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BON AWARDS 2016: ORGANISERS ANNOUNCE NOMINEES

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The organizers of the Best of Nollywod Awards have released the list of nominees for the 2016 edition. The nominees’ list was unveiled in Lagos to an exclusive audience comprising entertainment editors and select stakeholders in the movie industry.

According to Niran Adedokun, president of the BON jury, the release followed weeks of screening of over 120 entries made up of feature films in English, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, ten short films, five documentaries and seven television series.

While congratulating the nominees, Adedokun, also a popular Punch Newspapers columnist, acknowledged the resilience of Nigerian filmmakers for defying the current harsh economic realities to sustain their creative activities. He thanked organisers of the awards for the opportunity to serve while encouraging practitioners to continue to strive for excellence noting that the industry has unlimited prospects.

Aimed at recognising and promoting the best of films and filmmakers in Nigeria, the BON Awards, in less than one decade of its existence, has become the most authentic home grown platform honouring the richness and ingenuity of Nigerian cinema. This year’s edition shall be hosted by the executive governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ipkeazu.

•Best Actor in Leading Role (English)

•Wale Ojo in For The Wrong Reasons

•Alex Ekubo in The First Lady

•Patrick Leonard in Woeman

•Stan Eze in Not just Married

•Enyinna Nwigwe in Hire A Man

•Okey Uzoeshi in Something Wicked

•Best Actor in Leading Role (Yoruba)

•Femi Adebayo in Gbewiri Meta

•Niyi Johnson in Lifeline

•Muyiwa Ademola in Eni –Owo

•Lateef Adedimeji in Yeye Oge

•Yomi Fabiyi in Metomi

•Best Actor in Leading Role (Hausa)

•Ali Nuhu in Gamu nan Dai

•Sadiq Dan Sadiq in Mat Da Lados

•Best Actor in Leading Role (Igbo)

•Bloosom Chukwujeku in Icheke Oku

•Amadi Magnus in Akaraaka

•Best Actress in Leading Role (English)

•Omotu Bissong in Woeman

•Judith Audu in Not Just Married

•Ebube Nwagbo in Anniversary

•Belinda Effah in Oracle Online

•Omoni Oboli in The First Lady

•Iretiola Doyle in Something Wicked

•Best Actress in Leading Role (Yoruba)

•Mercy Aigbe in Victims

•Temitope Solaja in Lehin Ikoro

•Toyin Aimakhu in Metomi

•Wumi Toriola in Eni Owo

•Yewande Adegbenro in Yeye Oge

•Jumoke Odetola in Binta Ofege

•Best Actress in Leading Role (Igbo)

•Nichole Banna in Icheke Oku

•Adaeze Chiegbu in Akaraaka

•Best Actress in Leading Role (Hausa)

•Jamila Umar in Kasata

•Rahama Sadau in Mati Da Lado

•Best Supporting Actor (English)

•I.K Ogbonna in Hire a man

•Nkem Owoh in Ghana Must Go

•Daniel K. Daniel in A Soldier’s story

•Seun Akindele in Black Val

•Rotimi Salami in Just Not Married

•Gabriel Afolayan in Something Wicked

•Best Supporting Actress (English)

