Celebrity stylist, Ifan Micheal, recounts sexual abuse experience at 10
Filmmaker and celebrity stylist, Ifan Micheal, has recounted his childhood experience of sexual abuse by his guardian.
He disclosed his traumatic part of his upbringing in an interview that was rather emotional with Chude Jideonwo, the media entrepreneur.
The filmmaker said he was forced to leave Port Harcourt where his parents resided at age 10 after they separated.
He said he first made for Enugu before proceeding to Lagos after a movie marketer promised him an opportunity.
Young Ifan was left with nowhere to stay when the said marketer became unreachable on his arrival in Lagos.
He said this led to him squatting at a brothel with a call girl who had offered to take him under her wings.
“I knew I was diving into an industry that is very tough and I’d have to push in. I came into Lagos at the age of 10. I never had anyone at the time. I started living with a call girl named Chidinma. She had a place in Surulere.”
“It was in Babajide, a call center for runs girls. She took me in because I was Igbo. I explained my situation and she felt she could take me under her wings. Yes, I grew up in a brothel. She does her job in the morning and afternoon.
“Most times, I slept late at night because she’s busy doing her stuff. She was good to me and had others she was also helping. I was with her for almost a year. Trying to find a home, I stayed with a man who sexually abused me.”
“I was 10. Chidinma had started having some sort of harassment because she was lobbying me into her room after her day-to-day. It was looking like, ‘why are you having this boy here. It’s supposed to be a girls’ camp?” Ifan said.
“They started wondering if she was sleeping with me because I was younger and it was a brothel. I saw the emotional trauma she was getting for harboring me. I thought it was best that I left. I met this movie marketer.
“I was in Enugu when I met him. He made me come to Lagos. He told me I had a beautiful movie story. On my way to the national there, I got to Lagos and his phones were switched off. At that point, my parents had separated.
“I left them in Port Harcourt to Enugu. In Enugu was where I met the marketer. The only place I had was Winnies Hotel, where movie casts always hang out. It was in Surulere. It was in that vicinity I met Chidinma.
“I later met this barber named Bros Ubi in whose house I moved. He allowed me into his house with the condition of being able to have stuff. He was in his 30s. He said he was going to sleep with me. I had nowhere else to go.”
“It became what it was. He began to abuse me sexually. This was 2001 or 2002. I couldn’t go back to my parents. They didn’t even know if I existed. How I left Bros Ubi was him accommodating a young girl, 17 or 18,” he added.
“I couldn’t have known it was assault. I thought of him as a saving grace at the time but I did tell the girl to stop sleeping with him. She reported to him and I got chased out of the house at midnight.
“That was how I met OPC guys who flogged me thinking I was a thief. I had a scar on my back.”
Ifan started as a celebrity stylist and brand consultant, styling Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Yvonne Nelson.
In 2016, he forayed into filmmaking and produced Lotanna.
He released the film in 2017 and received an AMVCA 2018 nomination for the ‘Best Film West Africa’ category.
In 2019, he co-wrote, produced, and directed Foreigners God.