Set mainly in 1999/2000, Sirocco Express tells of a young Nigerian
student's experiences on a journey from Lagos to London. But
Adebayo is no backpacker on a gap year jaunt. He pays people
smugglers to take him across the Sahara, and soon becomes immersed
in a hidden world of illicit travel and savage exploitation. The
people smuggling process, its victims and the motives of those who
profit from it are described with stark realism. Adebayo's
determination to retain his humanity, in spite of his increasing
horror at the callousness of the traffickers, soon brings him into
conflict with them. It almost costs him his life. And death is
always close at hand: in the desert, on the Mediterranean in small,
overcrowded boats, jumping onto moving trains. Although Adebayo's
plight may be unfamiliar to many in the Western world, his quixotic
stance in the face of his many misadventures has a universal
appeal. He emerges not as a passive victim of his choices, but as a
resourceful pimpernel, who evades his persecutors and ultimately
completes the journey on his own terms.
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