•Nancy Isime in Hire a man

•Onyii Alex in Don’t fight it

•Helen Paul in Ghana Must go

•EniolaBadmus in Black Val

•Yvonne Jegede in The First Lady

•Adesua Etomi/ Ivie Okujaye-Egbon/Beverly Naya in Something Wicked

•Most Promising Actor

•Rotimi Salami in Just Not Married

•Steve Enagbare in Destiny Gate

•Bright Wonder in Fidelity

•Seun Ajayi in Studio

•Most Promising Actress

•Princess Osayomwanbor Peters in Destiny Gate

•Gina Castle in Fidelity

•Ade Laoye in Studio

•Zainab Balogun in A Soldier’s Story

•Best Child Actor in Movie

•Daniel Udah in Opeyemi

•Tunde Babasola in D’ Wish

•Best Child Actress

•Pricilia Ojo in Black Val

•Neraya Akaboa in D’ Wish

•Angel Unigwe in Woeman

•Best Comedy of the Year

•Ghana Must Go

•ATM

•Behind the Scenes

•The First Lady

•Just Not Married

•Movie with the Best Social Message

•Voiceless Scream

•Leyin Ilekun

•For the Wrong Reasons

•ATM

•Woeman

•Movie with the Best Special Effect

•Icheke Oku

•Gbewiri Meta

•A soldier’s story

•Storm

•Movie with the Best Screenplay

•For the Wrong Reasons

•Hire a man

•Icheke Oku

•Just Not Married

•Irawe Igbo

•Something Wicked

•Eni-Owo

•Best Short Film of the Year

•Opeyemi

•D’ wish

•Deeply Cut

•Pepper Soup

•Silence

•Homesick

•Best Documentary of the Year

•Amaka’s kin

•D’ ability

•For you my son

•Best TV Series of the Year

•Lasgidi Cops (SCU)

•Studio

•5ive

•Ayanfe mi

•Movie with the Best Editing

•Ghana Must go

•Not Just Married

•Hire A man

•Eni-Owo

•Something Wicked

•Movie with the Best Sound Track

•Icheke Oku

•Igbehinloju

•Irawe Igbo

•Ghana must go

•Movie with the Best Production Design

•Irawe Igbo

•Yeye Oge

•Icheke Oku

•The First Lady

•Something Wicked

•Movie with the Best Cinematography

•A Soldier’s story

•Eni-owo

•Icheke Oku

•Just Not Married

•Something Wicked

•Best Use of Nigerian Costume in a Movie

•Irawe Igbo

•Yeye Oge

•Icheke Oku

•Keji

•Ghana must go

•Best Use of Make up in a Movie

•Icheke Oku

•A Soldier’s story

•Storm

•Black Val

•Movie of the Year

•Icheke Oku

•Irawe Igbo

•A Soldier’s Story

•Something Wicked

•Eni-Owo

•Director of the Year

•Aliu Gafar for Irawe Igbo

•Uduak-Obong Patrick for Not Just Married

•EmekaAmakeze for Icheke Oku

•Desmond Elliot for Hire A Man

•Frankie Ogar for A Soldier’s Story

•Yemi Morafa for Something Wicked

•Adebayo Tijani/MuyiwaAdemola in Eni Owo

•Best Kiss in a Movie

•Gideon Okeke and Zhinnel Zhu in Anniversary

•Chelsea Eze and Mike Godson in Guy Next Door

•SeunAkindele and Mercy Aigbe in Victim

•Ik Ogbonna and Nancy Isime Hire A Man

•Enyinna Nwigwe and Zhinnel Zhu Hire A Man

•Omowumi Dada and Gabriel Afolayan in Something Wicked

•Revelation of the Year (female)

•Inem Peters

•Callista Okonkwo

•Mercy Macroe

•ChineyeUyanna

•BukkyAdeeyo

•Victoria Kolawole

•Bose Oladimeji

•Nkechi Sunday

Revelation of the year (Male)

•Mofe Duncan

•Sean Jimoh

•Poju Oparanti

•Wasiu Rafiu

•Jomiloju Olumbe

•Femi Remi

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Look Beyond Sentiments, Fagade Urges Critics of Tinubu’s Appointments… Congratulates FIRS Boss, Zacch Adedeji

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Businessman and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state, Chief Abisoye Fagade has told those accusing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of nepotism to jettison primordial sentiments, vindictiveness and bitterness with a view to supporting the current administration in its drive to take Nigeria out of the doldrums.

Fagade’s submission came against the background of insinuations from some quarters that appointments made so far by President Bola Tinubu was skewed in favour of the Yoruba ethnic group or people in the south western part of the country even though there have been counter reactions from eminent personalities from all parts of the country that the accusation of nepotism against Mr. President was unfounded and invalid.

