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Ese Walter’s “Naked: A journey to Self”: Life Before and After the COZA Scandal #LiterallyWhatsHot

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When the story of her affair with COZA’s Pastor Fatoyinbo broke years ago, my first thought was: m’kay, people are going to hit this girl hard! Unfortunately, it was a mega-sonic impact. She had to disappear for a while because of the hate spewing from “Christians” and others alike. I never followed up, but I was interested in how she handled her life after the backlash. I suspected she’d discuss that in this book, and she did.

Ese starts with her childhood, growing up and constantly wondering if she was good enough. Like many young women a major problem was with packaging herself to society’s specifications. She says: “People-pleasing was my way of trying to stay on everybody’s good side.”  It took her a long time to realize she didn’t owe anyone anything. Culture is good, society is fab, but you owe it to yourself not to drown in the sea of standards.

We get whole chapters on sex, money, and love. These are the three major things that drive the world, so it was appropriate (I think) that she addressed them in discussing her life. She also explores the events that led to her turning to Christianity and then some. There was nothing specific about how the affair progressed between her and the pastor. Nothing to rile people up, and I think that was intentional. Somewhere deep inside, I think she was scared that doing that would bring the demons back. She wanted to share her “story”, but didn’t want to open old wounds.

A most important part of this book is the insight on constantly questioning her faith even though she was devoted in church activities. I actually know a lot of people like this, people who are the top performers in church but still question God and the reason for doing what they do. Many people have these questions but are afraid of being labeled “sinners” or atheist wannabes . Apparently, Ese choose to toe her own path and she details how she steps into a new set of beliefs.

Discussing her marriage, childbirth, and emotions that come with those were powerful topics for me. Admitting to near failure in those parts and yet picking herself up is a marker that she is finally starting to find herself.

To me, her writing this was more about self-healing than anything; it’s Ese saying she’s finally come to terms with what happened. One of the many quotes which Ese starts each chapter with has Oprah saying: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have different.” To that I say an Amen. I wish people would realize this often ignored truth.

In truth, I feel Ese still has a lot of soul searching to do. Deep issues like these aren’t just resolved in three, four years. I really like that she’s channeling her energy into running Femina Speaks, a platform for helping young ladies confused about “life, love, purpose, and what it all means”.

Society hates to admit it, but we are a sum of our past. Hurrah for thinking of a new life and dreams, but if you don’t make peace with your past, there’s no future. She’s doing that and that’s what matters to me.

If you’re reading this book to find details about the Fatonyinbo issue, don’t. The book is more “inspirational” and thought stirring than the exposé we all expected. Through intense therapy, soul searching, and forgiveness, Ese has pulled off the garments of shame that held her back for so long.

She opens herself to the world in her debut powerful memoir “Naked: A Journey to Self” now available on OkadaBooks! Sign-up with this link http://bit.ly/FreeOkadaCredit and get N150 free credit. You should get a copy if you’d like to see inside her world, and understand her perspective on life. Remember, no lesson is invaluable. You could be in her shoes tomorrow.

chiamakaChiamaka Onu-Okpara is a freelance editor with an absolute love for anything weird. When she isn’t wading through punctuation errors, she binge-watches cartoons and writes speculative fiction.
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Email her at [email protected]

42 Comments

  1. zee

    March 30, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Why does she think we want to hear her “story”? Why does she want to remind ppl of forgotten events?

    • Olu

      March 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      forgotten….. to you

    • kay

      March 30, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      She has to give us a “robust response”

    • Ottawa Queen

      March 30, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      She’s becoming na. . .free her!!

    • Portia

      June 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      you are part of society’s problem. If she wants to talk about this issue till the very day she takes her last breathe she should be allowed to do so if it will bring the healing she desperately needs.

  2. Nedu

    March 30, 2017 at 11:48 am

    No one cares. Moving on to the matters of the National Assembly….ehen where were we?

    • NG

      March 30, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Lol

  3. Bola

    March 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

    This girl is just an unapologetic attention seeker.

    • Portia

      June 1, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      really? sad that you are a woman.

  4. blackbeatle

    March 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

    don’t mind her…. who even buys these books …. …..dino vs ndume matter jare

  5. Emeka Ugo

    March 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Can this ese girl just concentrate more on taking care of her new kids and husband benny ark. Stale story that you are trying to revive again. Why didn’t you write the book since if you had the intention of being famous for sleeping with a man of God. Rubbish. Toke makinwa wanna be.

