Shola was unhappy with her life in Nigeria. She wanted to study and get a job, but when she finished secondary school, her family expected her to marry, have children, and be a housewife. She decided to go to Europe to realise her plans. A woman promised to take her there, and she departed with a group of girls. They had been promised the journey would be short and easy, but already the crossing of the hot desert to Libya was an ordeal.
"We spent eight days in the desert. There was no water, there was nothing at all. When we reached Libya the woman said the road wasn’t clear, so we had to work a bit before continuing. What kind of work? She said work in a brothel. I started crying. Me and my friends refused to do it.”
Then Shola managed to escape and found a job as housemaid. It was not a nice place and she asked her employer if he could help her and her friends to cross the sea to Europe. He said yes, but they had to work three more months for him to earn money for the journey. One day Shola and some other girls were arrested and put in jail. They were told they had to stay there until someone would bail them out. After six months, the man who was helping them to cross the sea paid for their release and put them on board a smuggler’s boat.
"There was no food because we’d been told if you want to cross, you can’t bring anything with you, no food, nothing.We were there for three days, we were even calling for rescue but nobody came.”
Shola did arrive in Malta, but she says that had she known how difficult the journey would be, she would have stayed at home.