In a statement issued on Wednesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan, Fagade described the Tuesday confirmation of Dr. Zacch Adedeji as the substantive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) by the Nigerian Senate as “a step in the right direction taken to facilitate the quick realization of economic recovery agenda of the Tinubu administration.

“The appointment of Dr. Adedeji as the FIRS boss as well as other cerebral financial and economic management experts to man one key post or the other in the current administration will no doubt yield the desired results as Nigerians should expect economic rejuvenation, wealth creation and naira stability in no time. Governance is no tea party and one fundamental thing in the life of any government is having the right peg in the right hole and not the other way round.

“It is essential we congratulate our own Zacch Adedeji on the confirmation of his appointment as the FIRS boss by the Nigerian Senate in view of the fact that our confidence and trust in him as a competent administrator, seasoned financial expert and unique patriot remain constant. There are high expectations about Nigerian economy being diversified for obvious reasons by the Tinubu administration and we believe with the likes of Adedeji in FIRS, the goal would be achieved sooner than later.

“Above all, we appeal to all stakeholders in the affairs of our dear country to always eschew jingoism, ethnic biases or religious consideration on any matter relating to the interest of the most populous black nation in the world. The time to fix Nigeria is now and with the person of President Tinubu at the helms of affairs, the massive turnaround desired in our socio-economic and political architecture would begin to materialize very soon and it would not only be consolidated but also sustained for the collective benefits of all and sundry”. Fagade stated.

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Tingo Media CEO Agbonwaneten to bury mum in PH

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It will be a carnival of sort as the Chief Executive Officer of Tingo Media, Mr. Ebuwa Martins Agbonwaneten has concluded plans to hold the funeral of his mother, Princess Karina Namikpoh who passed away at 68.

A statement by Agbonwaneten, who is also the CEO to The Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation, a non-governmental organisation owned by billionaire technology entrepreneur, Dozy Mmobuosi on behalf of the family, said their matriarch will be laid to rest in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on September 29- October 1, 2023.

A service of songs and tributes hold in her honour on Friday, September 29 at Azny Place, No 2 Louis Drive, opposite Nextime supermarket, GRA Phase 3, along Abacha Road, Port Harcourt.
Funeral service hold on Saturday, September 30 at Vaults & Gardens, Aggrey Road, off Cemetery Road Port Harcourt.

An interment reception will take place at The Palacios Event Centre, 63 Woji Road, Phase 2 Port Harcourt.

On Sunday, Oct 1, thanksgiving service will take place at Hilltop International Christian Centre, 7 Hilltop Drive Waterlines/Elekahia Link Road Port Harcourt.

Agbonwaneten extended invitations to colleagues, associates and business partners, saying interesting activities have been lined up for their unforgettable experiences.

“As you may already know, my mother’s burial is scheduled for the 29th – 30th of September, 2023, in Port Harcourt. This event is not just a somber occasion; it’s a celebration of a remarkable life and a chance to bid farewell to an extraordinary woman.

“I want you to be a part of this grand celebration. It’s an opportunity to join me in giving my mother the dignified and joyous send-off she deserves. I assure you; we have prepared an unforgettable experience for all who attend!

“Transportation will be seamless, with arrangements and adequate security in place for those traveling from Lagos, Benin, Abuja and all all over the world to Port Harcourt—all free of charge.

“We’ve secured top-notch hotel accommodations to ensure your stay is comfortable and convenient. Our event planning team and funeral directors rank among the industry’s finest, ensuring that every detail is meticulously attended to.

“You may already know my reputation as a gracious host, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Our menu boasts a delectable array of cuisine, from continental delights to local favorites like ‘nkwobi,’ ‘pepper soup,’ ‘bolé,’ ‘starch and banga’, and more. The drink selection is equally impressive, featuring a range of choices from Champagne, Hennessy, Glenfiddich, Jack Daniels, cocktails, assorted wines, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and more,”he stated.

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Society

Erotic workout: How Gym Instructors, Patrons Use The Gyms For Intimate Affairs……….

