Release Date: October 2012
Author: Tina Okpara
Extent: 192 pages
A memoir of survival and freedom
“My heart is pounding against my chest. I am having a hard time breathing and a hard time thinking. I cross the terrace. One step, one small step. Then another tiny step. Now I am on the lawn. The grass is cold and wet under my bare feet. A gust of wind pastes my green sweatshirt against my body. My long grey skirt sticks to my legs like the skin of a rhinoceros. My heart tells me to run, to run as fast as my legs can carry me, with all my might. But I can’t….”
One morning in the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, a lucky 13-year-old girl named Tina, who came from a modest family, is preparing to go to France to become part of Linda and Godwin Okpara’s family. Linda is a home maker and Godwin is a footballer at top French club Paris Saint-Germain and for the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s national squad. They have four children and Tina dreams of going with them to school and joining in their games and pranks, living the European dream. But soon after her arrival the reality becomes different.
Written in collaboration with acclaimed journalist, Cyril Guinet, Tina recounts how imprisonment, torture and abuse in a suburban house in the middle of gentrified Europe in the twenty-first century could not break her. Tina’s gripping story of survival and escape is a moving testament to a remarkable woman, a true survivor.