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Our thoughts to you are winging

#bringbackourgirls #Nigeria

It was 16 degrees Celsius this morning as I made my way to Sandton City, a suburb in Johannesburg South Africa where I would join other concerned global citizens on a 3kilometers protest march against the abduction of nearly 300 teenage girls in Nigeria, to the Nigerian Consulate in Illovo.

It was one of those eerily quiet bus rides, not that I had a seat companion to chat with, but I found that I didn’t have the words nor the strength for those musings and silent exchanges that goes on in ones head. My mind was blank. I was still numb.

Unconsciously, I massaged my temples, as though restoring blood circulation to a numb joint. Willing the heaviness away.

A rollercoaster of emotions washed over me.

Reading and listening to the reports on the daily news, it dawns on me that my beloved country is under siege from within and our girls are taken as spoils of a war we haven’t yet fought but are fast loosing.

The insensitivity of the Nigerian government is not something that is new to me or any other Nigerian for that matter; time after time, their actions and inactions have proved to us that they don’t just care! But nothing ever prepared me for the utter lack of humanity that the Nigerian authorities displayed in the wake of this despicable incident.

It is most upsetting not only because these attacks are brazen in their very nature but because as a woman who resides in a country that has zero regard for the life, safety and wellbeing of women and girls in particular and its citizenry in general I feel very unsafe and uncertain about the very next minute.

A country where teenage girls are forcefully removed by the dozen, from the warmth, safety and love of their family and homes and the powers that be are able to go to sleep. Having the effrontery to showup for work the next day as though it is business as usual.

The monstrosity of these events has not escaped the notice of the international community as the world has united in a singular purpose, to #bringbackourgirls.

They may comeback scared, but they will heal. We, concerned global citizens will hold hands with them and heal alongside them. We just want them back.

As I joined the most memorable walk I probably would ever go on today, I felt the first flicker of hope ignite inside me. We are not alone.

We marched on, chanting songs of solidarity and outrage and pain and hope and love. Holding placards with different messages. Pledging our support for the safe return of these girls. Our daughters, nieces, aunties, friends, cousins, sisters. Future mothers.

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan was called out on his sluggishness and what appears to be a cavalier attitude towards the abduction of these girls as there were chants of “Shame on Jonathan” by protesters in the premises of the Nigerian embassy as we awaited a response to the memorandum submitted to the consular general on behalf of all protesting.

As the crowd gradually dispersed, I pondered these questions: have I done enough, am I doing enough?
I do not want to protest another blatant act of human rights violation, I want to vote these corrupt and incredible leaders out, start holding them accountable, I want to begin demanding what is due me as a human, a woman, a citizen. I want to be proactive. Will you join me?

Reflecting on the events of today, the imperativeness of the internet and unhindered access to it, social media and freedom of speech is further impressed upon me. Owing to this alone, the global community was able to get a whiff of what is truly going on in Nigeria and take steps towards helping out.

Everyday that has passed since these girls were first taken, I hold a silent vigil and join my heart and voice with those of others the world over for the safe return of these sheros to their families.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

#bringbackourgirls#Nigeria
#bringbackourgirls #Nigeria

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Funmi Akerele's picture

bringbackourgirls

hello sister,
When we asked ourselves if we had done enough for a cause, the answer most times is in our spirit, is in our voice, is in our strength and most importantly in our beliefs. Everytime we rise for a cause and fight or talk about it we are not only lending our voice but a part of us that believe in the just of the cause. To you and to everyone who came out to lend your voices and beliefs, the sky holds the effort of your impact and in the very near time, the rain will fall; the cause will be justifiably fulfilled.
Thumbs up sister

Founder,
Pink Ambition
Blogger,Author, Coach,Speaker.

http://www.pinkambition1.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/pinkambitions

Hi Vweta,

As I read your journal, I can almost say I am walking along with you in those feelings of hurt and despair further pushed to the extreme by the feeling that all you may be doing, the protests, the memorandums, the twitter feeds, the facebook likes, the petitions, the YouTube Videos and all that has transpired on ground ad online in this demand for action from our Government and World Leaders.

I felt the same way when this all started because I have been ill and unable to join the protest back here too. However, I was motivated to join the online actions I could join in, signing petitions, posting on Facebook and Twitter, making a YouTube video and sharing my thoughts with the World Pulse Community of sisters and brothers. We must not faint! Hardly one action is enough in itself!

I commend your support with the protest from South Africa, in fact your news and the pictures I see here make my heart glad. While we know that the protests are not immediately rescuing the girls, the global demand that has arisen from all the concerted efforts of ground protests and online petitions have put tremendous pressure on our Government to step up their rescue mission for the girls. What's more? World Leaders from the USA, UK, France, UN and many others are sending vital support systems to strengthen the rescue mission for the girls. It's still a long shot! But, it's a lot of way forward from where we began over three weeks back.

Please be encouraged to keep speaking and demanding action, our voices count!

