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From Being Sold Six Times to Different Borgers to Becoming an Artist

Elijah Elaigwu
Volunteer Voices
migrants as messengers speaking through art nigeria

“From Agadez to Libya, I was sold six times to different people that I do not know and each time I was being exchanged for money, I realized that the worth of life is not all that valued outside one’s country”, says Queeneth Friday.

After surviving the horrific experience of being sold to different borgers (smugglers), Queeneth is stitching together a new life for herself through art painting. She is one of 10 Volunteer Migrants that participated in the Speaking Through Art training aimed at using basic art materials to facilitate communication and awareness on the dangers associated with irregular migration.

Like most of her colleagues, Queeneth adopts the use of coded narrative embedded in art paintings, to speak to the diversity and advances of the present to reduce potential risk that could befall potential migrants. Images created by Queeneth and other Volunteer Migrants under the program provide both conscious and subconscious information about migration to aid knowledge.

Aside she and her colleagues telling their stories through art painting, Queeneth sees it as a means of earning a living. She engages children of school age in paint and sip session to support her family.

“when we were told about the art painting training, I indicated interest, but I never knew that it would turn out to be a source of income for me and others who participated in the training. Since the training, I have organized a paint and sip session for children where I earned money to pay my children’s school fee.”