    • Jide

      March 30, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      It’s either you are stupid, can’t read or both. The book is not about the “stale story”. Ranting here like you have the mental capacity to read anything other than a blog. Guy go and rest abeg.

  6. Wale

    March 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    It is her story either you like it or no…..I can’t remember the Pastor coming out to say anything or could we say Silence means yes.

    If this is how she can get herself together, please ride on!

  7. dd

    March 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Bella naija is now looking like a linda ikeji blog ….given scandal stories room for more improvement to their lives…

  8. Aunty

    March 30, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    The Coza people are out in full force. Ese will tell her story whether you pastor likes it or not. She will not be cowered into hiding or into shame. Life is a journey and we need to keep evaluating and picking ourselves up after every setback.
    Well done girl! Wish you all the best.

  9. Omoté

    March 30, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    See how she’s still getting backlash and oga pastor got away with everything. Infact I’m still waiting for his robust reply. She can tell her story as many times as she pleases, someone somewhere will learn from it. If this is how she chooses to purge then so be it!

  10. martina

    March 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Nigerians ehn! Gosh!!!!!! weldone ese we are still waiting for the juicy story hope we get it soon we know this is the first of many to come 😀 😀 team #freethesheeple

  11. cocozee

    March 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    And she is here.commenting with different fake IDs.Babe you have lost it
    Retrace your steps back to God.
    Stop using pastor fatoyinbo’s name to get famous.Whilst you are sinking deeper into the mire,he has moved on!!!!!!
    Even if he cheated with you, he has turned back to God.
    I am so angry at these Stephanie otobos and Ese Walter who open their eyes and do stuff and later come back to tell all
    Did anyone force you to take off your panties?were you raped?!!! Why didn’t you say no???
    A bishop in ghana wanted to get into a relationship with me, I didn’t know who he was, but thankfully I found out and I turned him DOWN!!! I gave him the length of my tongue.He is a bishop overseeing 63 branches in the ministry he belongs to.I was tempted to go report him to the head of the ministry but I decided not to and tongue lashed the man.
    Una know get anything to say at all.

    • Jaygirl

      March 30, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      That was your choice. We all deal with things differently. You can’t expect everyone to take the same action as you. Very distasteful comment. How can you assume she is commenting using different IDs? If I had your kind of brain, I will assume you a member of COZA just because of your ID and chain of thoughts.
      It’s a free world, don’t condemn people for their choice of healing please.

    • sharon

      March 30, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      But she is a coza member na. Her stupidity amazes me!! Coza members out in full force!! Blind sheep

    • Portia

      June 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      you are pathetic. you should be more concerned that a pastor is using the name of God in vain. maybe you forget that a woman who was manipulated and coerced into having sex can also sue for rape. All she needs is a good lawyer and facts.

  12. funmilola

    March 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    if writing her story will inspire others and make her forgive and move on, please by all means let her.
    I truly hope she has healed and her faith in Christ has deepened.

  13. king Bey

    March 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Which stupid robust reply? I don’t know pst Fatoyinbo from anywhere but babes has gat to move on..if he slept / dated you it was both consent,you both agreed to do it,so why come on social media to cry wolf like he deceived you…I am very sure you wanted more or you thought he was going to divorce his wife and marry you lol for your mind (hahaha)….as for pat Fatoyinbo he need not to apologize to anyone,the two persons he needs to ask forgiveness from is God and wife,so people waiting for robust reply from him should wait till eternity….Single girls stop sleeping with married men,married men leave single girls alone and face your wives

  14. Bimbo

    March 30, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I knew she’ll use that experience to her advantage financially. The pastor asked you out & you saw nothing wrong with it, he came all the way to see you in london yet you didnt scream to world. But because you wanted more than being a side chic & he turned you down, you saw the need to come up with a book? Wehdone Ma. Your husband also used to be a VERY active member of the church before you married him so probably you two planned the whole ish together. Wasn’t he in the protocol dept & her in the pastoral care unit before they met? I’m not a fan of church goers chanting “touch not my annionted” When issues like this come up but this babe sure knew why she was doing. She’s such a psycho with personality disorder, hence her victim-like story from a teenager even till now as a married woman man.

