Three Sad Tales told by Enslaved Cameroonian Girls from Kuwait
Published Jul 09, 2015
Updated Sep 29, 2016
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The news of Cameroonian girls weeping and gnashing their teeth due to sufferings in Kuwait has gone viral over the past days. After listening to three of these women on share their ordeal on sound cloud , I decided to transcribe their words to further spread the word. Read the heartrending unedited narratives below:
I left Cameroon on the 14th and arrived Kuwait at about 2 in the night. So we were taken from the airport at about 11. We went to the sponsors house. We worked like slaves. You can work for eighteen good hours standing. You can sleep at 1 in the night and wake up as early as 6. You start the house chores from ironing, cooking, washing, everything!
Whenever I worked, the woman was not pleased. I don’t know whether she thought I was coming to take her husband. I went, another woman took me. I worked and worked and even asked to have a shower. She refused and another Pa (elderly man) came and took me and I saw that this Pa was really a responsible man.
But to my surprise as I got to the man’s house… he wanted me to have sex with him. He gave me some sexy dresses to put on. At times, he’ll slap me and shout… And there was no means to communicate the office. Because when you reach there they don’t even give you phones, they don’t even give you sim card. They’ll even lie to us that you can not buy a sim card.
They took every money I had… and my bags were in the office. They even told me that I can not go and allow my bag that since all my certificates were inside so I’ll call my brother to pay the penalty. I called my brother and he sent the money to pay the penalty. And then I took the bags. At the airport I was taken again by immigration police. They took me, they locked me in a small room the whole night.
Then at about 5 o’clock in the morning they took me to where they went and kept us. In that place, there were many girls there. We were there to be sent back to our countries empty-handed.
I really want the government to at least help us. Some of us are having certificates but no employment. There are many out there with degrees. I did nursing but I don’t have any employment. That was why I went there.
So if the government can help us and employ us it will be better for us. Than for us to go out there and we are being treated like animals, not even human beings.
Some are even asked to bathe snakes. Some are asked to bathe cats. Some are asked to do all types of chores that we never knew in our country.
We want the government to help and stop this human trafficking. Even at the airport they can just stand and stop everybody that is going to Kuwait. Let them bring the person back because they are going to suffer. They are going to go through hell.
I was deceived here in Cameroon by an agent. This agent took 1.5 million CFA Francs from me and deceived me I was going to work in a company… On the 8th of November 2014, he told me my flight was to be at 12, I should be at the airport at 8.
So when I stayed at the airport he came very late when they had checked people and people were in the plane. This man came in and hurriedly forced me to go and check my documents and get into the plane.
When I finished checking I wanted to meet him back to ask one or two questions on how I was going to travel. Arriving outside I didn’t see him. He disappeared. I tried calling him, he didn’t pick his call. When we were in the air I said let me flip through my documents.
There, I saw a contract saying that I was going to work in Kuwait as a house maid. And then my signature was forged. I didn’t sign the contract. The HNPN Cameroon forged my signature and signed on that contract.
So arriving Kuwait, where the police were checking our documents, that was the last time I saw my passport. My passport was taken and handed over to somebody. I don’t know the person. The person came to the airport and picked me up.
We went to a house, it was just a small room, I was kept there. So many of us, so many girls were kept in that small room to sleep there on the floor. They were giving us little food. So I slept for some few minutes.
The man came, said I should follow him. He took me to a house, a certain house. I arrived there that I was going to work with these people. So in that house, they told me those people were good but when that agent left, the story was different.
This woman took my luggage, kept in her room, gave me just a uniform to put on and a little bottle of vaseline to use as my body cream. She went inside and showed me a small room, ironing room. It was just like a corridor. That was where I slept on the floor near the kitchen. And that was where we did the ironing.
I did the cleaning, I did the cooking. We go some days, no food. I took care of six children in that house. This woman, when I’m done with work in her own house will take me to her mother’s house to continue working (starts sobbing).
I wake up at 5 a.m, I go to bed at 1 a.m. At times no food. I told them I don’t want to work again. They should send me back to my country. This woman said I’m going no where. I’ve come to work, I must work.
I went down on my knees, nobody to talk to. I was being locked up in the house. I couldn’t see outside. Nobody to communicate to (bursts into tears). I cried to God for help. I prayed and cried. God gave me an idea. I had to meet the woman. I said at least I want to call my family back home in Cameroon to tell them I have arrived.
Luckily, I had the number of this agent who picked me up at the airport. I took this number, I wrote it on a piece of paper. When I called my brother in Cameroon, I had to tell my brother: “Call this number, tell them please they should remove me from this house. I’m dying.”
So he called and threatened the agent. The agent now had to call this woman for whom I was working that they should bring me back. They woman said I’m going no where until I give her 1.5 million francs… that’s the money she spent to bring me to Kuwait.
I told her I didn’t do any money transaction with her. Let her please take me back to the person who brought me to her house then we will settle the matter there. She refused. The agent had to force her to come…that they’ll give her money.
The day they were taking me to the agent, this woman put me in the back boot of a small car. I almost died. Arriving there she refused to give my passport to the agent that they must provide the money. So the agent told her they’ll get the money and give her.
So the agent took me to a house where they kept house maids who don’t want to work in other houses. He kept us there in that small house, gave us little food. The next day we’ll come back to the office. We were kept somewhere. When somebody needs a housemaid they’ll come. We were being sold like properties.
The person will come and say they need a house maid from Cameroon, from Nigeria, from Ethiopia. They’ll come where they kept us so the man will come and look and choose. So this day I was in the office, this Egyptian man came and the agent said the few housemaids they had were from Cameroon and Ghana. He said he needed Cameroon. This man came and picked me.
