When Abidemi Sanusi was launching Eyo in Nairobi, I was there. I have never forgotten the brilliance on her face and the light smile she always had when she spoke. That brilliance, I understood as the same one she wanted all girls like Eyo to have eventually. She spoke to us about Eyo, the fictional chatacter in her book that had borne the brunt of an ill society right from the confines of her home to the 'glittering gold' of a better life in the UK.
Today here in Nairobi Kenya, at the Kenyatta National Hospital lies a real ' Eyo '
Her face is scared, her hands calloused and finger nails chipped,some right into the nail bed. She has marks on her neck as if a rope had been brutally fastened tightly across her delicate looking neck. Her legs and feet are swollen and her lips are scalded.
She told me she had come back from Lebanon where she was working as a house girl and that the scars on her little body were as a result of beatings she got from her employer. But as for the scladed lips, she had drunk a strong liquid detergent in attempt to commit suicide when she got tired of what she told me was mistreatment from her employer.
' I was mistreated, sometimes I would go for two days without food, she beat me with a chair on my head and they strangled me with an electrict cable...' she told me as she sat on her hospital bed.
She is only 21. Going to leabnon was pure luck in the begining, she hoped to become a full fledged graphic designer because that is what she had trained to do. But she had to first start form being a househelp then get into graphic designing after knowing her whereabouts in a foreigh land.
Unfortuantely she never became a graphic designer. And now she is back, not able to stand on her feet.That was the tale of Veronica Wamboi and her attempt to better her life.
And now to Eyo, the book that hes come to life in Veronica's tale...
Eyo is a story that has moved me to join the fight against human trafficking, forced labour, sex slavery and to promote a society that is amicable to the budding lives of young girls and boys. It is time society stops exerting udue pressure on the young ones forcing them to leave home for 'better' lives abroad or in the cities.
Children need nurturing right at home and then we let them go when they are mature enough to face the world of strangers and difficulties, but if we push them out when they are too young to handle it, we may never see them stand on their feet again.