A movie in Nigeria remembers the Chibok ladies kidnapped 10 years in the past, and unites heartbroken households


ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Not a day goes by with out Lawan Zanna remembering his daughter Aisha in prayers. She was among the many 276 schoolgirls kidnapped 10 years in the past when Islamic extremists broke into their college in northeastern Nigeria’s Chibok village.

“It makes me so indignant to speak about it,” mentioned Zanna, 55, whose daughter is among the many almost 100 ladies nonetheless lacking after the 2014 kidnappings that shocked the world and sparked the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls social media marketing campaign.

The Chibok kidnapping was the primary main college abduction within the West African nation. Since then, no less than 1,400 college students have been kidnapped, particularly within the conflict-battered northwest and central areas. Most victims had been freed solely after ransoms had been paid or by government-backed offers, however the suspects hardly ever get arrested.

This yr, to mark the tenth anniversary of a largely forgotten tragedy, members of Borno state’s Chibok group gathered Thursday in Nigeria’s financial hub of Lagos to attend the screening of “Statues Additionally Breathe,” a collaborative movie venture produced by French artist Prune Nourry and Nigeria’s Obafemi Awolowo College.

“This collaboration goals to boost consciousness concerning the plight of the women who’re nonetheless lacking whereas highlighting the worldwide wrestle for women’ schooling,” Nourry mentioned.

The 17-minute movie opens with an aerial view of 108 sculptures — the variety of ladies nonetheless lacking when the artwork venture started — that attempt to recreate what the women appear to be as we speak utilizing photos offered by their households, from their facial expressions to hairstyles and visual patterns.

The movie captures the creative course of behind the artwork exhibit, first displayed in November 2022, that includes human head-sized sculptures impressed by historical Nigerian Ife terracotta heads.

Within the movie, one of many freed ladies talks concerning the horrors she went by whereas in captivity. “We suffered, we had been crushed up. (However) Allah (God) made me stronger,” she mentioned.

It additionally conveys a flurry of feelings as heartbroken moms reminisced about life when their daughters had been residence.

“When it’s time for Ramadan (…) Aisha adorns my hair with henna and all kinds of adornments,” one of many ladies within the movie mentioned of her lacking youngster.

However Aisha has not been residence in 10 years.

One other scene reveals a girl hesitating when requested to go and see her daughter’s face that was sculpted. “If I am going and see it, it can deliver unhappy recollections,” she mentioned, her weak voice fading away.

Nigerian authorities haven’t completed sufficient to free the remaining ladies and people who have regained their freedom haven’t been correctly taken care of, in response to Chioma Agwuegbo, an activist who was a part of the #BringBackOurGirls marketing campaign.

“We have now normalized the absurd in Nigeria,” Agwuegbo mentioned of the college kidnappings in Nigeria. “10 years on, it’s an indictment not simply on the federal government however on our safety forces and even on the residents themselves.”

Analysts fear that the safety lapses that resulted within the Chibok kidnapping stay in place in many faculties. A current survey by the United Nations kids’s company’s Nigeria workplace discovered that solely 43% of minimal security requirements are met in over 6,000 surveyed faculties.

Based on Nnamdi Obasi, senior adviser for Nigeria on the Worldwide Disaster Group, “the fundamental safety and security preparations in faculties are weak and typically non-existent,” including that army and police personnel are nonetheless “very a lot insufficient and overstretched.”

Authorities hardly ever present updates on efforts to free the Chibok ladies. Nonetheless, a few of the freed ladies have mentioned up to now that these nonetheless lacking have been forcefully married to the extremists, as is commonly the case with feminine kidnap victims.

A few dozen of the Chibok ladies managed to flee captivity since early 2022. All of them returned with kids.

“I believe we shouldn’t even take into consideration them anymore,” mentioned one of many Chibok moms within the movie. “I really feel like they’re already gone.”

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Comply with AP’s Africa protection at: https://apnews.com/hub/africa



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