Today, I am raising awareness to a crime so inconceivably heinous, I had no choice but to submit to my own heart’s magnetism and morbid mourning of the unimaginable. I am sure you have heard about the abduction of over 200 young girls from a school in Nigeria. If you haven’t, I invite you to open your ears, eyes and heart to their cries and longing to be found and returned home to their loved ones.
Child abductions and human trafficking have both had huge impacts on the nature of my meandering mind and ultimately; my writing. My novel, which I will be seeking representation for, is centered on an abduction case which actually happened within this country.
Although my story was not based on the same criminal act, it just so happens the real kidnapping and murdering of a nine year-old, little girl had similarities extremely close to my own plot and even occurred three weeks after I began writing the story. When I discovered the article on Google news one morning this past February, tears eroded my heart… flooding my eyes with anxiety, sadness and despair. I couldn’t believe the connections between the article and my novel… right down to the last name of the little girl and the town where she was abducted. I have since changed the last name of the character in my manuscript as well as the town she was taken from.
We don’t hear their voices when they scream. Out of sight… and unfortunately… out of mind. But I’m making a stronger effort now, more than ever, to concentrate and hear their distant cries; their shouts of pain, suffering, frightening alienation and feelings of cold, hopelessness, and utter destitution. There is no light at the end of the dark tunnels of the unknown which lay ahead of them.
Even if we are unable to help them, let us at least be silent and think about them. Some people can’t stand to watch the news or listen to the atrocities currently engulfing the beauty and humanity in this world. But I think it is our duty, as human beings, to meditate and give those who are lost our compassion, prayers, reflection and light. All's it takes are simple thoughts… remembering those who are unable to free themselves from the sick and demented beasts holding them captive.
Our children’s empty cries were once those of newborn’s joy and laughter. Their bleeding, bruised and scraped up hands were once delicate as they fell softly into the hands of their loved ones and friends. Their scarce voices were once lights in the sunrise of each day they awoke as they hugged their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Their wobbling, beaten and tiresome legs were once strong as they danced, skipped and ran blissfully over the horizon of days which they thought would last forever.
Now their voices are just shadows in the light; shadows of children who once frolicked and glistened amongst the thick, heavy Nigerian air. The memory of their screams still echoes throughout the mountain tops… there in the lasting impressions of their unforgettably beautiful and exquisite faces; faces now reflecting off of the chaotic minds of their parents and running frantically throughout the hills and distant deserts of Africa and beyond. Loved ones are searching for answers and yet, they have no choice but to falter to the inconceivable with the slightest hope still making its way through troubled cracks as it rides the rising sun with the promise tomorrow.
Their weeping by the gravesides and the very breathes they still hold on to. Will we find the lost ones whose names will be soft embraces among the mountain tops? In the darkest night of their souls wandering, will we find them? Will they ever come home?
The more I meditate and submit my essence and thoughts to their cries, the more rage runs through my veins; blood thick and stricken with an endless molten rock of torment from the images which lie frantically in the front and center of my head. If we didn’t think about these children and the chains which are keeping them away from their loved ones, our minds may as well be numbed by blindness.
Something has to change. We have to change. This world has to change. Our ancestors fought to end slavery and provide each and every human being in this country with the opportunity to feel safe and respected. Now it is time for us to take a stand and fight for the right of our own children; the precious angels who bring so much light and joy into this world. Their innocence and imagination run faster than the strongest of winds and wildest of rivers pouring out into the sea. When horrible people steal such sacred endowments from them, our children become stripped away of their strength and walking through this gift we call life.
Freedom is something we take for granted in this country. The freedom to go to school and receive an education… freedom to work and rise to the occasion of having a better life… freedom to come and go as we please without having to worry about being gunned down, raped or tortured into slavery on a daily basis... freedom to choose who we love… freedom to travel without having to worry whether or not we will ever return home... and most importantly, free to be ourselves.
Our freedom feels like a fragrance you often come across on a warm, summer day while passing through gardens of turmeric, roses and thyme. It’s infectious as life’s décor skips from one living thing to the next. Our freedom sounds like the reverberations of kids running around the park as they play soccer or swing on the swings while leaping to their childlike fates.
We sometimes forget what liberty truly feels like because we live through it every single day of our lives. But when a sick monster steals one of our little ones away from our transparent arms or groups like Boko Haram sneak into schools and kidnap over 200 girls, we are reminded how sacred and special freedom truly is.
Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group in Africa who invaded a school in Nigeria during the night and stole over 200 girls between the ages of 15 and 18 years old. One of this group’s horrible leaders, Abubakar Shekau, claims he will sell these young woman into slavery. Here is a statement from this ignorant and hideously flawed degenerate:
“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women.” As you can see from the words stated here, this man is just as stupid as he is frightening. With little vocabulary in the bank and too many rebels and guns behind his back, this ignorant pig is getting away with selling precious children to more ignorant pigs. Pigs who are just as horrible as these men except they don’t steal their slaves… they pay for them instead.
Shekau commends his wrong doings and rewards his followers with impertinent duties and misguided information. He believes western education should not be taught to the people of his country. How awful and inconceivable are such ignorant beliefs? This monster is going to sell our kindred and prized children because they sought out a better life. These girls wanted to go to school and become doctors, lawyers, writers, nurses, ambassadors, teachers, etc. And now, their future has been stripped away from them as their endeavors are being mocked and stoned by ill-bred livestock like the men of Boko Haram and those miscreants who are thinking about purchasing them.
The leader of this group also stated, "It is to be expected of terrorists. "No group can affect our resolve. We will see this through to the end. We have the commitment and capacity to get this done. No matter what this takes, we will get these girls." Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2009 and destabilized parts of northeast Nigeria, the country with Africa's largest population and biggest economy.
Since making this statement, eight more children have been abducted. You might question my use of the word “children” in this post but to me, these young woman ARE STILL CHILDREN. They have the young minds and stamina to make all of their dreams come true. They are dreamers, warriors, sisters, imaginers, daughters, granddaughters, painters, writers, singers, and people who like to run and play… basking in the midst of an African spirit and sun.
But now… they are mere cries in the distant deserts and boundless seas of relentless, sick and twisted men. Men who care nothing about the life that runs through the veins and hearts of these young women. Now, their once serenading voices are lost and winded over the Owami Desert. Their souls are lifted still as they cry out for someone to help them… for their mother and father to come and bring them home. I know I hear them in the back of my mind… do you?