For Precious and Osagie, life in Nigeria began to deteriorate when herdsmen started grazing their cattle on their crops. Tensions escalated into attacks between the herdsmen and the whole community and it was no longer safe for them to stay. Osagie decided to travel to Libya first through a friend who would sponsor him. Precious wanted to join him and met someone who told her she could work as a housemaid in Libya. The desert journey to Libya was enough to make them regret leaving.
"We continued and got to the desert, to no-man’s land. There was nobody to be seen, nothing. Then I saw graves, fresh graves. What kind of life was this? Those were people going to Europe, to Libya.”
They found themselves in Libya amid lawless chaos. Osagie was robbed by armed gangs, who would steal the money he’d worked hard to earn – if his employer had decided to pay him that month. Precious was forced to work without rest and with little food, but had no choice but to continue in order to pay back the money for her journey. Although they were together, the daily onslaught of gunfire, gangsters and robbery meant they would never be safe there.
“Even if you lock your door, you’ll still be afraid. It could be your neighbour who is knocking on the door. Or it could be a gangster because they are everywhere.
Osagie didn’t want to risk the sea journey, but after his neighbour’s house was destroyed by a rocket he knew he could wait no longer. They made a fraught four-day journey across the sea, with no food or water to give their baby and under threat of attack from another passenger with a knife. Their ordeal came to an end when they were rescued and taken to Malta, a journey that neither of them believed they would survive
“Even today when I remember the journey, it makes me cry. Because I didn’t believe I would go through everything I went through, even on the sea.”