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Talent: Mende Nazar and Damien Lewis

Date of release: 2004

Date of Review: Thursday, 4 March  2004 

Slavery is a noun we tend to associate with a bygone era, however in Africa the modern slave trade is alive and flourishing , particularly in Sudan. Mende Nazar is a survivor of the slave trade, having been kidnapped at age 12 by Arab slave traders and sold into domestic servitude in Khartoum. Her story is both touching and appalling, as the reader compares her early childhood in a loving and peaceful village in the Nuba mountains, to her seven years of brutal slavery in Khartoum and London.

Mende was regarded as less than an animal by her new owners, and even the dignity of a name was taken from her - she was called 'Yebit' (black slave) by her Master, had no clothes apart from two garments, and ate the scraps from her owner's table. She had no contact with other people apart from her owners, and was locked up in a garden shed each night in case she escaped. Mende was paraded as a new appliance before her owner's envious friends, and was eventually handed on to a new Master in London - a diplomat with the Sudan Embassy.

Mende's eventual escape and fight for asylum in Britain made headlines around the world in 2002, as did the existence of the flourishing slave trade in Sudan, which was apparently condoned by the existing government.

Read this book - it will touch and horrify you simultaneously.

- Sue Gammon

Country of Origin: London
Publisher/Distributor: Virago Press
Book Genre: Biography
Era: The 00s
We rate it: 4 out of 5


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Last Updated: 5/03/2004 6:39:35 AM AEDT


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