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My stolen childhood: understanding the trokosi system - BBC Africa Eye documentary

22386 ratings | 1351889 views
Thousands of women across West Africa have been enslaved by a centuries old practice called “trokosi”. Girls are forced to live and work with priests in religious shrines, for the rest of their lives, to “pay” for the sins of family members. Although the practice has officially been banned in Ghana, it’s still happening there and in other parts of West Africa but on a smaller scale. Twenty years after she was freed from this practice, Brigitte Sossou Perenyi goes on a journey to understand what trokosi really is and why her family gave her away. Subscribe to our channel for more investigative journalism. Nothing stays hidden forever. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/subscribetoafrica Website: https://www.bbc.com/africa Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bbcnewsafrica/ Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/bbcafrica/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bbcafrica/
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Text Comments (3942)
BBC News Africa (11 months ago)
For full subtitles, please make sure you have subtitles/CC turned on in the video settings. Thanks for watching!
ÉL (26 days ago)
BBC News Africa I don’t know if I believe your stories anymore after paying people to act as rapists, I’m so disappointed I’m like a child that was just told Father Christmas wasn’t real.
ibrahim siby (3 months ago)
BBC News Africa i
Okwii (3 months ago)
There are 16 West African countries, but this is only practiced in three. How is this a W. African problem?
Teresa Calarie (5 months ago)
A bit confused, are you serving as trokoshi for Obama?
Yei Boayue (5 months ago)
BBC News Africa Trokosi is not an African practice it is a tribal thing. The Ewes, in the Volta Region of Ghana, Togo, and Benin are the ones who practiced this. I got to know about this as refugee in Ghana, in 1990. I had gone with a friend to Kpandu in Ghana, when I found myself listening to stories of this. Like this story a lot of poverty stricken parents, fell victim to family members, who claimed they were taking their children to educate them in the city. Unfortunately these parents are trusting and grateful that someone cares enough to help. The problem is with the Governments where this is happening. These areas are not policed enough to put an end to this horrific practice.
Evelyn C (6 hours ago)
Watching those old videos, especially the other girls one, made me cry 😞 when will we stop these forceful practices? My Mum’s from Ghana, funny enough she’s actually from Volta Region but I only heard about this practice from my friend... 2 years ago.
SHAYLA FITZGERALD (3 days ago)
"Thank God for your life" sums it up. Wonder if that dirty ,rotten uncle is dead or alive?
henocsome (4 days ago)
Fine the uncle and beat his ass 😂 American style sis
Gina Bayer (4 days ago)
Start a new tradition to castrate the adulterous men instead of making little girls pay the price! Maybe they'll start keeping their peckers inside their skirts
van alilyz (6 days ago)
That trokosi thing did you more good than harm,i guess.
Worthy IsTheLamb (7 days ago)
👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 to her strength and to her adoptive parent
Yungnrstles (9 days ago)
I know how to break the curse...Call on name of Jesus! Someone please tell these people the good news of gospel of Jesus!
Mottie Innis (12 days ago)
Sounds like a cult for for old dirty men to sleep with very young girls... total exploitation.. none sense
Talina May (13 days ago)
So sad. At work crying.
🙏
Daniel Kojo (24 days ago)
😠😠😠😠😠stupid lies don't care stop recommending me this shiiiiit all lies that practice was stopped 10yrs ago stupid lies. this girl is a liar😠😠😠😠😠😠😠 some people believe this shiiit is real
ÉL (26 days ago)
This lady was crying 😭 But no tears were coming out🤔
cheights13 (26 days ago)
There a quite a few videos on YouTube requesting African Americans to come to Ghana.
slimsadie (26 days ago)
Dad is LYING!!!
