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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Black Sisters' Street By Chika Unigwe

Written By: Nicole Parker-Jones—Not many novelists would wander around the seedy red-light district of Antwerp, Belgium in a mini-skirt and thigh-high boots to carry out research for a novel. But this is what Nigerian writer Chika Unigwe did for her powerful novel On Black Sisters' Street.

On Black Sisters' Street is a moving and unsettling story about the many factors that lead African women into prostitution in Europe. The story follows the stories of Sisi, Ama, Efe and Joyce, four African women who are illegally trafficked into Belgium by pimp "Senghor Dele" who sells them the illusion of an affluent life in the West. Rich and ruthless, Dele specializes in exporting girls to work in Belgium for a modest fee of 30,000 euros, a fee the women must pay back by years of prostituting. The women, of course, don't know that this is what lies in store. Working in Belgium, we learn about the women's lives that have been torn apart by war, sexual abuse, and family breakdown, which led them to fall for Dele's exploits.

Chika Unigwe gives voice to women who are stripped of one, and breathes life into their existence. On Black Sisters' Street is not one to miss.


Fanele Love said...

this is interesting...ading to m summer reading list. fc

Anonymous said...

I read this book in one day, it was incredibly sad to read the women's stories but one thing that struck a chord with me was the way that all but one (Joyce/Alek) of the women were willing to give away a comfortable life in Nigeria for promises of wealth. It seems to me that the story is about their exploitation as much as it is about their greed.