BRING BACK OUR GIRLS. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I clicked this photo.
Today makes it 911 days since the Chibok girls were abducted, and the international day of the girl Child.
I just can’t help thinking back to April 15, 2014, when we woke to the abduction of two hundred and seventy six girls.
I was one of those people who just didn’t get what was really happening- with the way the story went. It was unbelievable, weird, shrouded, I just didn’t understand!- Today there were witnesses, tomorrow no witness showed up. Today it was a conspiracy, tomorrow it was “na only you waka come?”. At some point, it was really tiring, to the average Nigerian. Placards here, Hashtags there, it later became a case of “moving on”.
I didn’t hold up a placard, but I did cry out in my own little way- Thanks to Blackhouse Studios (see Blackhstudios Bring Back our Girls on YouTube)
Joining the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day for the Girl Child, It breaks my heart to remember there are so many girls missing…, and there are even more girls “unmissing”, but trapped! Trapped, In bondage, Deprived of education, schooling, self-development and everything that can help them lead full, boundless and super amazing lives.
It is sad that in many parts of the world, the Girl Child is not even allowed to be herself! This is not just about going to school. It is about how we have valued cultural practices and long-standing traditions over humanity, over the quality of life of the girl child. Genital mutilation, forced marriages, molestation, abuse, violence; These are only few of the real issues the girl child is exposed to all over the world. (You think these issues are overrated? Then you need to do a lot of reading and/or going beyond your walls!).
I’m not one who will just stand to debate issues and talk about how the female gender needs the most help because feminism is the new rave, NO. Simply, I do have my own views and know to stand for what is true.
I believe that the key to solving most of the world issues lies in the hands of the girl-child. Unapologetically. I believe that the woman (who is first, the girl-child) is the backbone of every institution and society- however large or small. The woman raises our presidents and our peasants. She raises our bankers and our book-keepers. Good or bad, orphaned or non-orphaned, every human has a ‘motherly’ figure in their life. Give a woman of virtue a child, and watch her raise 1000 children (a generation) of virtuous children, and vice-versa. The ills, the corrections, -It all begins with the woman and the woman, she all begins in a girl-child. 🙂
There is so much power in the hands of a girl-child (who becomes a woman). How much more a girl child with the right thinking- properly equipped! And I’m not talking about just going to school to learn ABC. I’m talking about totally grounded education for the girl-child. Emancipation from mental slavery.
Okay Where is she going with this article?
To be honest, I don’t even know! Maybe it’s just to air my own voice. Or maybe it’s just to get into your head for this one second (is it?!).
I hope that we are able to think through our own lives and be thankful, for the privilege to be ourselves. I also hope that we are reminded of the many girls here in Nigeria- Northern Nigeria especially, and also Southern Nigeria (and of course the rest of the world) who don’t have a chance at all to even express themselves. I hope that the next time we see Fatima hawking on the streets, we see beyond a Fatima who is “destined to hawk”. And I hope that this plants a seed in our hearts- to do something, when and how ever we are opportune to. If you ever find yourself in a position of influence, make that decision that will help the girl-child; If it’s a petition, sign it; If it’s an article, write it; If it’s a photograph, take it. If it’s to volunteer some of your time, do it; A donation, give it; If it’s to start a help club or some initiative, do it. By all means, do something!
We are (or will be) fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, friends, neighbors, HUMANS!! LoL! So the question is not whether or not we will ever have access to a girl-child. The question is: Are we going to make the world a better place by contributing/helping to raise a girl-child who will not have trouble leading a full life and excelling at being herself?
Coming back to our Chibok girls. If I will write in all honesty of my heart, It looks like it’s a hopeless situation- how can we ever find them all? ! But then, even hopeless has hope in it, so! Let’s hold on to that bit, shall we? 🙂 *not giving up*
Final words and zero cliche. It’s International Day of the Girl Child and all I’m saying is.:
-The girl child, every child actually, is important. And WE MUST protect, guide, teach, lead, and stand for them.!
-The Chibok girls, also are equally important. We must not give up on them. We must hold on to hope and keep demanding for her to, Bring Back Our Girls!
Day of the Girl Child, October 2016.