Review by Niamh Walsh-Vorster

From growing up with her family in Woodstock, to becoming homeless and sleeping under a bridge, the unforgiving violence of Cape Town’s streets swallow Grizelda Grootboom at a young age.

At age 9, Grizelda is gang-raped in Khayelitsha.

This moment is the unfortunate start of traumatic events that she experiences way into her thirties.

She is tricked into thinking that she will be able to make a better life in Joburg, only to be forced into sex slavery.

She becomes addicted to drugs, works as a stripper in Joburg and Port Elizabeth, is a sex worker and once again is faced with violence, stigmatisation and shamed for her ways of survival.

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It is only when an abortion is forced on her that she somehow finds a means to break out of the cycle of violence.

Grootboom’s story reveals a very dark and sinister network of drugs, sexual abuse and exploitation happening in South African cities.

Her first-hand experience of human trafficking and sex work highlights the importance of more awareness of these issues, especially among youth.

Her story is just one of many, and she explains her hopes to create a greater awareness of how normalised and easy it is to become part of the human trafficking web.

It is a harrowing true-life story, written honestly.

The power of her story will hopefully contribute to saving someone else’s life, and more importantly, help shut the system down.

Title: EXIT !

Author: Grizelda Grootboom

Publisher: Jacana

Categories: Entertainment