Abiiliicious (27 days ago)
This is straight up disgusting!!! But like she said, how can you tell these people that what they believe in is wrong? They believe serving as a trokosi protects their family from the punishment of the gods... How can you tell them it's wrong? If she wouldn't have been saved by the American, she'd still be living in there feeling happy cause she's protecting her family from the "punishment of the gods" just like the Uber driver's grandma. We need to open our minds in Africa, and not tolerate some cultural acts cause they're straight up disgusting and a violation of human rights. All the girls living sent to the shrine deserve the right to have a childhood, a family that will take care of them, love them and protect them and a happy home
Kebah Chantel Olesitse (28 days ago)
Trokosi should be banned as soon as possible
shelly hoyte (28 days ago)
This is really a man's world. In these countries and cultures women are the ones suffering at their hands and these so call government officials do nothing but live fabulous.
davinder Singh (28 days ago)
Sponsored by Uber definitely 👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿
Axbab Mohamed (29 days ago)
What how he can say that the challenge stopted from our family when she served in there I don't know how people could belief these nonsense things and how they can say we are doing right when they are rapping priest who is rapping can't be true priest am Muslim and heard lot of useless and nonsense things I hope that people would stop believing these things I feel sorry for victims
There are no Gods who make them sick .they get sick because it's there luck... To inslave a child is wrong that is the sin. Unless the world wakes up to the fact there is one Father Lord There will be no peace for any who do this horror .the fact she forgive her family shows me what an amazing women she is
Oh hun i am so so sorry you had to go through this. It breaks my heart even more that your parents had absolutely no idea what happened. The whole video up until you asking your father what happened i was furious now im just entirely heart broken for you. Youre a strong beautiful and brave woman
Delana Herron (29 days ago)
You are a very strong woman, there is no justifiable reason why you went through this, but God doesn't put any more on us then we can bare.
Zak (30 days ago)
This reminds me of the story of my great grandmother bless her soul. She was kidnapped and my grandfather became an orphan because his father was dead.
Bonan Mthimkhulu (1 month ago)
Some traditions are just systems of oppression, justified by NOTHING AT ALL.
Mrs.Kingdom-Citizen (1 month ago)
So much stuff about AFRICA... and this world in general, for that matter, is just SO FUcK3D UP!!!!! And yes, I'm an American-black woman - and I feel this way!!! When I see things like this, it discourages my spirit from desiring to travel to Africa.
tasha luna (1 month ago)
After my dad died ,we were kicked out our home town , we come to city to start zero .l was blessed and find a job abroad . whish l could find confident to go back after 8 yrs.bt there's nothing left for us There.
William Wooten (1 month ago)
thanks for the documentary
sarah maunder (1 month ago)
I have never heard of this till today. Im glad the girls escaped but im sad that the grandma is still there. These women are so beautiful, inside and out.
Anamaria Stanley (1 month ago)
Very sad practice...culture can be something else.She is a very strong and beautiful young lady.
Deborrah Cooper (1 month ago)
This is some straight bullshit, and nothing but another way for men to control and abuse and use the bodies and labor of women and girls. I tell you men are the worst.
Brea Evans (1 month ago)
It's difficult becoming a journalist for BBC?
I left my country Ghana 🇬🇭 at the same age as she did (7) and came to America and I’ve been in America for 15 years but I still speak my native language (ewe) Togolese and Ghanaian both speak ewe so I’m not sure why she said that’s why she can’t speak ewe, the French part I get but the ewe part is a bit confusing to me since in the Volta region ewe is the main language that’s spoken there.
I was born in Ghana in the Volta region, but I’m half Togolese and half Ghanaian. My father is from Togo and my mom is from Ghana and I speak the same language but I’ve never heard of this and I went to school and had a very normal childhood but I did leave Ghana when I was 7 years old and came to America. My family is Christian and doesn’t believe in that that’s probably why I’ve never heard of this.
James Gitahi Kahuro (1 month ago)
Thank God for He sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ to become a trokosi and to pay for ALL OUR SINS, all over the world. No woman needs to pay for anybody's sins in the shrines of idol gods.
Portia Jones (1 month ago)
First of all, she's absolutely gorgeous and secondly, her father seems like he got frustrated because he really knew the truth, idk he seems guilty to me.
Helis Nyamekye (1 month ago)
Kwasia man, he says talking about it will bring conflict
Tom Riviere (1 month ago)
As long as you have uneducated poor primitive peoples, there will always be exploitation of the young and innocent.