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In this feature, we write on how the thriving fitness culture in the country has provided a cover for men and women to engage in intimate affairs, sometimes leading to sexual harassment the gyms

Isaac Madu’s legs swayed in excitement as he chugged on his smoothie and relished the taste of grilled chicken set before him.

His light brown eyes dimmed each time he laughed; his fingers intermittently fondling his long thick beard as he leered at some ladies who passed by the pub at Surulere, Lagos.

Madu, a 29-year-old native of Orlu, Imo State, works part-time as a gym instructor at a fitness centre on Lagos Island.

He cut the picture of a Hollywood hunk, with his fitting black shirt and trousers which made his bulging caramel arms, well-toned and muscular thighs quite apparent.

The graduate of International Relations waxed eloquently with our correspondent about how his profession regularly brings him in touch with enlightened people, a privilege he admitted had changed his outlook on life.

However, there is often a salacious, even lewd currency of exchange that often takes place with certain learners – some of whom he unashamedly admits are married women.

“I am not a bad guy and I don’t go all out seeking to have sex with my clients,” Madu told us with a wry smile on his face.

“I respect boundaries and understand what unwanted sexual solicitations can bring. But in my profession – shall I say the location too plays a big part – there are women who come to the gym not just to be fit but also to fulfil their sexual needs.

“Such ladies come to the gym because they are bored with their relationships or marriage; they want some spice in the bedroom. They want someone younger and athletic to take them to new dimensions, if you get my drift. Gym instructors like us are their easy choice because they come under the guise of the desire to be fit.

“One of them always described her husband as ‘old and fat,’ and, maybe as a reflex, she didn’t hide her motive for coming to our gym from day one.”

When our correspondent asked for more details, Madu initially declined and looked around carefully to be sure no one was eavesdropping.

“The devil is in the details,” he said with a giggle, as he brought out his phone which had been beeping in order to respond to his messages.

After a while, he continued, “There was this Lekki babe who registered and started coming to our gym. And as an instructor, it’s my job to figure out what is the best way forward from wherever you are starting and I like motivating people I work with.

“I told her to start slowly on one of the treadmills which she struggled with it for a while. So, I was always there to guide her. From there, I began to see just how beautiful she is, her curves and contours were well set. But I tried hard to focus on my work and not give her undue attention.”

He dived into the details.

“One day, while taking her through some deep stretches and beginner-friendly exercises, she looked at me in the eye with a seductive smile and smacked her lips. I caught the code but there were other people in the gym so I acted like nothing happened. But from that day on, we would give each other lusty eye contact even when I am with another guest.

“I would make her bend over while my hands supported her and put pressure on her lower back, and as she writhed in pain it would send a rush of blood down my system. It became a routine. I deliberately wanted to take things slow with her.”

From there, Madu told this reporter in graphic detail what started out as a workout session but eventually became a full-blown sizzling sexual affair.

“Sometimes, she came to the gym in the evenings and we would start right there if no one is around. There are times we use a hotel and sometimes she spent the night at my house. Our affair lasted for more than a year until she relocated out of the country. She is now married,” he added.

Thriving fitness culture

There has been a burgeoning global awareness of the need for stable physical and mental health, and Nigeria is not left behind in this regard.

More citizens, both young and old, have adopted different regular exercises to keep their bodies and mind in good shape. Also, organisations encourage their staff to engage in physical activity to stay healthy.

In Nigeria, many fitness centres or studios have sprung up, especially in the major cities and highbrow areas, and like magnets, they attract enlightened citizens who have a high consciousness of physical fitness and can afford it.

The thriving fitness culture has created a viable space for fitness enthusiasts to work as trainers, helping women who feel insecure about their physique and weight as well as men who hit the gym in order to regain their confidence.

A biomedical scientist, Nnaemeka Duru, told our correspondent that going to the gym was one of the best things to happen to his body.

