Fighting broke out in Mary’s village in Nigeria. Her family were killed but she managed to escape. Then she met a woman who offered to take her to Europe to work as a housemaid. She would also be able to go to school there. Mary agreed and they set off on the journey. In the desert, soldiers shot at their car, it overturned, and many passengers were injured. They had to stay in hiding in a cave, with very little food and water. People became desperate with hunger and thirst. Finally, after ten days, another car came and picked them up.
"We travelled from desert to forest and from forest to desert until we arrived at a place they called Libya. I didn’t know what Libya was. I said, where is Libya? They said, this is Libya. I said, Libya?"
Back home, she had heard that Libya was a bad place, a place to avoid. How come she now had arrived there and not to Europe? The woman told her not to worry, she had a sister there and Mary could work for her for a while. But first she would send Mary to a school. A man came and took Mary to a house.
"When we arrived there, it was prostitution, it was a brothel! This was where I’d stay. I saw many girls there, some wore only pants, others only bras. What was this?”
She was locked in a room and savagely beaten until she resigned herself to her fate. She worked as a prostitute for one year in that place. Then she became sick and the owner did not want her anymore. She was released and a friend helped her to get medical treatment. The friend also arranged with a smuggler to send Mary across the sea to Europe. The sea journey was dramatic.
“Many things happened. One boy took a knife and said he just wanted everybody to die. We asked why? He said we’d been at sea for two days and no rescue, so he was going to burst the rubber boat and kill everybody. People pleaded with him and then they overpowered him. Another one wanted to jump into the water. There were so many things. Someone stood up, vomited and fainted.”
Mary says that all what she experienced on this horrible journey from Nigeria to Europe has affected her psyche. She is traumatized and feels her brain is not working properly. She is warning others not to take that road, which only leads to beatings, rape, and other horrible things.