Tom Riviere (1 month ago)
"Religion is the only area of our discourse in which people are systematically protected from the demand to give evidence in defense of their strongly held beliefs. And yet, these beliefs often determine what they live for, what they will die for, and—all too often—what they will kill for." `Sam Harris
Kiara Herrera (1 month ago)
She is GORGEOUS ❤️😍
Ashley Buie (1 month ago)
Such a beautiful and strong woman!
misbahul jadeh (1 month ago)
it should be banned .. it has to start somehow
Beverly Jones (1 month ago)
Mmm did sickness really left after these children sacrifices?Can this be proven?
Marlene Mejorado (1 month ago)
I love you,and thank you for people that Care and fight for freedom specially freedom in Christ Jesus HOPE 🙏❣️ your family far but close in Spirit Lord God Almighty. You are the way protect guide your children in Jesus name we pray... love you Love you Love you xoxoxo I love you
Ritah Kiziito (1 month ago)
This is so sad am even crying 😢😢😢😢😢😢 such videos makes more to be more kind. that's why we need to kind to each another because we gotta know what they might have went through to act offensive into our lives
Grace McCurdy (1 month ago)
inspirational journalism
Rosalie Agolino (1 month ago)
Wrong belief.
Brandi Casey (1 month ago)
This is one a great example of why undeveloped countries stay that way. If you want change, you must take action and break the cycle. In America we some fucked up stuff going on: Slavery, women's right to vote, segregation, civil rights,ect. But people pushed back and caused effective change. People have to change their mindset. Teaching what's right to the new generation.
MélissaEnvy (1 month ago)
Why am I not surprised that it's women who are made to pay the crimes of men. SMH
James Muhammad (1 month ago)
WONDERFUL!!!
B Brown (1 month ago)
Just stupidity makes no since smh
flore Douss (1 month ago)
This makes me feel really sad and ended up crying 😢 😢.. What a "FUCKING" we're living......
Marshall M (1 month ago)
is just so amazing women can forgive and get along with life, that's another reason why women are better than us
BY TELLING THE WORLD YOUR STORY YOU ARE HAVING A CONNECTION WITH MILLIONS OF WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING OR WORSE AND KNOWING THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE ! WE ALL STAND TOGETHER AS ONE AND WE CAN GIVE EACH OTHER IDEAS AND HELP EACH OTHER EVEN THOUGH WE ARE FAR AWAY WE CAN STILL HELP EACH OTHER GET THROUGH THIS TRAUMA AND CHANGE THINGS !
A N G E L (1 month ago)
I’m not racist but seems like that the only white people are allowed to live in freedom and not have their childhoods taken away from them. Most of them get everything thing and still waste while other people suffer. All the hard working people suffer Asian, Indian, black, people in Venezuela, Asia, Africa. I swear white people is the most evil race on the planet.
movado cashmore (1 month ago)
wow
just my thoughts (1 month ago)
She is gorgeous!
Асека Асека (1 month ago)
This is absolutely ridiculus.why do the innoccent little girl pay for their messed.
Ayman Ashley (1 month ago)
She should go find her evil uncle
marifel batan (1 month ago)
Very inspiring.
Tanjjie Olmo (1 month ago)
Wait wait wait her Uncle cheated on his wife...so the Niece goes to prison????🤣🤣🤣 what a joke! This is a joke right?? Right??
steve mayala (1 month ago)
You are my dear sister thank god for your life.... Q the waterworks with snot ... Humans ..destroying the earth and each other... Sad
veriteinternational (1 month ago)
Thousands of positive stories in Ghana...but always the same drivel of bullshit from the BBC.
Allina 999 (1 month ago)
My God, my heart aches, my soul cries for this precious and strong, STRONG woman! The life she has endured. God bless her adopted father and her biological parents who did not know she was being sent to the shrine. Such a tragic story, yet redemptive because this woman is gracefully owning her narrative and helping the future for women in Ghana!
