The Italos


The Italos

A novel on human trafficking by Uyi R. Aghedo

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How a Nigerian girl’s quest for greener pastures in Italy turned into a nightmare that left her in pieces.

In the 80s and 90s in Nigeria, especially among my people, human trafficking or better put, women trafficking, was a very big and lucrative industry. Parents and family members were in the habit of raising money, even to the extent of selling family inheritances, to sponsor their daughters to Italy to make quick money. Some of these parents did not know that most of these girls were actually traveling to do prostitution. It got to a time that the illicit trade became so competitive that any family that does not have a daughter in Europe – Italy or Spain – will be seen as backward, because most of the women that started the movement came back rich in a very short time. Little did these parents know that in the long run, this illicit business was going to return undesired consequences.

In The Italos, Osazuwa, a young Nigerian girl, in her early twenties, was the eldest child in a family of six children. She grew up in a society where the norm was for every young woman to travel abroad to make quick money. After her secondary school education, only one course of life became appealing to her – to travel to Italy to make quick money as was prevalent in the society where she grew up. To sponsor the trip, her parents sold the most valuable property they had – a house inherited from her maternal grandfather..After about four years in Italy, having made so much money, particularly through prostitution, she decided to return to Nigeria to be married to her long-time boyfriend David. On arrival back in Nigeria, she discovered that her life had been shattered to pieces – pieces that could not be gathered to work together again. And that eventually led to her tragic end.

The scene of the story is pre-1999 Nigeria

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