Nollywood actress, Juliana Olayode, popularly known as ‘Toyo Baby‘ the popular Television comic series, ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ has released her book titled “Rebirth: From Grass to Grace”.
In her book, the 22-year-old actress shared gripping stories of how she lost her virginity to her teacher at 17, the sexual assault she endured at the hands of a priest, and also confirmed that she was underpaid as a cast on Jenifa’s Diary and lots more.
Giving an insight to the book, Toyo Baby said:
“Writing this book brought me a mix of emotions. I cried hard, laughed hard, smiled, giggled…and had to forgive some people over and again. I have been working on this book for a couple of months and I am glad it is finally available to you! I am sure it would be your favorite book after your first read.”
See some excerpts from the book:
On Losing Her Virginity At 17…
“The day finally came. He wanted to move the date because he was expecting some money that he wanted to use to pay for a good hotel, but moving it would mean my mum back from church.
“We went back into the room, and it happened. It was a painful experience for me. I cried at different points and he kept apologising, begging me to keep my voice down lest they think he was raping me. He told me to relax and bear the pain.
“In his words, “do not be a weak woman”. That got at me because I hated feeling or being treated as weak.I asked for a break. He tutored me some more and tried again until he finally got through. It was not anything like he had told me it would be.
“I saw no clouds, I made no sounds, I felt nothing special. It was painful all the way, but it was obvious he was satisfied. When he was done, I checked the bed for blood. I screamed! There was no blood! He told me that not all virgins saw blood.
“I was so confused but chose to believe him anyway. Soon after, he slept, and I was there crying. Why didn’t I see blood? Even if not all virgins see blood, why should I be on that list? How would I tell the story of losing my virginity without blood? Who would believe me that I was actually a virgin?”
On Being Sexually Abused By Her Pastor…
“I got to church and it was just the pastor there. I assumed he was the one who picked his children from school that day as they were still in their school uniforms and they were with him in church. He told me to come into his office and asked his children to go into the car.
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“In his office, he asked me if I read the scriptures he gave me and if I observed my prayer time. I told him I did. So he then claimed God told him I needed a spiritual bath and that I had to take my clothes off. He claimed his office had been supernaturally made a spiritual bathroom. He wanted to wash away the dirty water that was poured on me in
“As he spoke those words, I began to cry. Was my case that critical? Why would God want me to have a bath in the pastor’s office? Couldn’t God wash me without me taking off my clothes? Why all these complications?
The pastor told me to stop crying and that I should follow God’s instructions through him.
“He said he would excuse me so God could do the sanctification. He left his office. I shut the door, made sure the windows were locked and put the curtains down. I was naked in his office. He had told me how to pray and I prayed. I cried as I did.
“I saw the door handle moving so I quickly got up, and got dressed. I opened the door and he came in with oil. He claimed again that God asked him to anoint my body from head to toe. So, the anointing session started. He anointed my head, my eyes, and was moving down. When he got to my chest, he did the sign of the cross and wanted to proceed to touch me. I stopped him and told him to put the oil in my hand. I would anoint myself.
“He told me to lie down, that he wanted to anoint me down there. It was at the point when he wanted to anoint me, I remembered I had forgotten to wear my pant when I hurriedly dressed up. At that time, I also remembered the dirty things Mr. F used to talk about. It was then my eyes were opened and I knew what this man was trying to do to me. I got upset, took my bag and left immediately.”
On Jenifa’s Diary Bringing Her Fame Not Riches…
“The plans my mum and I had were exaggerated. I was paid for the series, but the money I received could not do all my mum and I had fantasized about. In retrospect, I laugh at the things my mum had planned to do with the pay; we had big dreams.
“I honestly did not know how big my role in Jenifa’s Diary would be when I got the role. I thought I would be done after the first season. I was surprised when I was called back season after season. I got so busy. Jenifa’s Diary practically became my life; I was almost always on set.
“Even though I was already acting in the Jenifa’s Diary TV series, whenever I got a call for ushering jobs, I took them. I needed the extra pay. I did decent ushering jobs. I had values I could not compromise. No club, bar or night ushering jobs. No jobs with indecent outfits. I did the regular wedding and concert jobs. The pay for decent ushering jobs was as low as Five thousand Naira per job but for me, it was worth it.
“My mum was concerned for me, wondering why I would be on TV and still be going for such cheap jobs. I told her I had to do so. I could not sit at home when not on set doing nothing and I definitely was not going to sleep around. Dee did not like the idea either, but he understood my position.
“There were times I went for ushering jobs and people recognised me. I smiled at them. At times, fellow ushers jeered at me, wondering what Toyo Baby was doing serving as an usher with them. I always found a way of laughing my way out of the teasing.”