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Nigerians girls in modified slavery in India

An interview with Olufunbi Falayi, a Nigerian who has just returned from New Delhi, India

Olutosin:Can you please give a short introduction about yourself?

Olufunbi: I am Olufunbi Falayi. I am a social entrepreneur on a short training course in India.
Can you please narrate your Experience as regards Edo girls in Delhi? I was attached to the Etasha society as part of my work place experience during my training and I was to understand the national skill development corporation of India’s Implementation model and i was accommodated at TIGRI KAHAMPUR.

In Kerala where the institute was situated, I was not opportune to meet any Nigerian in Kerala, I was so happy when I saw many Nigerians on the streets of Delhi. On my first day, I was happy to see 2 black ladies, we exchanged pleasantry and decided to meet later in the day. I invited the Nigerian to my room and we chatted about Nigeria politics and in a few minutes, she had become bored about the conversation and she asked; why am I here; short term or overnight?” I was shocked that she came to my apartment for sex not for brother/sisterhood.

I was so embarrassed. I asked her; why you are into this?, I thought we were Nigerians, we are one and not just sex, she said “why do you think that I am here, I need to pay my boss some millions and I must deliver every day. My passport has being seized and will only be returned when I finish the payment” I sat on the edge of the chair. It was like watching a Nigerian film. I told her to leave.

The following day, just the exact situation, that I have narrated above happened between myself and another Ugandan girl. The Ugandan girl has being in India for 6 months. According to her narration, she was a hairdresser in Uganda. I asked why she should leave her job in Uganda to become a prostitute in India. She informed me that she wants a better life and hairdressing is not a viable job in Uganda and India. so she needed to work day and night as a prostitute.

The Red Flag

Olutosin: What do you think is the cause of African women migrating to India?
Olufunbi: There is a ready market in India. The Indian men want the African women. The major area is at Malvia Nagar. The place is filled with prostitutes. The situation will bring tears to the eyes of a coward. I began to interview people about these prostitutes in Delhi, I learned that the HIV prevalence is so alarming, and I began to wonder how they will survive.

Olutosin: What's your now your view about other African girls in Delhi?
Olufunbi: There are black corporate girls in New Delhi, some of them are working in corporate organizations while some are in schools and they live on campus; they do not roam around the streets at all. I have a Nigerian friend in Delhi who could not visit me during my six weeks stay in Delhi because her school has strict policy. It is not all the girls that are into this forced slavery. There are many decent African girls in New Delhi. My main concern is the Edo girls, they are in the clubs at Select City works mall where they meet at night for pickups.

Choosing prostitution may not be a bad thing for them but having to work day and night in order to pay back Millions of naira their bosses who seized their international passports makes the matter looks like a refined slavery.

Olutosin: Do you think that these girls will be willing to return to Nigeria?
Olufunbi: The bottom line is that they were jobless in Nigeria or they had jobs that could sustain their livelihood, therefore the only way is to assure them of a reasonable way of livelihood and rehabilitation that will not force them to look back anymore.
Means of livelihood is not just to learn a skill that they may not be able to use, but a skill that will earn them enough to live a decent life.

Olutosin: Can you give a rough estimate of Edo girls who are working as prostitutes in Delhi??
Olufunbi: That will be very difficult for me. I can say it categorically that 80 percent of Delhi prostitutes of Delhi prostitutes are Nigerians and out of that 80 percent of Nigerians are from Edo state. This means that some of the Edo girls who were rescued from Italy might have found their way back to abroad. In addition to that, from my personal research, more girls from Nigeria and other African countries troop into Delhi as prostitutes. This does not erase the facts that there are other Nigerians girls who have legal and productive intention but the number of Nigerian girls who are into this type of predicament if growing by the day.

Olutosin: What about Nigerian young men in New Delhi?
Olufunbi: When I was there, I usually visit the African kitchens, I see the young men smoking weed always, working on their computers and discussing about the client they meet online. Once, I was eating, had to receive a phone call, I step outside, leaving my iPod behind.

After receiving the call, I walk back in and discovered that my iPod was missing. I turned to the men; there were five men, all Eastern Nigerians. I asked them about the iPod and one of them told me that “this is a public place and you should not have left any belongings” I was furious and replied, we are brothers, from Nigeria.

They all laughed when I said that they were my brothers, and one of them said who your brother is? I reported the incident to the owner of the restaurant and she assured me that she will report the matter to their leader because they are cult members. After three days, I receive d a call from their leaders who asked me to pay 3,000 Rupees if I want the iPod returned. I declined the offer.

I was ashamed to be associated with these Nigerians in the streets of Delhi. It was even hard because everyone sees every Nigerian as drug peddlers, scammers etc. It was frustrating and I truly pray that our government should find a lasting solution to the issue.

Olutosin: Thank you Funbi.

Olufunbi: You are welcome and Thank you too, Tosin

Comments

Wendyiscalm's picture

This was really infomative

Although this was probably hard to write and probably was very emotional for you, I believe you do a great service to your people by making us aware of the situation there. I, for one, knew nothing about this.

