Current Affairs
Recounts being raped after her step-father bartered her off to pay his debts

A Nigerian woman who has been living in Malta for eight years stated that when she gave birth to her daughter at Mater Dei Hospital she requested it be circumcised. Today she thinks differently.

In an interview to be broadcast tomorrow in the programme ‘Rasimbras’, Faith Jezz Mohammed recounted how she had spent the best part of her life fleeing as her step-father bartered her to pay off his debts. In her new home she was raped and became a mother. She fled to Libya and was forced into a prostitution circuit. She ended up in prison but managed to escape when the revolution against Gaddafi broke out.

“My step dad took a piece of land to make farming, he couldn’t pay back; then what he did was to give me as payment.”

When this happened she was only 15 and she was bartered to a 65-year-old man. Faith Jezz Mohammed, who is a Christian from the south of Nigeria, said she has suffered difficulties since her young age.

“It was hell because I was not agreeing to his demand. He really made life very not comfortable for me. His demands were sex, which I disagreed with him. And then his first son came in. He used him and in that home I got pregnant and I had a daughter.”

She fled the house and went to another part of Nigeria but always lived in fear of being caught and sent back. She then took her chance and fled overseas after being offered a job in the beauty industry.

“There is somebody who came from Libya, he needs 15 females to take to Libya.”

The promise of employment was fake and she soon ended up on a prostitution circuit of Nigerian women in Libya.

“His terms were we have to go into prostitution to which I disagreed. I ran away again. I ran away from Nigeria, Libya, the running continues.”

She also discovered the links between people-traffickers and the Libyan Police during Gaddafi’s time.

“He came with his thugs, picked me up again, took me back. When I tried to run away again, he used the Police, Libyan Police after me and I was in prison for a long, long time”.

Faith and those imprisoned with her took their opportunity and fled during the anti-Gaddafi revolution in March 2011. Together with 380 others she took the chance to escape to Europe on the first boat available. After three days at sea she and others were rescued by Malta’s Armed Forces.

During ‘Rasimbras’, Faith also dwelt on the process of forced circumcision for girls, made illegal in Malta five years ago but affecting 200 million women around the world. Known as Female Genital Mutilation, this traditional practice is still continued among immigrant communities in Europe.

Faith stated that for her daughter born in Malta she desired it be circumcised.

“They said I’m having a baby girl, and I said can you register for circumcision. Everyone is telling me… we do not do that in Malta and I was insisting that I want to circumcise my girl”.

Today she has changed her opinion.

“Now I can tell you it is not wise, advisable, because the moment you circumcise a female child, you have taken the fun out of her life.”

‘Rasimbras’ will be transmitted tomorrow at 7 pm.

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