The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe follows the story of four charismatic and inspirational African women, who now live in Australia, and who have been using theatre and cinema to turn their harrowing stories of survival into a joyous theatre of humanity that has filled theatres from across Australia to several other countries. One of the four women features in their productions is Eritrea-born Yordanos Haile-Michael.Martin Kwakwa spoke with her and he began by asking her why she had been telling the world her very personal story on stage and on screen.
Yordana doesnt know much about her early life. As a small child she watched her father kill her mother and then her father abandoned her to fend for herself on the streets.
Thats when her abuse started. Around 5 years of age, she was picked up by the Eritrean army to be trained as a child soldier and consequently experienced 15 years of constant violence and sexual abuse, till she escaped.
She had no education. The army was the only life she knew until she fled to a refugee camp and subsequently came to Australia.
Despite having had no upbringing herself, Yordy is an extraordinary natural mother, who is bringing up four remarkable children on her own.
She is now also studying at TAFE to make up for the education she never had, and is searching out her future direction in life. She plans to write her own biography, and is keen to train as a counsellor.