    • George Akomas

      April 1, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Love your narrative. if only it were true, It is possible..but is it TRUE? In civilized countries of the world ..it doesnt matter WHY the whistle was blown…but the facts surrounding it. If they were both single. There is no story there. If he was married and cheating on his wife…story de there. If the person is in a position of power (teacher, boss, pastor)..bigger story yet. But in Nigeria we shame the ‘victim’..whether she went in knowingly or not.
      “He came all the way to see you in london…”? Did she ever say that? “yet you didnt scream to world…”? Did you miss the part where she was spiritually blackmailed? “,,, But because you wanted more than being a side chic & he turned you down, you saw the need to come up with a book? “? REALLY? I honestly hope that no one does this to you…take a situation in your life and spin it in a nice sweet juicy story that makes sense…but is a lie. Sadly…karma is a funny thing.
      Do you know what saddens me the most? If anyone here had criticized the book for being badly written or the story for being uneccessary AFTER reading the book…awesome. No. We sit down on our little thrones and sling mud at other people…and honestly think life will smile on us. I detest ‘men of God’ (i have an issue with that title) who fornicate….them especially cos they are supposed ot be moral lighthouses….it shouldnt even be whispered. Yet I do not condemn any of them for the simple fatctthat I know…if I were in their shoes…I might do worse! God keep us humble and help us see good in others…otherwise we’ll only see in them the bad in us

  15. George

    March 30, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I read with interest the replies to this…I found some of the comments funny…but most of them sad. First of all, the writer of this blog CLEARLY stated that if you want to read this book looking for gossip…DONT! Yet, in our normal sanctimonious, arrogant manner…we have jumped on the ‘crucify’ bandwagon. Someone even accused her of replying with multiple fake IDs! I didnt know if I should laugh or cry at that one! If you only knew Ese (yes…I do), May every tongue that rises against her in false judgment (I dare you to finish it and say Amen). This a review of a book the reviewer found interesting, You didnt hv to come out and spew your negativity to make yourself feel better. Move on? Girl has moved on looong ago.,,,her telling her story was her moving on…if she wanted to do serious damage…sge could hv but decided to speak up and leave it at that. i dont have to defend her…she doesnt need me to…but I just couldnt help but feel sad at how much negativity we have as a people.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      March 31, 2017 at 9:41 am

      This is what I wanted to write =D

    • George &ofilli

      March 31, 2017 at 10:16 am

      George and offilli, will you both shut up?

      I said will you shut up? what nonsense are you talking about….I care not that the person is a pastor but haba use your brain small na. Two adults had consenting sex, slept together without being raped and someone is out spewing the rubbish….are you mad?

      All the other guys who you slept with before now, why didnt you tell us about them? Ladies are something else….did you see the one on instablog naija this morning? A girl claimed one custom man sleeps with all her friends and she slept with him too. He gives them money and all but he failed to buy her a phone and she now came up to expose him? WHAT DA HELL?

      The friends all add the man up to sleep with him and collect money…..You are adults, you slept with each other na…we werent there when the thing was going on so why disturb us with after effect cos the man is popular?

      George and ofilli, better borrow yourself rbain….i dfc if you know her or not

      Na today man and woman dey sleep with each other? If you are not raped, dont come and be disturbing the recession in the economy abeg…same with Stephanie otobo

    • George

      March 31, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Thats the point I am trying to make. You come out on on social media and start telling people you dont know to ‘shut up’ and people you dont know there level of education, IQ or mental prowess to ‘borrow brain’. I will refrain from doing the same…I have enough respect for myself than to display such aggressive behavior. However, let me see if I can reason with you…

      I didnt know her before her story came out …on reading it, I did my first on a series of articles on it…on both my fanpage and blog. Unbiased. More interested in the way we use power and with the doubt that if I was in the mans position…i would do any better. Now sir, I do not know if ‘abuse of power’ means anything to you. Or if you are okay with people using their positions to get what they want…e.g. sex and extortion. Secondly, I do not know if you are aware of the bible passage that says leaders will be judged with a stricter judgement (James 3:1). Or maybe you do and dont care. The lady never ever ever said she was forced…the problem started where she was told that he had a dream where she told the world what they were doing and DESTROYED HERSELF. Maybe you have never been caught in such a situation before…maybe you have never felt trapped by someone else…well…when she couldn’t stay there anymore..she SPOKE UP (let come what may), set herself free, got married and moved on. In moving on, she started helping other people who have suffered abuse or manipulation. I was on her show once…and I heard things that broke me. I have not reached your level of enlightenment sir to make mockery of other peoples issues. She has not dwelt on it. She has not made money from it (interview calls were many in the wake, she has evidence that would have taken it to a whole new level). No. She writes a book telling her story and so many others. She exposes herself, her stupidity (does not hide it), and chronicles her path to growth….and you sit there throwing stones? I hail you sir. Sadly if the swaggering arrogance and lack of empathy means say i no get brain. I’m happy as I am.

