A Way Out

Poor Zainab was aware that the decision she had made was not really a possible one. How would a 5-year-old travel on the plane alone? And to make things even more difficult, the flight was not a direct flight but the one with connections, with multiple layovers. 

At The Airport

Zainab reached the airport with Maya and she could only think of one possible thing to do, to find a chaperone. She had hopes that somebody would agree upon escorting Maya overseas. She started asking random people who were at the airport if they could help her. 

No Luck

Nobody wanted to take the chance and take Maya along. Zainab was having a hard time finding one kind person, everyone had some excuse or the other to make. But she was not going to give up and went to the gate agent. 

A Stranger

The gate agent pointed towards a man who was standing in the waiting area and was also flying to the United States. Zainab told the Huffington Post in 2018 that the agent reportedly stated, “Well, you know, that white guy over there is traveling.”

Asking For Help

Zainab Sesay ran to the man and explained her situation to him. She said, “I went to him to pose him the most insane question anyone could possibly ask.” The man pretended like he was listening to Zainab very carefully but he seemed really lost.


He told Zainab that “he was in no mental state to travel with a minor because he had just lost his grandmother”. He had come to the Airport and was flying back to the United States to attend the funeral of his grandmother.