attend social functions just to be noticed by rich patrons who would thereafter pay for being kept company by such girls. Though the Aristo bug is a vice that has eaten deep into institutions of higher learning, Street Journal’s investigations have revealed that lesbianism, which is the female version of homosexuality, has taken root in almost all tertiary institutions. The act, which many believe is alien to African culture, has become so acceptable to those involved in it that they even flaunt their lesbian partners. The male-female relationship seems to be going out of vogue in many Nigerian schools.
In most institutions, those involved in the act include poor students, who are often in it to get attached to rich partners; some students from affluent backgrounds are also involved too. With their financial muscles, they attract and lure other female students to bed. There is also a third category of those who are doing it just to catch their fun.
Incidentally, it has a similarity with heterosexual relationship in that one of the partners plays the man. They are often distinguished by their “tom-boyish’ outlook. They are generally known to be overly protective of their partners as they hardly want to share them with any other. Sources revealed to Street Journal that girls-only secondary schools are the main breeding grounds for lesbians. The source disclosed that in the guise of protecting junior students as school daughters, many of young girls are lured into lesbianism by their supposed school mothers. By the time such girls are admitted into higher institutions, they are already experts in the act. Wild fights often result over cases of infidelity as lesbian partners are known to get very jealous.
Gone are the days when lesbians were ashamed and afraid of being caught or tagged as lesbians. Things have really changed and around hostels, it is not uncommon to see females locked in embraces, kissing or even necking in not too discreet places. At times, partners go to eateries and clubs in company of each other. Parties are even held where lesbianism is openly practiced.
In schools where hostel facilities are not available, most lesbian partners cohabit and enjoy the comfort of being close to each other.
For instance, a party was held around the Agbowo axis of Ibadan not too long ago, the DJ found it strange that only girls were in the party. Not so long after, he understood what was happening when at a certain time of the night, the organizers asked him to stop the music. They all came out in brassieres and thongs and they started singing and dancing around a circle. After about thirty minutes of singing, those who had lesbian partners around picked them as they kissed and frolicked all through the night.
In some lesbian circles, relationships with men are strictly forbidden while there is a bit of flexibility in other circles.
Street Journal also found out that these girls have ways of protecting themselves in case some of them run into trouble. It was found out that a good number of them belong to female cult groups like the Jezebels, Black Bras, Red Roses and Pink Ladies. At times, lesbian relationships are legalized for members of the group. . Some are also known to have links with male cult groups just to ensure that they are well secured on campus.
It is also on good authority that lesbians on campus get outside patronage. This form of patronage comes mainly from rich celebrities who are lesbians themselves. At times, they engage these girls on contract while they feel proud to be associated with such celebrities. Apart from the financial gains attached, they often get assurances of job placements and other benefits from their matrons. The ordinary observer however will never suspect any foul play. Rather all he sees is a relationship between a mentor and someone understudying her.
While narrating how she got into the act, Mary, a young undergraduate in a school in Ibadan disclosed that it all started from her secondary school days. She disclosed that some of her seniors had tried to introduce her to it but she refused and started avoiding them. She disclosed that on a particular day, she was with her mentor in her neighbourhood. Speaking further, she said “she called me to come and sit by her side and tell her how my studies were going. As I was telling her about my experience with my seniors, she said it was not bad and before I knew it, she started fondling my breasts. She kissed me and told me it was a safe way of enjoying oneself. She said that way; I was safe from unwanted pregnancies. She even gave me a vibrator as a gift. That was how I started. After my vacation, I went back and I became my school mother’s regular partner. When I became a senior, I had a string of girls who were always on hand to give me sexual satisfaction. Honestly, I don’t think I can get satisfaction from men.”
Some lesbian clans who are not against hetero-sexual relationships also attach themselves to big men just to make extra cash. These are men who prefer do “groupie” that is sleeping with more than one girl at a time. There is a particular big time politician in Ekiti State who engages girls and when he tires out, he tells the girls to go on and do their thing while he enjoys watching.
Though some of the perpetrators of the act see it as a way of life and something that has to do with sexual preference, it is widely believed that monetary gains drove most campus lesbians into the act.