The story behind 'Oloture', Nigeria's Netflix sex-trafficking drama

As a freelance reporter with a burning desire to uncover the truth about a sordid backstreet trade, Tobore Ovuorie dressed as streetwalker to infiltrate a prostitution ring.

Tobore Ovuorie's remarkable story has been turned into a hit Netflix film, 'Oloture', which has shone a bright light on one of Nigeria's darkest trades. Picture: Netflix.

LAGOS - Clad soberly in a chequered knee-length dress, Tobore Ovuorie hardly seems as if she once walked the streets of Lagos in a revealing outfit and high heels.

A freelance reporter with a burning desire to uncover the truth about a sordid backstreet trade, Ovuorie dressed as streetwalker to infiltrate a prostitution ring.

She took on the dangerous mission after a friend left for Europe, became a sex worker and died, leaving Ovuorie shocked and beset with questions.

Today, Ovuorie's remarkable story has been turned into a hit Netflix film, Oloture, which has shone a bright light on one of Nigeria's darkest trades.

"I needed to do justice, to know the truth. I wanted to know the process, the back story about these ladies," the 39-year-old reporter told AFP.

By dressing up, she sought to gain the prostitutes' trust - the first step to introducing her to a "madam", a pimp.

After eight months working undercover in 2013, Tobore Ovuorie emerged with a terrifying account about the victims of sex trafficking.

Some were sent to Europe, where they were coerced into becoming sex workers. Others were forced to participate in orgies organised by local politicians. Some became victims of organ trafficking for ritual crimes.

She published her story in 2014 in the Nigerian newspaper Premium Times and Dutch investigative magazine, Zam Chronicles, inspiring a production company in Nigeria to adapt it for the screen.

Released in October on Netflix, the story has been widely watched and applauded in its home country, Africa's most populous market.

"Sometimes investigative journalists in search of the story become the story," director Kenneth Gyang told AFP.

But in this case, the reporter was also "the torch that led us into the lives" of victims, he said.

WATCH: Oloture official trailer

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