I had to lie to him that I had a family. So I told this person, “please I have a family, I have children I need to talk to. I am married.” I lied to him. He said okay, he will buy me a mobile. I didn’t know this man was agreeing because he wanted to take advantage of me.
The next day, he asked me to follow him to the shopping mall to get me a mobile. Arriving there, this man said he wants to take me to the restaurant, I said no. He bought me this mobile, he brought me to the house and was asking me some funny questions.
This man started behaving funny. This fateful day the wife left the house. This man left his room, came and wanted to have sex with me. I refused. This man forced me. I struggled, I ran away, got into the kitchen. I had to pick something to hit him.
So when the wife came back I told her, “please I don’t want to work with you people again. Take me back to the office.” She tried to inquire what the problem was. I just told her I’m fed up with the work, I don’t want to work again. She pleaded, pleaded and pleaded.
The man told me I’m going no where because he knows if I go out there, I will report him. So I stayed again for sometime. He stopped. There was this day he came now and tried to force me. I shouted but nobody came.
So (more tears) I told his wife what her husband had been doing to me thinking that was a solution. She instead connived with the man to kill me. I ran away from the house. I slept outside for two days on the veranda.
These people said they were going to kill me now. They locked the door and removed the keys. This woman went and made tea. She put something inside which I don’t know. She came and gave me. The Holy Spirit said, “Don’t drink that tea.” I didn’t drink it. She tried forcing me.
She ordered for food. She has never ordered for food and given me but on that day, she ordered for food. I said I will not eat. I stayed for almost three days with no food. So on this day they struggled. They opened my bag, they took all my certificates: my Advanced Levels, my O’ Levels, birth certificate, my ID Card. The little I had on me from 6 months work was taken by them and they left me with nothing.
They took me somewhere, made some papers and I found myself at the immigration. They put ,me at the immigration prison for one week. I was removed from the immigration and put in the deportation prison where I stayed.
At the immigration I tried to tell the police that the man had my luggage, my money and everything, they should help me out. Nobody was listening.
They kept us at the immigration and from there I don’t know how they paid my flight. They just came and called me. The only property I came with (more tears) was my passport and just one dress on me. It was a lady that helped me at Douala airport to pay my transport to go meet my parents.
There are some ladies who want to come back but there is no means to come back. They are suffering! There is no means to even communicate.
The government should please do something!
It all started here in Cameroon when I saw on the TV that there were job opportunities in Kuwait for house helps, nurses and those that want to work at the airport. So I was very happy. I told my family about that and we were very happy. We knew that by me going out there, I’ll secure a brighter future for my family.
The agents told me that when I go there, I’ll work for 1-6 months and they will give me 125, 000 francs. After 125, 000, they’ll be giving me 250,000 francs. We left from here about 46 of us. They gave us one room to be in.
They came and began taking our finger prints. They snapped us so we can not run away from that country. So when we left from there, they gave our passports to our agent. And the agent took us, they said we should go into a car. They were pushing us into the car. We were afraid.
I signed a contract here in Cameroon. On the contract it said we need to work for one year but here they said two years… On that form it was written, “just for animals” which means just for slaves. When I saw that, I said, “God take control.”
So when they took me to the house, I immediately started working. I worked from 9 p.m to 5 a.m the next morning. I even pleaded with them, I said, “Mama, please I am tired. Let me rest.” She said that, “Me paid more money. You, my slave, you work.”
I said, “God!” They knocked the door and said, “Carine, you come out, come out, come out fast!” She said, “Work! Me pay. I pay you my slave.”
I was just working. When it was 12 o’clock, I was happy that I will rest. But they said, “work!” I worked from 7 a.m to 4 a.m everyday.
This is my hand here. One guy in that house wanted to rape me. He used a knife to pierce me saying if I don’t give him what he wants, he will not allow me. To God be the glory because I was seeing my menses. He saw my blood (begins crying). He said that I should go out there, that I was stinking.
When I explained it to that family, the said that I was stinking. I stayed for three good days without food without eating. I was sharing m toilet with cats. Those were the only people I could play with. I didn’t have any friends.
I started feeling sharp pains in my stomach that affected my heart. I don’t know if it was the faeces of the cat or whatsoever. I told her, “Please help me, I need to go to the hospital.”
That Mama told me, “My child, I will not give you any medicine.”
I said, “Mama, please if you can call me your child please really help me.”
She said that she’s not my mother. I said, “but you called me your child.” She hit my stomach and I fell down. T
There are girls… crying that they want to go back to Cameroon. They beat us everyday. They told my family to give them 1.5 million before I go back to Cameroon.
I was walking on the street not knowing where I was going to… My eyes just turned (got dizzy) and I fell down. Thank God one man called for the police ambulance and they came and took me… my body was strong… I knew I was dying.
So they seized my passport. The people took me to the pharmacy and bought some drugs for me… That was how I got back to Cameroon.
But before coming back I saw something that I’ve never seen in my life. There is one girl… one woman used a gun and shot her head down and she died. This is the end of her story. Her family does not know how she’s living. They don’t even know if she’s alive or not.
Girls are dying in the prison everyday. Some are on the streets kneeling and crying that God should help them… Oh God! I’m really praying please you people should help our girls…
I have cried more that enough in Kuwait. I see no reason crying in Cameroon because I’m free in my country. And I believe it’s because of my God that I’m free here in Cameroon. I thank God for the Central African Embassy that helped me.
Girls are dying! More than one hundred and something girls are in the prison and they are Cameroonians, then more than one hundred and something from other countries. Please nobody should do!
You have read it yourself. Modern day slavery is a reality. To listen to the audio, click here.
Meanwhile, there is an ongoing petition to rescue these entrapped girls. Please sign it here.
The grass is not always greener on the other side!