He explained, “I used to be physically flabby and had low self esteem but since I hit the gym and have been consistent in going, I now feel good about myself and my body confidence has increased. Working out is one of the best things I did for my body.

“Within a few months of workout, I notice I have greater stamina and better self esteem. I learnt that physical exercises naturally boost testosterone and I must say, even in the other room, the story has changed.”

Another fitness enthusiast, Emmanuella Mnena, described it as a lifestyle that more people need to adopt in order to improve their well-being.

“When I started out in the gym, I would wake up the following day with body aches and I almost gave up but the gym instructor was very patient, always encouraging me, telling me ‘no pain, no gain’. That motivated me to continue and now, I see it as a health-boosting lifestyle that more people need to adopt,” she said.

Commenting on the benefits of physical exercise, a physiologist, Ifeolouwa Ojo, told Saturday PUNCH that regular exercise helps to lower the risk of developing chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

He said, “Exercise is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, and engaging in regular physical activity has several advantages. The beneficial effects of exercise on cardiovascular health are among its most important advantages.

“Regular exercise can assist to increase blood flow, lower blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, it may be helpful in boosting muscular strength and stamina, which can enhance overall physical performance and lower the chance of injury.

“Exercise can be good for your physical and emotional health in addition to being physically beneficial. Regular exercise has been shown to lessen the signs of depression and anxiety, boost mood and encourage sound sleep. In addition, it can help in lowering stress levels, which may have a big effect on general well-being.”

He stressed that a healthy lifestyle must include regular exercise, which everybody could benefit from.

He added, “Regular physical activity has numerous advantages and is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. It can help to strengthen and sustain muscles, increase energy levels and lower the chance of developing chronic conditions.

“Increased energy and decreased weariness are two additional advantages of exercising. Regular exercise can assist metabolism, which can result in more energy and better overall health.”

Gym sexpreneurs

We learnt that monthly registration for gyms in Lagos falls between N15,000 to N80,000, depending on the location, fitness regime involved and the type of facilities available.

Some fitness enthusiasts, however, tend to spend more money to hire personal trainers and fitness coaches to meet their specific workout needs.

A number of gym trainers are professionals who are often reached by clients through mutual contacts or social media, while the others work part-time as club bouncers, personal escorts and ‘hook up’ guys.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines hook up, as “to begin a romantic or sexual relationship with someone.”

On a broader perspective, hook up culture is one that accepts and encourages casual sex encounters, including one-night stands and other related activities, without necessarily including emotional intimacy, bonding or a committed relationship.

Far from leading clandestine lives, many Nigerian hook-up men and women meet their clients via social media or are mediated through an adult agency.

A ‘hook up’ bouncer and gym trainer whose Instagram name is Donatus (surname withheld) admitted to our correspondent that he receives much patronage across several states from both women and men.

He stated, “I am a fitness trainer and I work as a bouncer. I tend to meet more beautiful and high-class women when I am doing my bouncer job than in the gym. You know, in clubs and parties, these women openly approach me and tell me they want me. They could send their drivers to give me their contact or they give me personally.

“It is a matter of negotiation. We talk about what they desire and we get busy; we are adults. Transactional sex is nothing to be ashamed of, except in a hypocritical society like ours. Some men too approach me, though some just admire my body and keep it moving.”

When our correspondent inquired if he also has sexual liaisons with ladies who come to his gym, he added that it could come with conditions.

He stated, “If I like her and she really wants us to have fun, fine, we do it. There is usually no transaction involved. But if she is wealthy and she can afford my service, I am game. There are women who actually come to the gym to find men that will satisfy them and we do satisfy them, even with threesomes sometimes.

“I’m not ashamed of what I do. See, I worked so hard on this body for me to be giving it away to just anybody for free. It’s not easy to become a bodybuilder. It takes years of workout and taking supplements to reach this point and now it gets me gigs too.”

A mother of two, who gave her name as Anike, disclosed that some women do form cliques when they go to the gym to hunt for sex partners.

