Nneka, an Igbo girl was also an Italian Mama.
Not that it was impossible. It was all about making money; therefore a few Igbo people must key in, afterall they were the business hub of Nigeria State.
During the 90s, some syndicates in Lagos Nigeria specialized in sending young girls to Europe for prostitution. They would get international passports of Nigerian women living in Europe, especially in Italy, changed the faces in the data pages and used them to send out as many girls as possible.
The high success rate was as a result of the fact that international passports were not digital then.
Most of the girls were scouted in Lagos, therefore it was inevitable that some of them must have been from other tribes, not just Edo State.
However, due to cultural differences, Some other tribes eventually left the business while the Edo people reorganized themselves and dominated the business line.
It was also understandable that Some people from other tribes did not abandon the business entirely, a few remained. The reason must have ranged from greed, inability to find other things to do or something else, but they remained and continued human trafficking.
Miss Nneka Onuma was one of such Igbo people who remained in the business.
According to Tina, Nneka said her own Madam was from Edo State as well.
“She told me she was helping me because the woman who helped her was also from Edo State. She came to buy Foodstuffs in my Mother’s shop in Mafoluku Lagos and met me there. She said i looked beautiful and that she could take me to Europe to help her out on her Nursing home business. She also said she would send me to school. My mother agreed immediately without consulting anybody because my Dad died in a bomb blast inside Ikeja Military Cantonment in January 2002. I also liked what she said because i wanted to travel to Oversea. I have heard so much good things about Oversea and there was this woman from my village who built a duplex house when she returned from oversea. In fact, to cut the long story short, she did the papers and took me to Libya. There were other girls too that wanted to travel to oversea. It was in the night that they came to wake us up. They said our boat has arrived and that it was time to go. We were taken to the big water and we entered the boat. We said goodbyes to those who couldn’t enter the boat, then we left Libya into the black sea” She said.
“Its not black Sea. It was the Mediterranean Sea” I said.
“I don’t know, it was black. Do you know that we changed from our boat to a big one inside water. I was scared. The new boat has some white men smoking cigarette. That was the first time i came close to a White man. One of them asked if i wanted to smoke but i shook my head. They told us that we were going to Italy and that we will get there before day break. It was early in the morning when they stopped in a small land in the middle of the sea. They told all of us to get down and stand on the land.
When we got down, they told us that Police people will come there very soon and take us to Italy. They made some phone calls and entered their boat, then they drove away. We stood there in that small land for three hours. We were hungry. We were scared because the water would rush and touch our legs. I even thought that the sea will swallow us. It was about three hours before a big police boat came. They told us to enter their boat and wrote down our names, then they took us to a bigger land still inside the water. There were other Nigerian people there when we came. We spent one week there before another boat came and took us to Italy. They took our names there and put our fingers inside black ink, then told us to press it on a board. It was not easy. There was a phone number my Aunty gave me in Libya. She told me to call it when i have the chance. It was when we were released after one month that i called the number. She asked where we were and i told her that the name was Agrigento. She came there and took me. Do you know that she didn’t have any nursing home? When i asked her, she told me that the government closed it down and that i must join other girls in the street to make money for her. She said she spent 40, 000 Euros on my head. She said she paid people in Libya, paid the white people who took us inside sea and paid the Police that came and take us from the small land inside water” she said.
“The small land inside water is called an Island” I said.
“No, Island (Ireland) is in Dublin. My cousin lives there” She said.
“Never mind, continue” I said.
“That was how i became a prostitute. I worked in Italy for some weeks before they came and take us to France in the night. It was in Italy that i met Kate. When she came to France, she called me and we met again there. Now we are here. Brother it is not easy standing there everyday. Sometimes i come back early in the morning around 4 or 5. Then by 8 she will wake me up again and send me out. She said i can work day and night to be able to pay her faster. I called my mother and told her about all this. Do you know what she told me?” she said i should stay here and pray to be free one day. That is why i decided to run away. I have been thinking about running away since two months. I knew my chance would come someday. Please if there is anything you can do to send me to my cousin in Dublin, do it. I will pay you back one day” She finished.
“I will see what i can do, the problem with Dublin is that it has just one airport and no road to get there. Now the Europeans are becoming more tight on immigrants. I can send you and Kate to England, It is better than Dublin. But first things first, i need to deal with your Madams. They will pay for your transport to anywhere. They have not finished sponsoring you girls yet” I said.
“You don’t know my Aunty, she won’t pay you anything” Tina said.
“You don’t have to worry about that. Just do as i say and you will be fine” I said and turned to Kate.