In solidarity,
Carolyn Seaman
Girls Voices
www.facebook.com/girlsvoices
www.twitter.com/girlsvoices1

Carolyn Seaman
Girls Voices
Abuja-Nigeria
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/girlsvoices
Twitter: https://twitter.com/girlsvoices1

Greengirl's picture

Dear Vweta

You are amazing! At that, a true Nigeria who set aside her personal and primary pursuit in a foreign land to take on a patriotic cause. More Grace and strength to you!

Since the horrenduos abduction took place, I wake up and go to bed each day asking myself thesame unanswered question- Where do we go from here? For days running, words have failed me as gory details of unabated onlaughts continue to filter out on a daily basis.

Just yesterday, I cried and wailed and could not sleep after watching a portion of one of the several videos being churned out by the insurgents. It once again jostled me to the reality of the tragic situation we have found ourselves in as a nation. I have not siezed to wonder about the manner of efforts the Nigerian goverment has been making to rescue the girls and end the reign of fear and terror that is spreading like wild fire. It leaves much to be imagined! There are so many unanswered questions, and I know too well that many Nigerians would have come to terms with the sad reality that so many things have gone wrong in the country.

We will surely keep hope alive and trust God for the rescue of these girls and many others like them. Thank you for sharing your affirming and reassuring words!

Blessings,
Greengirl

Netsai's picture

Your Voice is a prayer

Hi Vweta,

Your voice is as clear as day, you have spoken, your voice my dear is of spirit, not broken, a fighting spirit. A spirit or mind cannot be broken especially when it does the work. You like all of us can only do what is possible, to speak out, that on its own is a struggle and by the many voices i see on this platform, we are all fighting the good fight, I applaud you all. You are courageous, when our girls come home, they're coming home to love that on it own is healing......May our fighting spirits be prayers that God can hear....It will be well

Soumya Vilekar's picture

we are with u in spirit

Even though I stand far away, thousand miles from your country and land, I can feel the intensity of the pain and the vulnerability of the people who are facing such problems there. Its the test of humanity at such times and the test of our courage and perseverance.
The will that you showed and the zeal to initiate is more to bring the results once the efforts get unified and strong.
Those girls are the girls of the world and its the responsibility of every indivdual to try his /her effort for it.
God bless,
Soumya

kirthijay's picture

Hi Vweta! You have written

Hi Vweta!
You have written out a beautiful post! I felt one with you as you described the efforts in activism - and that really is what unites us all! Keeping the faith for those wonderful young girls to be freed soon.
In peace,
Kirthi

Nabiye Tal's picture

Thanks for this piece sister!

Dear Vweta,
Your writing is so clear and loud. I admire your courage and your love for country Nigeria. It is quite unfortunate that in Nigeria, we have leaders who do not care about the masses so long they and their children and other family members are fine and safe. I quite agree with you that it is high time we hold accountable those we voted for, those who represent us in these leadership positions, they promised to protect and provide for us but they forget after they get our votes. It is sad how the Boko Haram insurgency have continued to grow despite all the efforts of our military. Hopefully with help from the US, UK, France, China and Israel, we hope this will end soon and we want our girls back and alive. Thanks once again sister for raising your voice.

Nabiye Tal,
Founder/CEO- IEVAWC.
@nabiye, @ievawc

Bheki's picture

An unthinkable tragedy

Dear Vweta,

Thank you for your posting on this travesty that has captured the hearts and minds of people worldwide. Yes, it is true that the internet holds great power for bringing these types of atrocities to the attention of people across the globe. It is so critical that we work diligently to make the internet widely available to women so that their voices may be heard. I know there are many lessor crimes against women that occur each day that never are reported.

I can only imagine the terror and despair that these young girls are experiencing. I will continue to hold the girls and their captors in my heart and hope that something will move the kidnappers to return the young girls to their families. Each one of us can do more, and through joining our hearts, we are able to make a much bigger impact. Thank you for all you are doing.

In solidarity,
Bheki

Dear Vweta,

I read your post on the edge of my seat. I was impacted and inspired by what you wrote. I loved reading your thoughts as most of what I have read about the kidnapping of the schoolgirls has been in the Western media and so it was great to actually hear from a Nigerian woman who has first hand knowledge of Nigeria and the climate there. Your words are strong and brave and have made me want to know so much more about Nigeria and its government and their track record. I am glad you felt some hope by the end of the march. It gives me hope for our world in general - and for the school girls kidnapped in particular - that there are people like you fighting on their behalf and protesting against the government's inaction.

I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Best wishes,
Julia

Mary S's picture

Hi Vweta Thank you for

Hi Vweta

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

The abduction of those girls is terribly sad, and I very much hope they will be found, and that there will be an end to all the violence going on in Nigeria at the moment.

You ask if you have done enough - and I would say yes! As individuals we cannot solve all the world's problems on our own, but raising awareness of events and keeping up the pressure on governments and other organisations is an important part of the process, and will hopefully lead to positive changes in the future.

Best wishes

Mary

binapatel33's picture

You!

Vweta, what a great writer you are, as I was reading your story, I felt as though I was there with you! Great job with expressing yourself in this piece. I agree with you, more can be done to help the women, and unfortunately you cannot rely on the Nigerian government. Keep up the good work and strong spirit my friend!

Bina

Kind Regards,
Bina Patel
hc Mediate, LLC
www.hcmediate.com

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