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My name is Rita (not real name) l am 16 years old. One cool evening l was walking down a street in Benin City, Edo State; Nigeria when a young man approached me and intimated me with the possibility of travelling to Europe to work as a Nanny or as a Bar attendant and start a new life, l was ecstatic and rushed home to tell my mother who was also happy for me. Before the process could commence, l was forced to swear an oath of allegiance which was for security and confidentiality before a voodoo priest. This oath taking was a frightening experience for me due to the dreadful sacrifice performed by the priest and things given to me to eat and drink. Our journey to Europe was smooth as it appeared my master got it all planned out. On getting to Europe, l was told my journey cost $50.000 and that since l was new and did not possess my residence and a work permit, l must therefore work as a prostitute to pay up my debt. I was equally warned never to disclose my identity or inform anyone how l got to Europe. It was not long after l started to work as a prostitute under watch, that l contracted AIDS and developed other medical complications. When my mother heard of ill health, her heart failed and she died. As we speak, my father is battling with a serious medical condition (stroke) and my younger sister has also become a victim, because she was equally trafficked to Europe few months after l arrived London. Right now, l feel useless, and want to die, my life is totally destroyed.

Mine was a case of abject poverty. we barely had enough to eat, three square meals a day was a dream, so when a lady approached me and convinced me on how profiting prostitution is in Europe and how l would remove poverty form my family, build houses l only imagined by working as a prostitute, l quickly joined on the offer, being the only hope to run away from poverty. I was so happy that finally, my prayers are answered and abject poverty would become a thing of the past if l accompanied her to Europe. Without much ado, l gave my consent and the next thing was a visit to the shrine of a voodoo priest who performed a sacrifice on me and also implanted a substance inside me through sex. I was 19 years at the time. From them on, my life took a devastating turn; l became alcoholic, depressed and traumatised. I have finished paying $55.000 to my trafficker (Madam), Thank God, l eventually got out of it through my contact with Great Africa Network for women, l am married and desire children but my Doctors are not optimistic because of countless abortions l did as l worked as a prostitute, but l will keep trying. My name is Nelly.

 

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@GREATAFRICA 2013