On the occasion of Mother's Day, Radio Plus met four inmates incarcerated at the women's prison. The report, entitled “Maternal love behind the walls: testimonies of mothers in prison”, will be available on from 1 p.m. this Sunday.

Aisha: “People often say to me: 'mam, you are one in a million'”

Aisha has been behind bars, in preventive detention, for five years. “In prison, we really feel Mauritian, because we celebrate all the holidays: Eid-ul-Fitr, Diwali, Spring Festival, Easter and even birthdays,” says this mother previously living in the capital.

Prison, she said, taught her peace, forgiveness and faith. “My family consists mainly of boys. But here, I found a new family, with inmates of all origins. One of the girls from the prison comes to see me daily and affectionately calls me 'mam'. His visits touch me enormously. In other words, I found a family in prison,” she shares.

Aisha admits that one of her relatives visits her regularly. “I am taken very well care of here, whether it is the babysitters or the medical staff. I am grateful to them. I am overwhelmed because I received many cards during various past Mother's Days. People often say to me: 'mam, you are one in a million',” she expresses.

What would she like to change in her life? “I was looking for inner peace and I found it in prison,” says Aisha. What is her message for mothers everywhere? “Being a mother is the greatest gift. It's precious. But I ask you to be at peace with yourselves. I wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers on this planet. »

Jessica: “I want to see my three children again”

Incarcerated for six months, Jessica discovered her pregnancy during her detention. Pregnant with her fourth child, a daughter she plans to name Océane, she reveals: “This is the first time I have been in prison with a baby in my stomach. Getting pregnant was my biggest surprise, and it’s my greatest gift as a mother,” she expresses.

Her three other children live with her mother, Marie-Ange, a former inmate. Although her incarceration is uneventful, Jessica notes that there are many other pregnant inmates, but she categorically rejects the idea of ​​giving birth in prison: “It would be a shame! »

She notices being treated differently because of her pregnancy. Passionate about embroidery, Jessica is affected by the absence of visitors, which often makes her cry. “My greatest wish is to see my three children again. I love them so much…” she confides, moved. She aspires to a new life after her release: “I have a lot of regrets. I really want to change my life. When I get out, I will look for a job,” she shares.

Mama Wawa, inmate of Angolan origin: “The guards are like my daughters…”

“I have been in prison for six years. I feel good. All the guards are like my children and the acting prison commissioner is like my son,” shares the one affectionately called “Mama Wawa”.

Originally from Angola, she reveals that she misses her family deeply. “I feel the absence of my family every day, they are very far away and do not have the possibility of coming to Mauritius. Since my incarceration, I have not seen them again,” she says.

For Mother's Day, her message is clear. “Have courage to face life and society. The mother is the backbone of the home. She takes care of the cooking, the dishes, the laundry… and she is the one who gives life! This is why it is essential to respect all mothers in the world, because they face everything,” says Mama Wawa.

Valencia, South African detainee: “Mom, be strong”

Valencia, a South African detainee, was arrested in 2019. She was two months pregnant when she set foot on Mauritian soil. It was in prison that she gave birth to a daughter named Angel. “I may be far from my country, but I console myself with the idea that my daughter is by my side. In other words, I am not alone despite the fact that my daughter is now going to school,” confides the inmate who is gradually learning French.

And how is his incarceration going? ” Everything is going well. Our care by prison staff is beyond reproach,” she emphasizes.

Her message to the women and mothers of this world? “In South Africa, I was a person who worked honestly to earn a living. But I was misled. And this is where I am. This episode allowed me to think for a long time and I bitterly regret what I did. To women, I ask them to work in order to earn their living. Money contributes to happiness, but it does not bring happiness,” she says.

Once she returns to South Africa and has served her prison sentence in Mauritius, what does she plan to do? “I want to find a job in the security field. I want to start earning an honest living again,” she confides.

A message for his mother? “Mom, be strong…” she cried.

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