      Dr. George A.

    • George Akomas

      April 1, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      *’their’ level of education…sorry. Would have let it slide but wasn’t sure you would forgive me for it…

  16. The Bull

    March 30, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Pastors hold soo much power in Nigeria, thanks to a failed government and system. If all else fails become a pastor in Nigeria, you can never run out of sheep.

  17. Sugamama

    March 30, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Hmmm. Somehow I think putting some details about the whole affair would be worth it. What her mindset was, if she knowingly went into it or if it was more a power play on his end, any signs she missed or ignored at the time. I also hope she added some detail about the therapy and her healing process. As much as we went to tell her to move on, it was her reality and is currently the same for a lot of young women in the church who may learn from it.

  18. UZOAMAKA

    March 31, 2017 at 6:00 am

    @George-
    God bless you. Indeed, in our normal sanctimonious or hypocritical reality- we face the messenger. We all sin differently so why much negativity?

    1
  19. Nv

    March 31, 2017 at 9:20 am

    See how people are pressed over this book and this girl while also claiming to not care or to be not interested. lol

  20. DAME

    March 31, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I was not going to comment…i did that in my last post about Ese but i would
    TWO PEOPLE – ( excuse my french) but as usual the lady gets the backlash. TWO PEOPLE..
    The crux of the matter where people and by that i mean COZA members and others alike is that Ese is NOT saying your pastor raped her…all she is saying is when she got her mind to it and decided to stop ..he didn ot want to, when she reported to another pastor..the did nothing and your pastor as usual got away with it.

    THANK YOU ESE FOR SPEAKING UP…..DOES NOT MATTER WHO STANDS WITH YOU AS LONG AS YOU KNOW WHERE YOU STAND WITH YOUR GOD.

  21. Bee

    March 31, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Madam….. Pls i am sure u are educated. So u shouldnt b speaking d way u are without getting ur facts straight. FYI d said book is not about d affair its just a book about her life n because of pple like u who condem without thinking, i am sure she deliberately left out that part. Piece of advise, if u really dnt know d full story about smtin, learn to shut up. U must not always comment and make urself look stupid. Gush, its her life….. Leave her alone n mind urs!!!!

  22. o

    March 31, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    See COZA members all over this post like ants over sugar ????

  23. Blissful

    March 31, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Ese, bravo!!

  24. Louda

    April 3, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    All these COZArites, have you confirmed from your pastor that the girl lied. He used sense to evade the whole thing and as usual, people moved on to new gossips. There might be a girl somewhere going thro the same thing who might get help from her book. COZaRITES please ask your pastor when he will give the response otherwise stop shouting her down. Only God knows how many lives were saved by her exposing him who knows he would have continued. I am a believer in the fact that we are all humans, bu let us not argue blindly too.

  25. jirla

    April 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t go to COZA and Im not supporting the Pastor. I just think that Efe is not the victim she is portraying herself to be. She wasn’t a minor. She was old enough to have a sense of right and wrong. She chose wrong. Why do we need to keep hearing the gory details. So you had sex with the Pastor if it is something you are ashamed of and truly have regretted why keep screaming about it from the roof tops. Your story is old can we please hear from the real victims?

  26. Ime Udo-Obong

    September 30, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I THANK GOD ALMIGHTY that this innocent church member and worker has been vindicated GLOBALLY. Now we all can make movies, cartoons and write stories on this “problem” of misuse of power BASED on her story!! I hope Heaven will fully intervene in her marriage and testore it. And I hope she finds her TRUE peace and salvation with the Messiah.

  27. Ime Udo-Obong

    September 30, 2019 at 9:43 am

    I THANK GOD ALMIGHTY that this innocent former church member and worker has been vindicated GLOBALLY. Now we all can make movies, cartoons and write stories on this “problem” of misuse of power BASED on her story!! I hope Heaven will fully intervene in her marriage and restore it. And I hope she finds her TRUE peace and salvation with the Messiah.

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