She stated, “Those who do these things might not tell you but I can tell you that it happens. I used to visit a gym in Isolo area of Lagos where a woman was the ringleader of women who were there to look for sex partners under the guise of workout. They go after young men who come to the gym and only those who know this will know.

“When these women saw that I wasn’t joining them in their prostitution, they began to display antagonism towards me and I had to stop going to that gym.”

Reacting to the trend of those who use gyms as an avenue for sexual affairs, Ojo stressed that exercise improves people’s sexual appeal.

He added, “Some could contend that the main reason individuals go to the gym is to find partners for sex when it comes to gym culture. While it’s true that some people might use the gym as a networking opportunity, it’s crucial to keep in mind that exercise offers numerous advantages beyond just improved health and sex appeal.

“Additionally, it has advantageous impacts on mental health, including lowering stress and anxiety, boosting mood and facilitating better sleep. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the advantages of exercise go well beyond only physical beauty or sexual appeal, even though some individuals may use the gym as a way to meet new people.”

Married men differ

Our correspondent inquired from several married men whether they would allow their wives to go to the gym or have a personal trainer.

While some men saw no problem in the idea, others raised their objected to it.

A civil servant and father of three, Mr Damilare Olalekan, said, “I won’t allow my wife to go to the gym. I have seen some social media videos of how some of these men inappropriately touch women, in the name of training and I can’t allow such a thing.

“There are home exercises that she can do and there are female personal trainers and wellness therapists she could consult.”

Similarly, a clothier, Ahmed Ojomo, told Saturday PUNCH that as a Muslim, his religion frowns on men physically touching other men’s wives.

“My religion frowns on a man touching other men’s women, and some of the things these women wear to the gym are too revealing. The men attending to them are not made of wood,” he said.

Conversely, an architect and father of two, Mr Deji Alatiba, said there was nothing wrong with the idea.

He stated, “I registered my wife in a gym because I want her to be physically fit and burn off excess calories and we even workout together. It is a matter of perception and emotional security. If men could have no problem going to the gym, why should women be barred?

“If you don’t trust your partner, then you can devise a means of physical exercise that works for both of you, but if there is trust and true love in a marriage, you won’t be bothering your head with all of that.”

Buttressing Alatiba’s view, a data analyst, Prince Njoku, said, “Unless there is a gym where I am credibly sure that women are being sexually harassed or my wife has given me reasons to doubt her fidelity, she can get registered at any gym.”

Meanwhile, a fitness instructor, Osaze Innocent, described the reports of sexual liaisons in gyms as being rooted in a wrong but widely held misconception about gym trainers.

He said, “The allegation that ‘no one gets free sex than a gym instructor’ is a lie and a misconception that needs to be challenged because this is how a narrative gains a life of its own when repeatedly used without being countered.

“Yes, some gym instructors do sleep with female learners, just as we have some lecturers who sleep with their students, but that doesn’t mean it happens everywhere or even ethical. Many of us are in serious relationships and we respect our partners not to sleep around.

“I know I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I don’t know any gym instructor who sleeps with their learners, though I won’t say such things don’t happen. People get these ideas from porn materials and from there they start making general claims that are false.

“Like so many other professions, some unscrupulous people with impure motives come into the sector, but people like these need to be stopped and if non-consensual, be made to face the consequences.

“I once had a client whose husband always called on the phone to monitor her movements whenever she was in the gym because of this widely believed misconception. These are issues we all need to speak against.”

In his reaction, a psychologist, Kolawole Afolabi, explained that more Nigerians need to have a full understanding of sexual addiction.

He added, “Although there are no available data that can be referenced, it would seem that some of these men and women who have turned fitness centres into sexual trysts might actually be suffering from sex addiction. This is a disorder that is now recognised by the World Health Organisation and is defined as “a persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behaviour.

“Symptoms of sex addiction may include repetitive sexual activities becoming a central focus of the person’s life to the point of neglecting health and personal care or other interests, activities, and responsibilities; numerous unsuccessful efforts to significantly reduce repetitive sexual behaviour; and continued repetitive sexual behaviour despite adverse consequences or deriving little or no satisfaction from it.

