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Brigitte Sossou Perenyi

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Brigitte Sossou Perenyi (Togo, 1990) is a Ghanaian documentary producer. She lived under conditions of slavery after being kidnapped at the age of seven and sent to Ghanaian sanctuary where Trokosi, or wife of the gods, was a secular practice that sends young women to forced labor to redeem the sins of their relatives.

When she was only seven years old, Brigitte was kidnapped and taken to a Ghanaian sanctuary to pay for the adultery crime committed by her uncle, according to the Trojan tradition. This practice had survived for more than 300 years and was finally illegalized in Ghana in 1998, although it was continued and no priest was ever tried.

Till this day, certain communities in Ghana, Benin, and Togo still practice Trokosi. The year in which Brigitte entered the sanctuary, the country had 5,000 women and girls in Trokosi.

In 1997, the 60-minute US program of the CBS chain showed the world the conditions in which Brigitte lived through a documentary titled My Stolen Childhood. With the help of the NGO International Needs, Kenneth Perenyi decided to go to Ghana in order to release her.

He was able to release, adopt, and send her to the United States, where she spent the next 13 years. About 20 years after being released, Brigitte returned to Togo to meet her biological family. On this trip, she documented her story with the BBC, in order to denounce trokosi practice.

In the year 2018, she was listed in 100 Women BBC. This list by BBC brings together the 100 most influential women of the year.