Watch: Left to die in the desert, and why such images must be shown

Updated: Aug 29




A video of a woman from Cameroon abandoned in the desert by her travel mates, en route to Europe emerged. The person taking the video speaks French and is heard saying that they stayed with her for 5 days, waiting for help, but they cannot wait any longer.

They are a group of 40 people, all from Cameroon and they made the difficult decision to abandon her in order to save their lives.


In the video, they give information about her and ask who ever recognizes her to inform her family in Douala. They asked God to forgive them as they have no choice, but to proceed.



A picture of the woman's ID card showing her name was upload on the Facebook profile of Nzui Manto Y Sep Sep, a Cameroonian activist based in Germany. The woman, aged 37 is called MPOUMA ISABELLE, resident in Douala in Cameroon.


On posting the video on social media, the ethical integrity of African Media was put in doubt, with a person asking how the display of the body of the woman was newsworthy. One asked if she "had given her consent" to be filmed.


Journalists have to take the decision to show what they believe can help improve the life of communities. The tragedies behind Irregular immigration are countless and not seen enough, a visibility that could save thousands of lives and be an important deterrent factor.


The power of images, still and moving has no equal when it comes to shaping the minds, leaving impressions, good or bad.


It is a well known fact that millions of young people in Africa dream of a better life, which many are convinced they can find only in Europe. With this latter closing its borders, regular and irregular ones, the risky journeys through the desert are killing thousands.


Images such as the one of this poor soul must be shown. They put a face on an horrendous reality that is decimating young Africans and fattening smugglers' bank accounts.



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