Very well written.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

olutosin's picture

Thank so much!!

I was afraid to do the job. My family members are not in support of it. I hardly sail against their tide cos, they are always in support of everything.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Wendyiscalm's picture

COURAGE

Hi Olutosin,

This just shows me how much courage and persistence you have in the face of adversity. Apparently, you decided you just HAD TO speak out or do something that in your soul was calling you to do even if it meant making problems with those who love and support you. Making a difference was more important than pleasing who liked you. Personally, I see this as a very God like thing to do and I applaud you for it.

Keep it up. making a difference is not about doing what will please all others. It is about standing up for what is right and what your heart calls you to do despite risking others not liking it. Just because you HAVE to do it.

Keep up the great work. I for one really respect and support you.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

olutosin's picture

IMAGINE THIS!!!

NOW I RECEIVED A MAIL THAT A WOMEN ORGANISATION FROM EDO STATE ISCRYING FOUL THAT I REPORTED THE NEWS.

THIS IS A WORK I DO WITHOUT ANY SALARY/ A VOLUNTARY SERVICE.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Wendyiscalm's picture

Look to the Light

Hi Olutosi
This must be so disturbing. You give your heart and your time. I feel so bad for this latest development. I hope you will stop and take a breath and realize that God is testing you, is giving you a lesson and the opportunity to GROW through this rather than just go through it. The gift is in the problem. The opportunity is in the problem. Besides this is just one woman's opinion and it is not worthy of you. She can only control your emotions if you let her. Step back. Look at it unemotionally. Then re-adjust your thinking. Act rather than react. I know you can do it. And please know I am here for you if you need to talk.

Love and Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

I appreciate you my sister. Thanks again.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

I apologize for not reading

I apologize for not reading this post sooner. My husband has been in the hospital, and is now at home with my care and that of visiting nurses.

My heart breaks at your grief in finding those you consider brothers and sisters are taking part in these horribly inhuman activities. I have had to struggle with similar issues involving drugs, prostitution, and other crimes with people who are very close to me. I am still trying to come to terms with the realization that those of us who have free-will as humans continue to choose to act as animals. All I can do is continue to offer my own resources when when and if they want to choose better paths and have come up with plans and teams for successfully doing so.

This phrase is a red flag to my mother hen self:
"I was afraid to do the job. My family members are not in support of it. I hardly sail against their tide cos, they are always in support of everything."

You cannot continue in any effort alone, except for words of encouragement from those of us not on the ground with you or offering you our physical selves as resources. My husband and children have always supported all that I chose to do until I put myself into a situation that all of them could see was not something I could solve, even as I was putting all of our hard-earned family resources (time, love, committed emotion, money) into the efforts.

I lost my daughter and her daughters for several years; my husband was ready to leave me; and I haven't had a relationship with my son and his two children for over two years. I am still learning that I need, not only my wisdom and discernment in choosing where to put my efforts and other resources, but also of those that have always been the sources of my support.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together) We have to choose with whom we most want to be together.

I am still applauding you for your bravery and commitment, but you still have a primary support source in your family. Treasure their input; it is out of love for you that they speak.

Much love to you, my sister/niece.

Y

olutosin's picture

Thanks!

Human trafficking is a dangerous one.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

There is much force of

There is much force of organized crime involved in human trafficking I have first-hand experience in attempting to fight the criminals who continue to feed the system. I think your family is aware of this, and may feel that you are endangering yourself without a clearly achievable end point.

You cannot protect anyone without a well-fortified set of boundaries around yourself and those you are protecting. I hope you have a very good support system protecting the values and boundaries of your organization. It is not cowardice to retreat to a place that you and your team are able to protect and to spread the word from there. You may be able to assist those who are ready to seek a more satisfying way of life than that offered by crime by continuing to offer the safe boundaries of Star of Hope to those who want to get out of the lives of crime. If not, please don't endanger the already fruitful work you are doing and yourself as the catalyst for all the growth of the fruit that Star of Hope is already producing.

I love you and pray for you every day.
Yvette

Y

olutosin's picture

Thank You so much!!!

That is exactly what I am doing now. Even the Cameroonians of India contacted me for further information, I replied that they should investigate by themselves. I have done my best by Breaking the news.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

And this is so much! Isn't

And this is so much! Isn't this the mission of World Pulse?

Love,
Y

Y

olutosin's picture

Connection women

Worldpulse's mission is to connect women and transform their voices.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Y's picture

What you are doing so well.

What you are doing so well.

Y

olutosin's picture

Thanks

I appreciate your words..

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Starland's picture

Go Girl

Thank you for this sweet woman. Traffcking for all reasons is a passion of mine. Don't be afraid to report what you see and know. The fear is theirs not ours. I am so very proud of you and proud to be your world pulse sister.

K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

olutosin's picture

Thanks ma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, the fear is theirs ma. I appreciate you so much.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

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