Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Hello I'm Ori, Nigerian American lifestyle blogger and career consultant encouraging you to live boldly. Be original. 

Stolen Girls

Stolen Girls

Boko Haram is an extremist Islamic Terrorist group lead by late Mohammed Yusuf. Stolen Girls was written by Wolfgang Bauer, an award-winning journalist who spent a few weeks in Nigeria recording the stories of the women who escaped from Boko Haram. Bauer does an amazing job of providing historical and political background while integrating the stories of the women.

After reading this book, here are my take aways

Diversity can be Dangerous

When I saw the news about the Chibok Girls, my first thought was "why would they kidnap their own people?". Well, Nigeria is a densely diverse country that struggles to balance the multitude of ethnicities, languages, and cultures. In terms of religion, Nigeria is closely split between Islam and Christianity with a few that practice Polytheism. The mission of Boko Haram (Western Education is Forbidden) is to create a new Islamic world where only the Sharia Law is enforced. So even within the Muslim community, not everyone practices Islam the same, which is why they kidnap the women and children, kill all the men that may pose a threat to them, then indoctrinate the orphan boys or brainwash rebellious men to become fighters for them.

Women are currency 

This isn't anything new to us, but Boko Haram is tactical about the way they do this. They kidnap the women/children and hold them hostage in the forest. They re-teach them the Quran (according to their standards) then marry them off to their soldiers (sex slavery). If the women refused to comply, they would beat them or kill them. Many of the Chibok girls were given higher rankings and trained other newly kidnapped women. 

No one cares about the poor

Most the communities attacked were poor villages, filled with hard working people and their families. Sadly, the Nigerian army caused almost as much damage to these cities in their attempts to rescue them. The Nigerian also killed as many people as they tried to rescue. The government doesn't provide any assistance to these communities and democracy hasn't benefited them much anyway. 

I recommend you read this book because their stories are bigger than terrorism. These women's stories are about social and religious control. Men who believe that they should dictate how everyone lives their lives, very similar to what women face in Western Countries pertaining to equality. Their story is our story because we are all affected by radical idealism. 

Neon Soul

Neon Soul

Nectar

Nectar