Metropolitan State University student, Bukola Oriola, has traveled throughout the nation to speak out about her experience as a victim of domestic violence and human trafficking. This year, Oriola will return to Nigeria, her home country, to raise awareness as well. She believes, "the time has come for me to educate my people back home in order to prevent others from becoming victims."
Before coming to the United States, Oriola was a journalist in Nigera who was married to a man in Anoka County, Minnesota. In 2005, she came to the US to cover the 60th anniversary of the United Nations and General Assembly in New York and decided to finally meet her husband. However, rather than going back to Nigeria after her assignment in New York, her husband convinced her to stay in Minnesota.
It was shortly after that when Oriola found herself the victim of abuse and labor trafficking. Utilizing her Nigerian experience braiding hair, she began doing the hair of her fellow church members. But instead of a casual beauty exchange between friends, Oriola's husband kept his watchful eye on her, making sure she worked long hours, after which he took her earnings.
Oriola and her son escaped the trafficking life, and since then she has become a passionate activist poised to raise awareness about human trafficking around the world. Some of her many accomplishments include: founding the non-profit organization The Enitan Story, producing the Imprisoned Show, writing the book Imprisoned: The Travails of a Trafficked Victim, being awarded Change Maker 2009 by the Minnesota Women's Press and, from Sept. 10 to Sept. 20, 2015, Oriola will visit six higher learning institutions in Nigeria on her "Bringing the Story Back Home" tour. She is even planning on participating in the filming of the documentary "The Faces of Human Trafficking," which will be released next year during Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
To learn more about Oriola's incredible story, check out media coverage on ABC Newspapers and TwinCities.com, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Want to set up a public presentation on human trafficking? Contact Oriola to schedule a time.