DASHED DREAMS AND TRAFFICKED TOMORROWS: A READING OF EMEKA UKWUABA’S BENIGN PAIN by S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (2019) notes that at least forty per cent of Nigerians (translated to about 83 million citizens) live below the poverty line. Most of these numbers stay in rural areas. This tale of poverty seems only to get worse by the day. Indeed, the 2019 figures have currently grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current economic hardships, among other harsh realities of life. One of the more popular ways of trying to escape this poverty cycle for many families is migration either from rural areas to urban areas or from Nigeria to foreign countries. People are desperate and thus seek what sustenance they can to make life better. Many become house helps in the cities or try to find their way through any means possible. This narrative often ends in people being maltreated in the city or trafficked within or outside of the country. Daisy Odey in a safe underestimation of this notes in a recent Aljazeera article that beautifully captures this societal issue there are hundreds of underage girls work as domestic help in cities across Nigeria. It is the narrative of these people that Emeka Ukwuaba focuses on.

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