Life through the eyes of a terrorized child

December 3, 2014

Growing up as a female nomadic descendant from northern Nigeria, I knew I have to do something extraordinarily different to succeed.

I knew my future does not lie in rearing cattle or milking cow and parading through the bushes to sell.

Thanks to my ancestors for going to school and understanding the importance of putting us through western education too. This has helped a lot in making me realize that knowledge is power. When people are saying, the sky is the limit, my mother whom I  regard as my role model always tells me that the sky is just the starting point, and today I understand what she meant.

I can still recall the voices of my classmates back in school, “I want to be a doctor”, “I want to be a lawyer”, “I want to be an accountant”, “I want to be an engineer”, “I want to be a journalist”, “I want to be a teacher”… “I want to be…” “I want to be…” Years after, most of us have become what we aspired or something better, and this “I want to be” hope will continue to replicate itself in many generations to come.

Late Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” A good example is my story because it’s education that helped in transforming me from ‘Yar Fulani me, Nono, to ‘Yar Fulani a Turai.


child crying

For quite some time, something has been bothering me.

It wasn’t about me or my nomadic adventure, it’s about something I believe will be of concern to you too.

I have hope for a better Nigeria. I love Nigeria, and I am proud to be a citizen of that country. I will not hesitate to make a positive impact on my fellow Nigerians. But for once, I felt helpless.

It all started with a vision!

I saw a vision through the eyes of a child, whose dream and ambition of “I want to be…” is at stake because of the selfish acts of today!

The general feeling of helplessness in any depressing situation like this is disconcerting, as each time I close my eyes, I see this child, terrorized, traumatized, hungry and desperately crying for help; almost given up on his dream.

Siyad Ali, 2, a severely malnourished refugee from Somalia, cries after receiving treatment inside the stabilization ward in Dadaab

I cried for him then, and I still cry because I am a mother, I have brothers and sisters too, and I imagined how it would be if it were mine.

I cried because I am powerless and helpless, I can only do so little to assist, but deep down, a lot needs to be done.

I can give a voice; I can provide the little that I have if that is something, but I believe you can also give your worth so that together we can bring back hope to this child.

For, I see in the eyes of this child that children of his kind are orphaned, they are victimized, they are injured,  and they are raped, abducted, and dropped out of school.

I see in his eyes that they are homeless, they are hungry, and live day in day out in fear, and above all, they are terrorized!

I see in his eyes a bleak future, full of uncertainty.


I kept hearing about this…a child is a leader of tomorrow, but how can that child who is hungry, traumatized and terrorized understand his worth?

This is the story of one child that finds himself in every street of Nigeria!

I fear the day in which that same child will open his mouth and place a curse on the nation, but before this happens, this is the best time that you and I can help.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Elizabeth Akinbulumo says:

    I have never read any unbiased write-up like this before. Thank you for creating the awareness. Children irrespective of their backgrounds are our “greater tomorrow.” Let’s treat them well.


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