Nigeria's Stolen Daughters
On 14 April 2014, 276 school girls aged between 16 and 18 were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Northern Nigeria. They were taken by Boko Haram, a violent Islamic insurgent movement, and hidden in the vast Sambisa forest.
Following a global social media campaign around the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, featuring global celebrities and Michelle Obama, huge pressure was brought to bear on the Nigerian Government to get the girls back. Four years later more than 100 of the girls have been freed; they have been kept in a secret safe house in the capital Abuja. For the first time TV cameras have been granted access to the girls and in this powerful 60 minute documentary made by Blakeway Productions for BBC Two’s award winning This World strand and HBO Documentary Films we follow them as they adapt to life after their traumatic imprisonment at the hands of Boko Haram. We witness reunions with family members they have not seen since they day they went missing and the process of coming to terms with what has happened to them.
The Chibok Girls live in a gilded cage, cut off from contact with the world’s media and provided with education and counselling that continues as they move into government funded places at the American University of Nigeria. Their fate could not be more different to the thousands of other Nigerian women who have fallen prey to Boko Haram. In the brutalised city of Maidugari we meet some of these ‘Forgotten Girls’. They have deeply disturbing stories of their treatment at the hands of Boko Haram and their troubles haven’t ended on their escape from the forest; in Maidugari they are often treated with suspicion because of their connection with Boko Haram. Female suicide bombers have killed scores of people in the city. And for the ‘Forgotten Girls’ there are none of the privileges afforded the Chibok Girls – many live hand to mouth in the slums and refugee camps, abandoned by the Nigerian state. Nigeria’s Stolen Daughters is a moving and terrifying insight into Nigeria’s brutal civil war.
Publicity contact: MH