'I saw girls who had been ironed and raped' - Kuwait Returnee Olga Nkolo Talks Abut Her Kuwait Adventure

The Kuwait phenomenon is still operational, and despite sensitization, more Cameroonians continue to undertake the adventure. Not all ...



The Kuwait phenomenon is still operational, and despite sensitization, more Cameroonians continue to undertake the adventure. Not all are lucky to come back in one piece, and those who come back in one piece have everlasting scars, that will always send waves of shock over their spines for ages each time they think of their experience.

The most recent returnee is 30 years Berthe Olga Nkolo, says hundreds of Cameroonian girls are into slavery in Kuwait, in the name of house-helps. Olga say some of the girls are being raped daily, others are being ironed like cloths, while others die from the cruel treatment they get from their hosts.

In an interview with Cameroon-info.net, Olga advices Cameroonian ladies not to fall for the juicy rosy proposal of a big pay package in Kuwait, because it's better back home, than the hell over there.

CIN: You travelled to Kuwait for greener pastures, but it din't go well. Why did you decide to leave Cameroon?
Olga: I was working in a brocante at Ekoumdoum Yaounde, and I was living in a small house that I built in Messamendongo. I had a neighbour, one Mr. Atangana, a civil servant with the police at the Delegation of National Security. He told me that there was a network for me to travel to the Golf countries, precisely Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In the beginning I was skeptical, because I was instead looking for a way to travel to countries like France. But he convinced me that I can earn as much as 600 000F CFA monthly in those countries, which will enable me to continue my studies in Medicine, because I was equally a student of the University of Yaounde, reading Animal Biology.  I decided to mortgage my land to gather the money I will be needing for the adventure.

CIN: How long did you stay in Kuwait?
Olga: I travelled through the Douala International Airport, on Oct. 13, 2015 and  came back on Nov. 3, 2017

CIN: What happened when you arrived Kuwait?
Olga: First of all, at their airport, they don't want to see any black. They collect your passport, and put you to wait in the corner for your agency to come and pick you up. The agencies work with people people here, who officially recruits housemaids, which is slavery. Before I left Cameroon, I was told that I was going to be working in a hospital. I met with girls there, who were told the same lies.

CIN: What happened later?
Olga: A man from the agency came and picked me up from the airport to the agency There I was told my sponsor was coming. The sponsor is the host family. I waited for two hours, before the sponsor came. After a short presentation, they took me home. At home they presented me to their entire family. The sponsor invited his brothers and sisters to present their slave to them. Each one of them will assess you and give his/her appreciation.

CIN: Why do you continuously use the word 'slave'?
Olga: Because they call us 'cadama' which means slave. House keeper, housemaid etc.., all those titles do not exist there. It is slave.

CIN: So you started work
Olga: Yes, after the presentation, I was asked to take a shower, so as to get rid of the microbes that I might have brought from Africa. Then I ate, and had some rest. Other girls are not that lucky, because they start work immediately they arrive.

CIN: What type of work were you doing?
Olga: We were staying in a four storey building. I also met another slave in the house. I was to clean two floors, but before you start cleaning, you will have to take care of the kids till they go to school.

CIN: The way you are explaining doesn't sound like slavery.
Olga: Whereas it was. You get up at 4 a.m. and sleep after midnight. They don't want to see you sitting during working hours, and you are always working. You don't go out, except when you want to go and empty the trash. You spend time cleaning the house. The houses are very big. When your host returns from work and is not satisfied, they will ask you to start all over again. When the kids return from school, you take a break to give them food and put them to bed before you continue.

CIN: How long did you spend in that house?
Olga: I spent two weeks there. Then I pretended to be sick, so that they will take me back to the agency. Once we got there, the manager who was an Ethiopian lady asked why I decided to return to the agency. She tried to convince me to go back there, but I refused. I told her I wanted to return to Cameroon, but she made me to understand that I couldn't go back because she bought my flight ticket and paid for my visa fee.

CIN: Was it in any way human trafficking?
Olga: That is it The sponsor buy you from the agency. They bring you from Africa or any other continent. If they are not satisfied with you they will ask the agency to refund them, reason why the agency won't allow you go back to your country. The lady at the agency finally convinced me that I will get a sponsor who will treat me better.

CIN: Did you accept?
Olga: Yes, because in Cameroon I had mortgaged my land. If I  came back, I will lose everything. So I tried another house, but this time, I gave my conditions, including three hours rest daily, and waking up at 8 a.m, not 4 a.m like was with the previous sponsor. The buyer came, and accepted my conditions, and we went to her house.  The first two weeks were ok, but problems started within the third week, when it was getting closer to pay day.

CIN: How much was your salary?
Olga: Depending on the barrel of oil, you earn between 130 000 - 140 000F CFA.

CIN: So you went back to the agency?
Olga: Yes, after some time. Another sponsor came and took me. It was a very rich woman. Her house was another hell. She paid you while saying you are a nobody. I went there only for housekeeping, but I later became a sick guard. Her mum was sick. Within a week, I went back to the agency.

CIN: But you still did not return to Cameroon
Olga: No, because the lady at the office was refusing. She was threatening to take me to court, because she had spent her money on me, and I was not working. Due to my stubbornness, she took me to her house, where she kept me for days. The luck I had was that I had the number of a certain Aicha who is a Cameroonian. Aicha put me in contact with another Cameroonian called Abdallah. When I called him, he said he was no longer in Kuwait but in Qatar. He too put me in contact with another Abdallah, a Cameroonian in Kuwait. I called him and explained my ordeal to him,  and he went to the office,  but the lady there gave him a cold shoulder. He went to see a Central African man who was working in the Central African embassy. The man at the embassy went to the agency and confronted the lady. He explained to both of us that we were losers, and told me that the lady paid all my travel expenses, and that I was a victim of fraud from my country.

CIN: What did you do?
Olga: I called my daughter's father to launch a complain against the policeman who made me to travel. But it looks like he his own problems back here in the country. The Central African called the Policeman, and told him to send a flight ticket for me to return back to Cameroon. He sent 600 000F CFA.

CIN: Did you return to the country:
Olga: No, because the lady at the agency said I had to pay her one million F CFA for her to give me back my documents. I called an aunt in Cameroon, who sent me 400 000 F CFA, I added to the 600 000F CFA the policeman had sent  and gave to the lady at the agency, who gave me my documents. Aicha whom I was living with, introduced me me a lady from Sierra Leon who promised to help me get a sponsor. She promised me a two years visa, and got me a security guard job in a company. In exchange, I had to give her money monthly until I finished my debts with her. After three months, she did not do anything, but I was paying her monthly. During the fourth month, I was fired from the job, and I spent one year without papers, until I returned back to Cameroon.

CIN: Why have you decided to talk about it today?
Olga: Because I experienced horror in Kuwait. Many Cameroonians are suffering there like slaves. When I was staying with Aicha, in a neighborhood where many other Cameroonians were, more than a hundred of them, I saw girls who had been ironed, raped, One even died. I want to tell my sisters not to go there, because it is hell.

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