K Fallon (1 month ago)
Why didnt anyone in this story ask the practioners of this tradition why the sinners themselves arent sent to be slaves in the shrines to atone for their own sins?
alicia humphrey (1 month ago)
she is so beautiful
Isabel Apio (1 month ago)
I’ve never cried so much in my life, I can’t imagine being or giving my children away, god bless all the girls and women who suffer this horrific and old traditions
juliet senong (1 month ago)
Thy shld hv taken his own kids fok man
juliet senong (1 month ago)
Dis men r insane
Zainabu Zaina (2 months ago)
I can’t get Peace ✌🏾 I want to get the other girl out of there,she is innocent 😓😰😪
asmaraarts (2 months ago)
Her father is full of shit. He never went to look for her. Why not call the police to get his daughter back? He knew what happened and didn't care for his own child. Black men are horrible creatures.
Philomena Wenda (2 months ago)
This broke my heart, I cried the whole time
max (2 months ago)
ONE DAY I WILL CHANGE AFRICA , POVERTY IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THIS SHIT . IT GOES TO THERE HEADS THEN THEY START DOING WEIRD THINGS INSTEAD OF WORKING TO DEVELOP , THEY PUT YOUNG GIRLS THROUGH HELL.
Anyone surname (2 months ago)
These country so beautiful but scary for women
Afifah Nurul Asna (2 months ago)
She is so pretty.
Pastel_Axolotl (2 months ago)
I had no idea Uber was worldwide.
Julia Small (2 months ago)
Once her father was told what happened to his daughter then he should had the uncle held accountable. Why allow him to stay in the family to break up more families? I would taboo him.
Richard Que (2 months ago)
BBC new s seem to go around collecting stories from poor developing countries. WHAT ABOUT THE LORDS IN UK MOLESTING CHILDREN ???? HAVE THEY BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE ??? CHECK YOUR BACKYARD.
Bato Bureh (2 months ago)
Bridgette, thank you for sharing your extraordinary experience.
Democrats Only (2 months ago)
What a fantastic young woman. Few could have the grace and ability to forgive that she does. I wish her nothing but happiness.
Milla G. (2 months ago)
Dad's lying...
Kingsley konadu (2 months ago)
stop saying ghana, you are not even from ghana, you are from togo and some of came to leave in ghane that ia your way of live , is not our way of life, you peaple do lots of eveil things so stop saying ghana ghana, that is not our way of life
Althea Malcolm (2 months ago)
I'm so so glad they sold my ancestors out of Africa ...I'm good!!!!
Cait_Blessed (2 months ago)
British control the narrative.
Mercy Ferguson (2 months ago)
Thanks Brigitte for sharing your story.Thank God you were rescued but so sad to hear there are other girls and women still in captivity.
The L.Z Show (2 months ago)
i think her dad is lying but i am glad that are able to bring closure. because how can someone take your child and you dont kill them or tell the police?
The L.Z Show (2 months ago)
when she was rescued from the Trokosi did illness come over her family?
The L.Z Show (2 months ago)
who was that in the red shirt wiping her face?
MsAngelaSunshine (2 months ago)
She's beautiful
Jackie Garroutte (2 months ago)
What a beautiful inspiring woman!
stephanie souza (2 months ago)
Listen to me man....men keep on using and abusing women ...you can't control yourself...you sacrifice yourself...this is evil!
Veronica Windom (2 months ago)
This is so sad. But I am proud of you for how far you´ve become xx
Mary oke Richards (2 months ago)
Africa and bad bad traditions thank god for those white men and women who brought Christianity to us
Sky's health and diy (2 months ago)
Men are nasty so sick of this. Her family is lying they set her up. That's why i don't talk to too many people anymore. I am digusted. I think these families are targeted by voodoo prietess and they threaten the families if they don't give the women. Corrupt society. Bullies.
Sky's health and diy (2 months ago)
What was the sin??? Sick
Alma Sarajlic (2 months ago)
I am sorry, but I think her father is totally full of shit. I bet he knew exactly where she was taken.
Zulaikha Abiri (2 months ago)
she looks so much like her dad! wowww!
Gods Klanof (2 months ago)
FUCK TROKOSI !!
ebrima kamara (2 months ago)
U people cannot stop this nonsense to bbc
marguerite kassi (2 months ago)
😭😭😭😭

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