Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Remembering Our Girls

When a child cries, he cries for a particular reason: it could be that he has dampened his pant with urine, or that he is hungry; and that child never stops crying until his needs are met: when his damp pant is changed or when he has been breastfed. Silence should only come after victory. If there is a deafening uproar, it should never stop until its aims have been achieved.
We heard a deafening uproar when the world knew about the Chibok abductions for the first time. We read about it on the pages of newspapers, we watched grown women cry on our TV screens. We were hurt by their tears of longing to see their daughters again; by their tears of hope and pain mixed in equal proportions, so that one could not outweigh the other.
We witnessed the pain and we shouted together in that single loud voice that only the united can muster. We kept the security agents on their toes with our social media hashtags and real life campaigns on tarred streets. They heard us, they were hearing us, but then, silence followed.  We became quiet because our voices became stifled by the threat of impossibility, the collective loudness of our shouts slowly dissolved into the quietness of hope and then the silence of capitulation.
Our hashtags and rallies, our loud voices of anger and annoyance were muffled into thoughts, and then after-thoughts, we no longer talked about the girls, we thought about them and we hoped. Perhaps, gravely, at this moment, our voices have died; and perhaps, even more gravely those thoughts are disappearing into nothingness and our girls are no longer our girls, but the girls of their parents.
Maybe we need to be reminded that still, as strange as it may sound, teenage girls are missing. Maybe we need to remind ourselves that they were abducted from their schools; their schools where they enrolled because they wanted a better life for themselves. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that any of these girls could be our daughters, our nieces, our sisters. Maybe we need to remind ourselves that these girls that were abducted have parents and siblings that pray everyday and cry every night because one of them have been taken, stolen in broad day light by evil men who can do whatever they want. Maybe we need to start imagining again, to start wondering again what fate could have befallen them; the lust, the gore.
Our rage should never be diluted until our girls are brought back. We should not sit and watch things unfold. Let us be angry again at the monsters that took them, let us once again press our government and make sure they do not lag because of our silence. Let us find our voices once again and shout that united shout, let us revive this dying uproar of ours. Let us not forget our girls because they indeed still are our girls!

First published on omojuwa

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