Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog



bring back our girls




MAY 4TH, 2014






What took the world so long?




Like so many others I am glad to see more people around the world take up the issue of the school girls who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago from Chibok in the north east region of Nigeria. I am relieved to see people of different backgrounds, in my social media feeds join the #WhereAreOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters conversations in solidarity with the grieving families of those missing girls. Celebrities including Chris Brown, Keri Hilson and Mary J. Bilge have contributed their support to the #bringbackourgirls campaigns.

But even as the rest of the world finally gets around to paying attention to this story, we should consider this an apt moment to pause and reflect on how we write about conflict in Africa, young girls and how the western media tends to render female children invisible not just by a lack of coverage, but in the language we use to talk about them.

For two weeks, the plight more than 200 girls was barely covered in the western media, which led me to wonder if there are gendered notions of African children that deserve protection from African conflict. African boys seem to have received the lion’s share of western preoccupation when it comes to conflicts on the continent. A google image search for the words “child”, “conflict” and “Africa” are mostly images of male child soldiers holding semi-automatic weapons. Many people familiar with conflict know of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, or the boy soldiers of “Invisible Children” of Uganda. Perhaps boy child soldiers invoke a western fascination with the myth of African males, who naturally brutish and violent and are easily coerced into killing one another because, “primordial hatred”. But do many people know that in 1996 in Aboke, Uganda, more than 100 school girls between the ages of 13 and 16 were kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army? That many of them were rescued by their school mistress? That it took almost ten years to get most of them back? I have not heard much mention of the Aboke girls at all in coverage of the missing Chibok girls.GEJProtestpic

Beyond lack of coverage, I questioned on Twitter the language we use to talk about girls who are abducted in conflict situations. News media reports said that a number of the girls have been “sold as brides to Islamic militants for $12” Is it appropriate to call these girls “brides” or “wives” in our reporting just because the militants may refer to them as such? In scanning the Nigerian media, I did not see the words “brides” or “wives” feature as heavily as I did in Western reporting.

There is nothing remotely resembling marriage in what has happened to these girls. In my view, these girls are not brides, but rather they have been trafficked and sold into nothing short of slavery. Imagine if the world headlines read, “235 Children in Nigeria Kidnapped and Sold Into Slavery”, I would bet reactions would be swifter and stronger. If the reports are true, it is very likely that the girls will be forcibly used for sex, perhaps in addition to cooking, cleaning and other types of labor for the militants. Is this not slavery? When do we use the term “child slave” versus “child bride” for African girls?

I reiterate, I am glad that the world is finally taking notice of the Chibok girls. On the other hand, I do grow nervous when overly sensationalized coverage of children in African conflicts in the West go the way of #kony2012. While the language we use to talk about these girls must do the utmost the horror of their plight, but that in our eagerness to “say something” we do not marginalize them further.GEJPhoto

Images by Zachary Rosen, taken at yesterday’s #BringBackOurGirls protest, Washington DC.






MAY 4, 2014





An AMAZING display of solidarity from Atlanta, New York, DC, Philly, London and back to Nigeria. Men, women and children showed up in their Gele’s (headwraps) for rallies and protests today in an effort to push for more coverage and aid in finding the abducted Nigerian girls. #BringBackOurGirls

(These photos are not mine, they are photos from the twitter. Please feel free to tag anyone you may know that is in these pics).

(via teewhitethewriter)






Sunday, 04 May 2014





Names of abducted school girls

in Borno state released

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Sunday, released the names of the abducted female students in Chibok by the Book Haram Sect.  The National Christian Body, consequently, demanded N50m as damages as well as overseas scholarship, for each girl from the federal government.

 This comes as The Head of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) National Office, Mr Charles Eguridu, on Friday night, told a gathering of women that included the First Lady, wives of state governors, among others, how the state governor pressurised WAEC to conduct examination against its will at the Government Secondary School where girls were abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

Eguridu told the meeting that WAEC was initially reluctant to conduct examination in the area because of the security challenges but had to succumb when Shettima assured the council in writing that adequate security would be provided.

A Statement signed by the President/Founder of Old Time Revival Hour, Kaduna & immediate-past chairman of Northern States Christian and Elders Forum (NOCSEF), an affiliate of CAN, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye gave reason for the attack on Chibok girls’ high school.

“Chibok Local Government is 90% Christians. Majority of the girls abducted are Christian! Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok Local Government? Why didn’t they visit so many other Local Government Girls Secondary Schools in Borno State?”

While demanding for those girls in Senior Secondary School, SSS, one and two to be transfered to schools of their choice, CAN called on faithful across the country to pray for their release. 

Owojaiye said for “Daughters of Zion taken captive, to be treated as slaves and sold into marriage to unclean people. Abomination has been committed. 

“Raise lamentation to High Heavens. What a shame on the Church of the Living God.

“The Church in Nigeria is hereby called to A Lamentation Prayer. 

“Every Christian home must raise a lamentation to heaven daily. Let God arise and defend his Name, Honour and Majesty.

“Let a 15 minutes cry to heaven be done in every Church every time they gather. Oh God, Rend the Heavens and come down!

Why should the people say where is our God? 

“The Military may not be able to solve the problem but prayer will. Ordinary Military force may not get them out! Intensive Agonizing Prayer will.”

CAN added that there should be a concrete plan by the federal government after the recovery of the abducted girls.

“We make the following demands of the Federal Government whose duty it was to protect the innocent girls.

“First, a N50million damage as trauma compensation to each girl.

