Woman, Africa, Village, Togo, Portrait, Ethnic Group


Adaobi could not believe the news she had just heard, the entire izge village was in uproar. The news of the kidnap of the girls of Maraba Girls High School had gone round the village. Her girls had been kidnapped! The same ones she had taught mathematics in a classroom could not be found – Binta, Aisha, Jamila, Halima, Fatima and Zaria were among her favourites – She found herself at the primary health care center where she lay on a mat, trying as hard as she could to stand but could not. She had taken a day off work on account of malaria, or so the nurse said, although no blood tests were conducted, it was just assumed that it must be malaria since she had seen her period few days before.

The room seemed to spin in her eyes with cold sweat forming gradually on her forehead, she had to remove the scarf she tied on her head but even this was a struggle. The walls were beginning to turn red, she felt the need to throw up, she quickly searched for a bucket, found one around the corner, knelt on the cold, hard, cement floor and retched. Feeling slightly relieved, she found a stainless cup half filled with tap water by the side of the mat, picked it up and drank some water. She lay back on the mat; using the flat pillow she was given as a head rest, silently hoping the pillow wasn’t ridden with bed bugs, but in this state she couldn’t be bothered by such irrelevancies as bed bugs or malaria. She only wanted to be strong so she could walk outside and see for herself what exactly was going on in the village and with her girls. She thought of all the teachers in the school, she thought of the friendly Principal, Mr. Musa who reminded her of her father and said a prayer for them.

‘How could this be? Where is everybody?’ She asked but there was no one in sight, the health care center was deserted after the news of the kidnap spread around the village. The only nurse attending to her had run out of the bungalow that is the health care center with incredible speed. Her niece, Jamila, also attended the school, in fact, all girls in the village attended the school, over 100 of them and they had all been kidnapped by boko haram – an infamous group against western education and everything Christian, by their beliefs, the only education which Muslims ought to have is the Islamic education. Their fame spread all over Nigeria after they bombed many churches and killed many Christians; they claimed responsibility time and time again for these atrocities but have never been apprehended. They come and go like the wind, live in forests and in the trees, in deserts and in caves. They come like a whisper and depart as a flame, leaving behind blood and tears everywhere they strike.

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