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Former call girl, now ‘special envoy’

Posted by on 2004/08/12 | Views: 2532 |

Former call girl, now ‘special envoy’

The Reporter took a quick glance at the girl. He could not believe that she had packed such a considerable, but dreadful experience into her life, having just gone through all the evils associated with prostitution.

The Reporter took a quick glance at the girl. He could not believe that she had packed such a considerable, but dreadful experience into her life, having just gone through all the evils associated with prostitution.

Sixteen-year-old Alice, is certainly a pretty girl with light and radiant skin. Right stature. The smile on her face was contrary to the expectation that she would be uptight. And the glow on her rosy cheeks confirms the fact that she’s very young.

Alice, a former girl of easy virtue is a special envoy of some sort. She was in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 11, 2002 to launch the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) First World Day Against Child Labour.

Her predicament started after the death of her father in 1978. That was when she abandoned her education at Army School, Odon town for lack of finance.

In June 1999, Alice from Oruebubo in Nboh Local Government, Akwa Ibom State lost her mother and became an orphan.

Then, she had to put up with maltreatment from relatives she went to live with. Somehow, Alice met Joy, who was visiting the village from Lagos. Joy promised to pay for Alice training in a vocational institute if she (Alice) would follow her to Lagos. Alice willingly accepted, believing that the offer was made out of compassion.

But on arrival in Lagos, Joy became very hostile to Alice. She soon discovered the frightful truth that Joy was actually a prostitute and child trafficker. Rather than fulfil her promise, Joy demanded that Alice pay her N25,000.00 she allegedly incurred while bringing her to Lagos.

In a bid to pay the ransom. Alice was forced into prostitution. After the repayment, she then moved to another brothel in Ifako Agege in sub-urban Lagos where she earned about N11,000.00 a month from the illicit sex trade. There, she paid N1000 per week for a room and another N500 per week for the generating set for alternative power supply. She admitted facing tremendous problems and violence from the police ,who constantly raid them.

In October 2001, one of the teachers /counsellors of the Women Consortium of Nigeria(WOCON), a Non- Governmental Organisation, Mrs. Fatimoh Darinijo, met Alice, counselled and persuaded her to join the WOCON/JIPEC programme for withdrawal of child prostitutes.

She was enrolled to train as a hairdresser at 'Muzar Hair Fashion' in Ifako Agege, Lagos. Alice was rescued from the stranglehold of prostitution after two grueling years as a commercial sex worker.

Most women of easy virtue have tales of woe with striking similarity to that of Alice to tell about how they were lured into the indecent trade.

Take Itoahan for example. She is 23 and lived in Benin before moving to Italy. In March 1999, she accepted and was taken to Conakry together with eight other girls. After a long tortuous journey, she ended up in Italy where a woman explained what was expected from her:

Shirley, in her own case, was born in 1969 at Warri. She was a student at the Lagos State University (LASU). A woman who wanted to know whether she was prepared and willing to work in Italy contacted her. Although the woman did not specify what kind of work she was expected to do,Shirly accepted the offer.

From Lagos, the girls were moved to Accra , Ghana.There, they met many more Nigerian girls, all of them waiting to leave for Italy. They travelled to Nice, with stop-over in Moscow and Madrid. She finally arrived in Florence where she was sent to work on the street. Her madam told her she was indebt ed to her to the tune of 60,000.00 Liras, for she paid the person who had helped in organised her coming to Italy. That was how she was forced to become a prostitute.

Another quick look at Alice, and the reporter could not but conclude that she is an epitome of man’s inhumanity to man. Unfortunately, her handler, a human rights activist, seemed to overprotect her, insisting on shielding her from “undue media exposure”.

Yes, her real name is Alice. It’s use was allowed on condition that the surname will not be in print. Taking her picture was out of the question. He parried all questions for Alice preferring to answer them but this did not go down well with the reporter. If society could not protect her innocence, the Rights Activist maintained, the onus is on him to protect her future

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Comments (1)

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.