“So, we should be alert to the possibilities that individuals who indulge in repetitive sexual acts in public places, without regard for the consequences, might be sex addicts. They would need to see a professional counsellor and go through therapy.”

Sexual harassment

While there are some women who seek sexual affairs in the gym, on the flip side other women decry the rate of harassment that comes from men in fitness centres.

According to Collins Dictionary, harassment is a behaviour that is intended to trouble or annoy someone. Similarly, sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted sexual behaviour that makes someone feel upset, scared, offended, or humiliated.

A study published in Women’s Health magazine indicated that two in three British women avoid exercising at the gym, 45 per cent choose to go with a friend, and four per cent go with a partner because “men make them feel uncomfortable.”

For instance, a banker, Bolanle Arowolo, bemoaned how she was groped by a man while working out at a gym.

She narrated her experience, “I was at a fitness centre which I used for a while. That day, I was working on my glutes and from behind me, I suddenly felt a hand grip me around my waist. I initially thought it was my instructor, only to turn around to see this creepy man who should be in his late 40s lustfully smiling at me.

“I was so shocked that I couldn’t even chastise him. He even leaned over and said ‘Fine girl.’ I just stopped whatever I was doing, went to change my clothes, walked up to him and hissed loudly at him and I walked out. I could hear him laughing as I stepped out.”

A media consultant, Omolola Bello, told our correspondent that women do feel uncomfortable when men glare at their bodies or laugh at them while working out.

She said, “I don’t feel comfortable going to the gym if there are many men there because I know they will be glaring at my backside while I’m working out and that disturbs my energy.

“This is not something that is uniquely my experience, I know several women that will tell you the same. Apart from the fact that it’s rude, some men are in the habit of catcalling you or following you because you are in the gym with them.

“Some will even be making a jest of you and poking fun at you as it happened to me. These kinds of unwelcome remarks towards women are disrespectful and yes, they qualify as harassment.”

A Gender Studies for Men survey asked respondents if they thought women wearing tight and skimpy clothing at the gym is a form of sexual harassment of men.

It is interesting to note that about 83 per cent of respondents said they saw it as sexual harassment while 17 per cent dissented, describing it as women’s empowerment.

In February, videos with hashtags such as #GymCreep and #GymWeirdo became viral on TikTok and garnered more than 100 million views.

The terms were used to describe male gym-goers staring at or approaching women who were trying to have a workout. Based on the comments, many people could relate to the uncomfortable situation.

However, some social media users suggested that men were unfairly targeted by the videos, and there was criticism of people filming without permission.

Decrying the rate of sexual harassment in Nigeria, a legal practitioner and founder of Emeka Chinenye and Co., Mrs Chinenye Emeka, explained to Saturday PUNCH that such unwarranted acts could be verbal or physical and could also happen in a workplace or within a community.

She stated, “Sexual harassment is an illegal act punishable under Nigerian laws, however many women are timid to complain of sexual harassment because of fear and shame. Sexual harassment at any level has negative emotional, physical and psychological health effects on the victim such as anger, fear, depression, shame, humiliation, loss of control, etc.

“Section 360 of the Criminal Code provides that any person who unlawfully and incidentally assaults a woman or girl is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for two years.

“Other authorities that protect the interest of women include the Nigerian Constitution, the Sexual Offences Act Bill of 2013 and the Violence Against Persons Provision (Prohibition) Act 2015.”

Highlighting steps that could be taken by individuals being sexually harassed at the gym, Chinenye urged them to document their evidence and seek legal assistance.

She added, “You can confront the person because someone might be harassing you sexually not knowing that they are committing an offence. In such a situation, let the person know of the offence and warn them not to repeat such act.

“If the offence continues after confrontation, start documenting your evidence to build your case. Report to the appropriate authority of the police with a trusted supportive close person like a family member and engage legal assistance.”

 

Saturday Punch

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