The first lady - Interview 5

emroce real refugee story cameroon hair braid

-Name- Josiane

-From- Cameroon

-Age- 26

-Past occupation- Hair stylist, Hair braiding

-What happened to make you leave- "I was walking home from work one day and a guy started following me in his car. He was asking me 'Where is your house, where do you live? I'll take you there'. I lived far away and he seemed nice so I decided to go with him but I didn't know that there were 2 people in the back seat. They put a tissue over my face which made me sleep. When I woke up I was in a big house. Men came and raped me every day. They cut my leg really bad so that I couldn't run away. I was stuck in the house for 7 months. I was often blindfolded so I didn't know who the men were and I didn't know where I was. One day I saw that the man leaving my room didn't close the window properly. I jumped out into darkness and ran. This is when I saw that this big house was the only house. I was in the countryside. I ran with my damaged leg until I found a man and a girl.

I begged for them to help me, crying and with my damaged leg. The man said 'No,no! You are Camaroon! and this is when I realized I wasn't close to home. We were in Libya. The man listened to my story but he wouldn't take me into his home. He said the men who took me would find that I was missing and would search all of the houses nearby until he found me. I wanted to go home to Cameroon but the man advised me not to. He said even there I would be found again by these men. He told me I had to find safety in Italy."

-How did you travel to Italy- "I went to the beach every day. There were a lot of people waiting for a boat. I continued to go until some Libyans ended up pushing me on a boat with a crowd"

At this stage I asked Josiane how many days she had been going to the beach and she told me she cant remember. She was in such a state of shock and was so afraid that she just wanted to escape in any way. She told me "I had no mind".

-What do you miss from home- : My 4 year old daughter and my family.


These interviews are research towards the upcoming, zero waste swimwear collection by emroce. The collection will speak of the refugee crisis here in Italy in the hopes of getting some real information across and to inspire the Italiani to feel more proud of their situation to help. The collection will be displayed in art galleries in Milano and Como See past zero waste collections by emroce...

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