Walking a tightrope to survive underworld

SARAH HOUSE is a compelling novel about a young woman's life in a harrowing Nigerian world of human trafficking and prostitution.

The author tells of how human trafficking affects society and the suffering of women and children and why people are doing it.

In the first chapter of the book author Ifeanyi Ajaegbo writes: "I woke up terrified. The realisation that the world as I knew it has changed came slowly, as the veil of sleep from my eyes in dissolving layers. Each layer revealed details of a new scene in what was becoming a nightmare."

In this novel Nita, the main character, wakes up in a dark world very different from life's opportunities promised to her by Slim, the man she loved and trusted to take her away from the small town in Opobo in Nigeria.

Soon she realises that she is a slave, bought and sold without her consent and forced into a life of prostitution and sleazy strip clubs.

Every day Nita walks a tightrope of survival, surrounded by vacuous pimps and thug s. She meets T ega, a fellow slave, also lured into prostitution by Slim. Nita is then sold (by Slim) to "m adam" - who runs Sarah House, a brothel.

Nita finds favour with "chief", an influential politician who provides protection for madam's illicit business.

Life in this nightmare world gets more complicated when Nita meets young Damka and is approached by a police detective working undercover.

When Damka disappears and Nita discovers the child's bloodied clothes in a room in Sarah House, she knows she has to work with the police in spite of the dangers on her own life.

Author Mandla Langa has praised the book and written the following foreword: "The world stammers with stories of human trafficking, which are strangely undermined by absence of authoritative and convincing voices.

"The plight of women, who are captured like war booty and subjected to modern slavery, has been given expression by Ajaegbo's heroine, Nita, who bears witness to the travail of women who have been betrayed by the men they love and railroaded into prostitution."

Sarah House will stay with you long after you have finished reading this testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

It it said that prostitution is the oldest profession and espionage is the second oldest profession according to writer Phillip Knight.

The character of Fatty in Sarah House is an exposition of the role of an agent.