Mafule Camara digs a fanny pack out from under her dress and carefully pulls out an old passport photo. It’s a picture of her son and she stares at it silently for a long time. Suddenly, she cries out, “Oh, my Lansana! We just wanted to help him! We didn’t want to send him to his death!”
Rain pounds down on the roof of Mafule Camara’s hut in Conakry, the Guinean capital, rattling the corrugated metal. She talks about the day back in fall 2017 when her cheap Chinese cell phone rang and an unknown number lit up on the cracked screen. About a year or so before, she and her husband had sent their eldest son Lansana off on the journey to Europe.
The conversation that day was short and the connection poor. The only thing she understood was that Lansand, her eldest son, was dead.