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Slavery is a state of one human being working for another as a legal property which can be sold and bought working for the owner without choice and freedom whatsoever. In traditional African societies, there was not much difference between slavery, free peasants and feudal peasants. Life was good and I used to work in a Masters agricultural land and paid him back in form of farm produce at an agreed period of time. During this period, my master never owned me as a property which he could dispose any time he thought like since such powers never existed in this family and communal set ups. Although I was still a slave before the slavery with the rest of the world opened up from 16th to 19th century, the conditions were far much better. While I worked in my master’s agricultural plantation, I would escape and visit my family which by then solely depended on me for their livelihood. I could work from morning to evening hours in my master’s farm and escape thereafter to join my family in the evening and even spend the night with them without fear of any consequences from my master.
My lifestyle was not of much difference from my colleagues since they were unable to meet their family demands, therefore the envied my lifestyle in my master’s plantations. I used to report in the farm after dawn and work till evening hours before returning to my home. In this set up, there were not supervisors and managers who were stationed in the farm to ensure efficiency execution of responsibilities and duties neither to enhance loyalty for those working in farms. Though I was enslaved in a way, I enjoyed certain fundamental freedoms which a slave elsewhere could not have enjoyed which made life bearable in these conditions.
In the year 1750, slave trade had opened up not only in African farms but also in new world colonies, America and Europe. This was further exacerbated by labor shortage that was experienced in new colonies as well European and American farms. It was the year 1749 when rampant kidnapping took root in West African coasts. During one evening as I was returning home after the day’s work, I was ambushed by a caravan of around twenty strong men who blindfolded my headed and dragged me to a parked chariot that was at the roadside. Little did I know that this were my last moments in the African coast for years. At first I did not recognize whatever was happening around me since I was taken by surprise because I never thought whatever I used to hear as ramous was finally happening to me. It was a nasty experience, scaring and heart breaking since I did not know my fate afterwards. I stayed in this state for more than twenty four hours without identifying a single person who were involved in my capturing. My life took a turn when I finally realized that I was unfortunate to be heading to the New World Colonies in weeks time.
My detention at the African coast slave castle dugeons lasted for two weeks before shipment to New World Colonies which I suspected was to enable the slave traders accumulate enough slaves for shipment. During this period, I was kept in a small room with small portion of food supplied to me in intervals of twelve hours departing from my normal route I used to before the capture when I could eat whenever I was hungry. The conditions were the most inhumane I had ever experienced before. My journey was finally ready and we left African coast on one early morning to the Indian Ocean. My caravans were the most inhuman personalities I had ever encountered in my entire life. I was ill treated as if I was a lesser human being by being abused, beaten whenever I inquired of any issue. Our journey in the ocean took ages especially due to the dehumanizing conditions administered by the slave traders and their intermediaries.
The kidnapping was carried out by African slave traders and sold to intermediaries. Before shipment, I was sold to American caravans who would in turn sell me to masters in New World Colonies. I felt dehumanized and equalized to a property for sale when the African caravans handed me over to American merchants for silver and gold. They negotiated my personality, my strength and my human for material exchange an experience that demoralized and pained to the deepest veins in my heart. I thought all was over and the American merchant could treat me better than my fellow Africans, however this was never to be and they turned to be the worst than I thought. One instance I refused to eat in protest of their cruel treatment, this was my worst moment since I received a beating which lasted for years in my memories. The situation was not any different at all and it was worse especially after landing in the New World. Slave trade buyers were waiting at the auction block and trade here was worse than I thought along the African coast. Masters through their agents bought slaves as if they were mere commodities. I was bought by a master who owned maize plantations in the New World colony.
On arrival at the plantation, my living conditions turned from bad to worst. After few days, I realized that animals like dogs, donkeys and cats were accorded better treatment than me. I was not allowed to have some time to rest, take my meals or even a shower. My program started before dawn and ended past dark. Every morning, I was woken by wipes landing on my back which were so severe that before the previous are healed, others are inflicted on the same spot. Work in the plantation was throughout with a thorough beating if I could stand just for a fraction of a second to have rest. The worst part of my life in the New World Colony was during the numerous beatings that were administered by the wife and children of my master apparently with no concrete reason. Life in the New World Colony was the most difficult experience I have ever gone through the whole of my life.
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