At the age of 12, in 1994 Mende was kidnapped in the Nuba mountains in Sudan. She was sold into slavery. In 2000 she managed to win her fears and gather enough determination to scape. She was granted asylum in a European country. This is her the state of mind left with her: "But for me, this freedom is also a terrifying thing. I was captured when I was still a child. I spend my teenage years and my early adulthood in slavery. For all that time, I had no freedom. I was a non-person. I didn't really exist". The coauthor describes her: "... that first time I saw her on the day of her rescue, she was a hunched, petrified, trembling shadow of a human being". Mende campaigns around the world for the eradication of modern slavery.