Mende Nazer is the author of the international bestselling autobiography SLAVE that has touched millions of lives and called many to action. Her story has gone on to inspire the motion picture I Am Slave and the stage adaptation of her life, Slave – A Question of Freedom.
Mende desperately missed her childhood life and at times became physically ill yearning for her Umi (mother) and Ba (father). Despite all this, she continued to pray and remained faithful.
After almost 7 years, Mende's owners had a relative in London and arranged to have Mende shipped there to serve as a slave for that family. With only broken English and no friends, she remained locked up and isolated. Finally she was able to spend some time on her own and miraculously met a Sudanese man while doing errands. With his help and the help of journalist Damien Lewis she managed to escape on 11 September 2000.
When asked how she could have survived such persecution and torment for so many years, she responds "I'm a very strong believer in God, I have a strong connection with my family and the hope that I would see them one day. I think hope and determination helped me to survive during that difficult time."
In 2006 she realized that hope. With the help of private donators, Mende made the journey back to Sudan. Incredibly she was able to fly to a safe region of the Nuba Mountains where she met with her family for the first time since her abduction. Damien Lewis accompanied her on this perilous and emotionally charged trip, once again co-authoring a second book about this journey with Mende called Befreit (Freedom) which has yet to be translated and published in English. This compelling book shares with us the feelings and emotions she experienced reuniting with her family and her homeland.
In the past few years, Mende's story has taken on new wings with the motion picture, the play and now her foundation. The reason being is because her story is timeless. She was a beaten and raped teenage girl with nothing but the shirt on her back. For her formative years she was called Abda, which means slave or person with no name. She was someone who had every reason to give up on life. But she did not. She had faith and hope. This testimony transcends ethnicity, religion and gender and it is the magnet that has drawn in people from all over the world to support her efforts. With this new awareness it is our wish to turn your enthusiasm for her story into schools and water works in the heart of the Nuba Mountains. We are excited but patient and experienced. Most importantly we believe. This is a story about faith after all.