Nigerian tourist recounts near rape incident in hotel

The experience of a Nigerian female who traveled to Zanzibar, Tanzania has left social media users on Twitter concerned and upset.

The young solo female traveler with username @zainabdehinde on April 16, 2022, recounted her near-rape experience while on vacation for her 23rd birthday at Zanzibar a year ago.

Zainab Oladehinde on April 15, 2021, left her home country, Nigeria for Zanzibar. According to her, she had reservations about being in Zanzibar all alone, but “none of my thoughts would have prepared me for what I eventually witnessed and experienced in Tanzania.”

It was a two-day flight as she had a one-day transit time in Adis Ababa Ethiopia. On April 16, she arrived at her destination, Warere Beach Hotel in Nungwi Zanzibar where she had booked a six-night accommodation.

She never expected the worst at the hotel as she was gracefully welcomed upon arrival. She had already begun fantasizing about how her 23rd birthday would be memorable.

“Now, this looked like heaven to me and I can remember being so excited as this was going to be my dream birthday holiday. I couldn’t do much except eat dinner as I was tired from my flight and I just wanted to sleep. My itinerary the next day was to spend some time to explore the hotel whilst I settle fully into vacation mode before I’d start my tourist activities which I never got the time to do,” she wrote.

She had breakfast, went to the pool and the beach, and mingled with some Russian couple, who in the end played a major role in escaping a memory she would have abhorred for the rest of her life.

Night came and she retired to bed naked with her room doors locked and the lights switched off. Her peaceful rest was disturbed a few hours into her sleep.

“I started to feel a strange hand touching my breast,” she said. She snubbed the first indication of the horror to come because she thought it was a dream.

But the next action left her worried. “I started to feel my hands stroking someone’s penis.” At this moment, Zainab Oladehinde noticed it was not a dream.

“There was a naked man lying on my bed and touching me at 2am in my hotel room ! He started calling me “baby” and then I became scared cause the room was dark as I had switched off the lights before I went to bed.

I asked the man “who are you?” But all he kept saying was “baby, baby”. I asked in a louder tone this time around cause I was getting angry and then he quickly stuffed his hands over my mouth in an attempt to stop me from shouting,” she recounted.

Her attacker did not understand the English Language and kept speaking Swahili.

She was devasted as she saw no means of communication and her only hope to evade a rape story was to fake having the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The word HIV caught the attention of the man.

“He left the room and told me he’d be back with a condom. I immediately locked my doors, ran to the bathroom and called my friend. I couldn’t talk well cause I was just crying but finally, I could speak and then we decided I couldn’t stay back in the room and wait for the rapist to come back,” she tweeted.

Because she could not see her attacker but had managed to get a good sniff of him, she decided not to seek assistance from the security men around.

“Then I started to crawl on my knees around the leaves so no one could see me. When I got to hotel reception, I knocked on every door but no one answered me. I was crying profusely at this point cause I thought I wouldn’t survive this night. How could it be that there was no one in all these rooms at the reception?”

Zainab Oladehinde then thought of the Russian couple she had met. She narrated that “fortunately for me, the room was opened and I ran inside. They woke up almost immediately and I told the guy ‘Alex ‘ how I was strangled and almost got raped in my room. He advised that I stay in his room till we sort out the issue by day break.”

After a peaceful rest, she went back to her room, where she found that her $1,100 had been stolen.

She lodged a complaint at the Nungwi Police Station. There, “I was asked to write my statement which I did. The policemen asked me to narrate the incident to them and they advised I go to the hospital to go do a check-up if I was raped or not.”

She informed the Police she suspected the security personnel on duty that night. According to her, “they (Policemen) were all speaking Swahili and were asking me questions instead of interrogating the suspects.”

At this point, she sensed foul play and took a picture of the police station and the statement she had written. This she said got the officers angry, who told her she would not be allowed to go to the hospital unless she deletes the photos.

“I didn’t delete my pictures and videos. Instead, I took more because this was the only weapon I had against them. I started to google Nigerian embassies in Tanzania. I called all of them but no one answered me. They finally let me go to the hospital for a checkup,” she said.

At the unidentified hospital, the nurse confirmed that there was no penetration. According to her, the police were only interested in pursuing the issue of theft and not the attempted rape since it was proven that there was no penetration.

According to her, the April 2021 experience landed her in therapy for a year to heal from the psychological trauma.

After sharing what seems to be a lengthy narration, social media users narrated their unpleasant experiences at Zanzibar.

Other users have asked critics to not pass judgment without hearing the story from the side of the hotel.