Leslie Ibeanusi

Leslie Ibeanusi (Transnational AIDS Prevention among Migrant Prostitutes in Europe Project – TAMPEP): Leslie earned her BS in biology at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia (2001-2005). In 2005, she was crowned as the inaugural Miss Nigeria in America, where she represented young Nigerian women of the diaspora. Since then, she has become passionately involved in global health and social justice issues affecting women and children in African countries. She had also co-founded a nonprofit called Making Noise Inc, which uses the arts and media to raise awareness of social justice issues in Africa countries. At the time of her fellowship, Leslie had just graduated from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she received her Master's in public health with a concentration in global health promotion.

Nigerian- Italian Love: Race in Italy (Part II)

15 Jun

Ok, so I knew trafficking was a complex issue, causing complex consequences, but this one I totally didn’t expect. Apparently there are a number of Italian male clients who end up marrying the foreign sex workers they picked up on the street. I know right?! It blows my mind! I’ve seen many mixed couples in Turin, some of which are former client- former sex worker duos. The local paper “Africa Times” profiled the story of a couple- Claudio and Isoke. Claudio, driving around one night, spotted Isoke, wanted to “hire” her for the evening, and they ended up falling in love. They even wrote a book about it and started a local organization for other couples like them (reformed clients and rescued sex workers). Now these couples meet to discuss ways to get other girls off the street and encourage men to stop “buying” girls for the evening. The article quotes,

“Claudio says when the male members of the association go out to the streets to meet clients of prostitutes, they tell them we were like you, we also went for these girls, but realized that most of them are slaves, and by continuing to come here for them, we contribute to their slavery’. They normally invite the clients to join them for a discussion on how they can jointly help the prostitutes. Many clients of course do reject their invitation while some do join them”

Now, get me right- I’m in no way poking fun at these couples. I’ve met a few couples in my time here who fall in this category and are living happily with children.
It’s just interesting…that’s all…

(This blog, and the others, can also be viewed on the Making Noise site at: http://www.myspace.com/livethenoise
Making Noise- using arts and media to “make noise” about social injustices affecting Africans))

Posted By Leslie Ibeanusi

Posted Jun 15th, 2007


  • Z-Connie Grieb

    June 17, 2007


    Dear Leslie,
    You are doing a great job with Angel, she is depending on you now. What an amazing story…Your blogs are so informative and heartfelt. Is there anything the Zonta Club can do for you right now?

    Keep up the great work! I will check in with you soon.


  • leslie

    June 18, 2007


    Wow, thanks Connie…Thank you for reading the blogs. Its humbling that you say that, though I dont feel that way. My words are just small things…little tidbits of strength I can pass to her. Angel’s strength lies in her faith in God. As I acompanied her to her new shelter today, she had a rosary wrapped around her hand. I just encouraged her to keep praying and remember that God promises in His Word that He is with us wherever we go.
    Yes, it would be great if Zonta could fwd this blog and this issue to others in their network. Its time we allow these girls stories to be heard!
    thanks again!

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