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Brigitte Sossou Perenyi

Brigitte Sossou Perenyi

From trokosi captivity to documentary producer

1990

Brigitte's Captivity
14 July 1990

Brigitte's Captivity

Born in Togo in 1990, Brigitte was kidnapped at the age of seven and taken to a Ghanaian sanctuary where she was subjected to forced labor as a form of atonement for her uncle's alleged adultery. The Trojan tradition of Trokosi, practiced in Ghana, Benin, and Togo, involved sending young women to forced labor as a means of redeeming the sins of their relatives.

2023

Liberation
09 July 2023

Liberation

Thanks to the intervention of Kenneth Perenyi, who worked with the NGO International Needs, Brigitte was able to regain her freedom. Perenyi, who had previously gained notoriety for his involvement in art forgery, arranged for her release and subsequently adopted her. Brigitte spent the next 13 years in the United States, overcoming the challenges of adapting to a new life while Kenneth faced concerns about his past activities.

2023

Reunion with Her Biological Family
10 July 2023

Reunion with Her Biological Family

Years after her liberation, Brigitte embarked on a journey to Togo to meet her biological family. Documenting her story with the BBC, she sought to shed light on the ongoing trokosi practice and bring awareness to the plight of other victims. Her trip allowed her to reconcile with her family, who had been unaware of her uncle's actions and believed her to be deceased. Brigitte's forgiveness and newfound Christian faith played a significant role in her healing process.

2023

Recognitions and Influence
11 July 2023

Recognitions and Influence

In 2018, Brigitte's efforts and resilience led to her inclusion in the BBC's list of 100 Women, which highlights influential women each year. This recognition further amplified her voice and provided a platform to advocate for change and raise awareness about Trokosi.

2023

Embracing a Career in Documentary Production
14 July 2023

Embracing a Career in Documentary Production

By 2021, Brigitte had become an associate producer, contributing to the creation of African documentaries for both Western and African audiences. Her firsthand experience and determination to shed light on social issues have driven her to use the power of storytelling to make a difference.

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