Eugene Nforngwa is a multiple award-winning journalist based in Yaoundé, Central, Cameroon.
Live TV phoner for the VOA: Cameroon kills 60 Boko Haram fighters in northern Nigeria
New trade in lucrative ape skulls and bones stokes fears of annihilation of wild gorilla and chimpanzee populations in Cameroon
Using girls to raise money, repay debts or compensate favors is an open and longstanding practice in this landlocked community of peasant farmers and wild fruit gatherers on the Nigerian border. Guardians of the tradition – rich and influential men who run traditional cults and shrines – defend it as a legitimate path to marriage for girls and an escape from poverty for parents who have nothing else... But in reality, it is a criminal enterprise of blackmail and extortion that traps young girls and women womb-to-tomb in domestic servitude, sexual abuse and public scorn.