My Madam Wants Me To Pay 200,000 CFA To Be Free

When I started blogging again after my maternity leave (humour intended), a friend who owns a foundation in the Benin Republic reached out to me. His foundation is poised to fight human trafficking and HIV stigmatization in Nigeria and Benin Republic. He wanted to use my platform Imagenaija to share stories of victims of trafficking and patients of HIV. I agreed because I am passionate about anti-human trafficking; I even have a novel on the discourse.

After sharing stories of a particular victim of trafficking for two weeks, I wanted to meet her. Click on this link, this link, and this link to read her story. The foundation funded my trip, and I arrived in the Benin Republic. I met Bella at night, and when I saw her, I knew she should get out of there. Blez and I went back to the street by 2 AM to meet Bella, and we started planning on how she was going to leave there. I went back to my hotel room, shared the story, and tagged everyone I know that could help.

We went back and forth, and somehow, the story got to NAPTIP (National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons). They came to the Benin Republic for a conference or a meeting, and Blez talked to an official. They wanted to get Bella out, but she ran away. After waiting for quite some time for Bella to reach out to them with information from her trafficker, so the evil trafficker can be apprehended, Bella was nowhere to be found.

NAPTIP left the Benin Republic to Nigeria, and Blez got their contact. They were waiting for information from Bella. Blez is Nigerian, so he travelled to Nigeria for two weeks for a wedding and to spend some time with his family. When he got back to the Benin Republic, he found Bella and Blez spoke to her about leaving. He also informed her about NAPTIP’s involvement now. According to him, she said her Madam had asked her to pay 200,000 CFA for her to be set free. Blez told her about NAPTIP and how they are willing to help on the condition that she must expose her trafficker, but Bella doesn’t want to expose her Madam. She is saying the Madam has been pregnant for a while now and she will try to endure everything, save money and pay her up.

From the story, it is clear that we have tried, but Bella seems to want to stay and endure. I am worried because I have no idea how she is going to make 200,000 CFA as fast as possible. I get that the victims of trafficking are scared, but when I met her, she seemed like she was willing to leave. Why is everything different now? Her health is at stake, and I honestly do not know what to do at this point. She doesn’t earn up to 11,000CFA every day. So, when is she going to make 200,000 CFA? I am confused, and I want her trafficker to be brought to book. I know she is afraid and has no idea what to do with her life when she gets out, but she needs to leave there and get her life together. Most human trafficking victims believe that prostitution is the only way to survive at this point.

If you have any suggestion, please leave a comment.


  1. Quite a story.. can't help but wonder who the father of the madams baby could be ?😂

  2. Sad, very sad, I don't even know what to say, but it's well..


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