Slave by Mende Nazer

571 Words3 Pages
Mende Nazer lost her childhood at age twelve, when she was sold into slavery. It all began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, murdering the adults and rounding up thirty-one children, including Mende. Mende was sold to a wealthy Arab family who lived in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum. So began her dark years of enslavement. Her Arab owners called her "Yebit," or "black slave." She was subjected to appalling physical, sexual, and mental abuse. She wasn't treated or viewed as a human being, she had no rights nor privileges. Normally, Mende's story never would have come to light. But seven years after she was seized and sold into slavery, she was sent to work for another master—a diplomat working in the United Kingdom. In London, she managed to make contact with other Sudanese, who took pity on her. In September 2000, she made a dramatic break for freedom. One thing that made Mende’s story particularly stand out to me is that she is around the same age as me. This could really help me relate to her as her personality was no different to any other teenage girl. Another aspect of the story that stood out was that her slavery did not take place in the huts and villages of Sudan, but in the relatively modern city of Khartoum, where her masters had most of the modern conveniences that we do (electricity, washer/dryer, stove/oven, etc). Because of the oral-tradition culture in which Mende grew up, she was able to remember and retell many vivid details and facts of the life she knew during her childhood and the life she later came to know as a slave in a modern city. The first portion of the book recounts Mende’s childhood growing up in the Nuba mountains, a life full of love and enjoyment, with a few references of the difficult ways and traditions of her culture/religion (e.g.female genital mutilation/circumcision). Her

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