Monkey Tail, a Date-Rape Drug in Nigeria


Monkey Tail: ogogoro (local gin) left to brew in marijuana leaves. Photo Credit: Usha Anenga

“Monkey Tail,” though an unlikely-sounding moniker, is simply a drink made of ogogoro (local gin) left to brew in igbo (marijuana leaves, stems, roots or seeds) for a few days or more, producing varying units of intoxication (UOI) for the user.
The beverage gives users two different kinds of “highs” simultaneously with unpredictable outcomes, especially for a novice and depending on the alcoholic content, igbo potency and amount consumed. There is also the case of synergy where, for example, ten UOI of ogogoro plus ten UOI of igbo can cause thirty-seven UOI when consumed.
Today, Monkey Tail is seen by Nigerians as a popular masculine drink. Street boys are believed to abuse it recklessly, mostly as an agent of Dutch courage and ‘escape’ from the trials of street life. While at the higher echelons of the social structure, gentlemen are most likely to drink it responsibly and mostly for sexual purposes. Women who drink Monkey Tail would by default be perceived to be wayward or unwomanly.
Xclusive Magazine uncovered that Monkey Tail throughout the 1980s and 1990s was a common ‘date-rape’ drug in Nigeria. At tertiary institutions of learning or in towns, the parties are thrown by young men often served Monkey Tail variants as “punch”. Similar to the punch cocktails, the variant in question was mostly a concoction of Monkey Tail (primary ingredient), other spirits, dessert wines, Ribena, bits/slices of fruit and sometimes Guinness or palm-wine. Sweeteners and other additives were introduced to mask the sickly taste of marijuana. Some desperate guys even added barbiturates.
At the parties, usually small and intimate, called “mellows”, decent food would be served to all the girls with the fruity and delicious “punch” before any male. The girls loved the punch, especially when ice was available. The unwitting girls were having a good time for all they cared. Then the dancing would start in earnest, and within an hour, one could observe all the social inhibitions of the girls had fallen flat with them laughing at each other’s antics. Not too long after that, they would pass out.
Whatever happened to those girls often remains a secret to this day. Still, one source who spoke to Xclusive Magazine on condition of anonymity confessed that the primary purpose and outcome of the parties was rape. A lot of girls had compromising photos taken of their naked bodies or engaged in sex with a guy whose face could not be seen while theirs were. Many of these girls ended up being blackmailed for money and sex by the party throwers. It was claimed that many thousands of girls were forced into part prostitution as a result of the ensuing blackmail.
The source volunteered the information to Xclusive Magazine after openly confessing his sins to an undisclosed church congregation. He said he had discovered what is now known as Monkey Tail as a date rape drug by accident. He had given it to two girls who visited him on their insistence at his one-room apartment in Benin-City while he was a teacher there in 1979. He went on to have sex with the girls as they had become unconscious and he spread passed the word.
It was to become a scheme he and his friends exacted for several years on women with increasing sophistication, especially while he was an undergraduate. He also possessed many compromising photos of naked women. Today he claims to be repentant and sincerely regrets his actions.
Monkey Tail has undoubtedly had a silent but evil history. What is it used for these days?
Grimot Nane
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