“Second, a preparation to take each girl to an overseas University on Government scholarship by September 2014. Preparation for that must start now! 

The names as released by CAN.

“Here are the names of our daughters.

T”hese are the Christian Girls:

1 Deborah Abge Chrstian

2. Awa Abge ”

3. Hauwa Yirma ”

4. Asabe Manu ”

5. Mwa Malam pogu ”

6. Patiant Dzakwa ”

7. Saraya Mal. Stover ”

8. Mary Dauda ”

9. Gloria Mainta ”

10.Hanatu Ishaku ”

11. Gloria Dama ”

12. Tabitha Pogu ”

13. Maifa Dama ”

14. Ruth kollo ”

15. Esther Usman ”

16 Awa James

17 Anthonia Yahonna

18 Kume Mutah

19 Aisha Ezekial ”

20 Nguba Buba ”

21 Kwanta Simon.

22 Kummai Aboku.

23 Esther Markus

24 Hana Stephen.

25. Rifkatu Amos

26 Rebecca Mallum

27.Blessing Abana.

28. Ladi Wadai

29. Tabitha Hyelampa.

30 Ruth Ngladar .

31 Safiya Abdu .

32 Na’omi Yahonna.

33 Solomi Titus .

34Rhoda John

35 Rebecca Kabu

36. Christy Yahi.

37. Rebecca Luka.

38. Laraba John

39 Saratu Markus.

40. Mary Usman.

41 Debora Yahonna.

42.Naomi Zakaria

43 Hanatu Musa

44. Hauwa Tella

45.Juliana Yakubu.

46. Suzana Yakubu

47.Saraya Paul.

48. Jummai Paul

49. Mary Sule

50. Jummai John.

51.Yanke Shittima.

52. Muli Waligam .

53. Fatima Tabji.

54. Eli Joseph.

55.Saratu Emmanuel.

56. Deborah Peter.

57.Rahila Bitrus.

58. Luggwa Sanda.

59. Kauna Lalai.

60. Lydia Emmar.

61.Laraba Maman.

62.Hauwa Isuwa.

63. Confort Habila.

64. Hauwa Abdu.

65. Hauwa Balti.

66.Yana Joshua.

67.Laraba Paul.

68.Saraya Amos.

69. Glory Yaga.

70. Na’omi Bitrus.

71. Godiya Bitrus.

72. Awa Bitrus.

73. Na’omi Luka.

74. Maryamu Lawan.

75. Tabitha Silas.

76. Mary Yahona.

77. Ladi Joel.

78. Rejoice Sanki.

79. Luggwa Samuel.

80.Comfort Amos.

81. Saraya Samuel.

82. Sicker Abdul.

83.Talata Daniel.

84. Rejoice Musa.

85Deborah Abari.

86. Salomi Pogu.

87.Mary Amor.

88. Ruth Joshua.

89Esther John.

90. Esther Ayuba.

91. Maryamu Yakubu.

91. Zara Ishaku.

93. Maryamu Wavi

94. Lydia Habila.

95. Laraba Yahonna.

96. Na’omi Bitrus.

97.Rahila Yahanna.

98. Ruth Lawan.

99. Ladi Paul.

100 Mary Paul.

101. Esther Joshua.

102. Helen Musa.

103. Margret Watsai.

104. Deborah Jafaru.

105. Filo Dauda.

106. Febi Haruna.

107.Ruth Ishaku.

108.Racheal Nkeki.

109. Rifkatu Soloman.

110.Mairama yahaya.

111.Saratu Dauda.

112.Jinkai Yama.

113.Margret Shettima.

114.Yana yidau.

115. Grace Paul.

116. Amina Ali.

117. Palmata Musa

118. Awagana Musa

119. Pindar Nuhu

120.Yana Pogu.

121. Saraya Musa

122. Hauwa Joseph.

123. Hauwa kwakwi.

125. Hauwa Musa.

126. Maryamu Musa.

127. Maimuna Usman.

128. Rebeca Joseph.

129.Liyatu Habitu.

130. Rifkatu Yakubu.

131. Naomi Philimon.

132.Deborah Abbas.

133. Ladi Ibrahim.

134. Asabe Ali

135. Maryamu Bulama.

136.Ruth Amos.

137.Mary Ali

138. Abigail Bukar

139 Deborah Amos

140. Saraya Yanga

141. Kauna Luka

142. Christiana Bitrus

143.Yana Bukar

144. Hauwa peter

145.Hadiza Yakubu.

146.Lydia Simon

147. Ruth Bitrus .

148.Mary Yakubu

149.Lugwa Mutah.

150 Muwa Daniel.

151 Hanatu Nuhu

152. Monica Enoch.

153. Margret Yama.

154.Docas yakubu.

155. Rhoda peter

156. Rifkatu Galang

157. Saratu Ayuba.

158. Naomi Adamu.

159. Hauwa Ishaya

160. Rahap Ibrahim

162. Deborah Soloman.

163Hauwa Mutah

164. Hauwa Takai.

165. Serah Samuel.


Below are the Muslim Girls.

166. Aishatu Musa.

167. Aishatu Grema.

168. Hauwa Nkeki

169. Hamsatu Abubakar

170.Mairama Abubakar.

171 Hauwa Wule

172. Ihyi Abdu

173. Hasana Adamu.

174. Rakiya Kwamtah

175 Halima Gamba.

176. Aisha Lawan .

177. Kabu Malla

178. Yayi Abana.

179. Falta Lawan.

180. Kwadugu Manu.










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