Helob Haliba To Narrate The Anguish And Sufferings...

Helob Haliba To Narrate The Anguish And Sufferings Of The Kidnapped Chibok Girls In His Upcoming Novel

Only a few days ago, some (21) of the over 200 girls kidnapped from a government secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria by the militant extremist group Boko Haram on April 14, 2014, putting their parents and the entire community in disarray. This action cascaded into a worldwide outcry by individuals and groups from different corners of the globe, an outcry that birthed the hashtag, bringbackourgirls.

George Mason University Associate Professor and novelist Helon Kabila, uses a journalistic approach and a first person narratives to give a back story that involves stories of Nigerian colonialism and religious conflict. He retells the story of the Boko Haram kidnappings with references employed via personal accounts from the girls families.


On April 14, 2014, 276 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in northern Nigeria were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the world’s deadliest terrorist group. Most were never heard from again. With compassion and deep understanding of historical context, Habila tells the stories of the girls and the anguish of their parents; chronicles the rise of Boko Haram and the Nigerian government’s inept response; and captures the indifference of the media and the international community whose attention has moved on.

Employing a fiction writer’s sensibility and a journalist’s curiosity, THE CHIBOK GIRLS provides poignant portraits of everyday Nigerians whose lives have been transformed by extremist forces. Habila illuminates the long history of colonialism–and unmasks cultural and religious dynamics–that gave rise to the conflicts that have ravaged the region to this day.

Helon Haliba