I Am Not Your Slave : A Memoir
by Tjipombo, Tupa; Lockhart, Chris

"I Am Not Your Slave is the shocking true story of a young African girl, Tupa, who was abducted from southwestern Africa and funneled through an extensive yet almost completely unknown human trafficking network spanning the entire African continent"-

Tupa Tjipombo is the pseudonym of a Namibian woman who is currently pursuing a college degree in her homeland while volunteering at a shelter for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Chris Lockhart is a widely published academic author. He currently lives and works in Namibia as a global health consultant for international development agencies.

*Starred Review* That fact that Tjipombo uses a pseudonym to tell her story reveals the dangers girls and young women face once they've been enslaved in human trafficking. She infuses her vivid, soulful account with personal details, yet hers cannot be called a singular story. At every point in the 15 years she covers, since her late adolescence spent in hidden camps and military compounds on her home continent of Africa and then in extravagant homes in Dubai that conceal the city's desperate, destitute neighborhoods, she is one of dozens of teens who have been ripped from their families and terrorized, including, in her case, being transported to various locations where she is raped repeatedly by many men. Trafficking is not prostitution; it is a firmly entrenched business based on making girls and young women available to men for sexual violence. The enslaved are denied their names, identities, hopes, and futures. The miracle of Tjipombo isn't so much that she escaped Dubai and eventually made it back to her family in Namibia, but that she reclaimed her human rights and chose to tell her story to author and global health consultant Lockhart in the hope of helping other endangered and trafficked young women. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

A Namibian woman's account of how she survived being kidnapped and forced into a global human trafficking network. When one of Tjipombo's father's wives accused Tjipombo's mother of witchcraft, both were exiled to another village for one year to allow family "tensions to ease." They stayed with her uncle, Gerson, whose lively household the author came to love. Then a business deal involving Tjipombo's father and an associate of one of Gerson's business contacts went sour, and Tjipombo (a pseudonym) was unexpectedly called upon to serve as the contact's house girl for one year. The author soon discovered that the man actually wanted her for a prostitution ring that extended across southern Africa. A witch doctor subjected her to a bloody ceremony to mark her as his "daughter." If she tried to escape, she or members of her family would die. Herded with other captive women into trucks, Tjipombo was sent to a camp where middlemen from China abused and raped her. From there, she was put on another truck that stopped in the Sudan. There, she became a servant and sexual slave for members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army and visiting Sudanese government officials. An escape attempt landed her back in the hands of the traffickers who had originally captured her. The men put her on a ship bound for Dubai, where she became the live-in servant for a rich, powerful family. Her life "consisted of little beyond sleep and work," until one family member called the Jackal forced her into an international sex slave "harem" the family used to entertain visiting officials. Tjipombo finally escaped after she stole the cellphone of a high-ranking American official who had made cellphone videos of their sexual encounter and threatened to blackmail him. In this harrowing, unsparing memoir, the author documents unimaginable brutality against women with dignity and grace and provides readers with an urgent education about the devastating scope of human trafficking in the modern world. Difficult but necessary reading. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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