top of page

Africans in New York City react to mass kidnapping in Nigeria

Sign for African Restaurant Week (Photo by Asabe Vincent-Otiono)

Sign for African Restaurant Week (Photo by Stephen Valdivia)


Intro- This week is New York African Restaurant week. A time when Africans in New York are celebrate cultures,cuisines. But the recent kidnapping of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria is not far from their hearts. Asabe Vincent-Otiono reports. _____________________

It’s Thursday night and the Moroccan restaurant Le Souk Harem in the village is full. As I climb the stairs. I see bright colored ankara prints, big afros and men idly standing by the bar as women sashay past them.

AMBI- My African’s are here!

It part of African Restuarant week. Over 16 restaurants take part. Akin Akinsanya is the creator of these series, He says he wanted to showcase African culture and bring people together.

AKIN AKINSANYA- Basically this event is a celebrating culture and I get really excited when I see our people dancing and having a great time.

But the mood here is slightly dampened by reports of more than 200 girls abducted by an Islamic sect in Nigeria called Boko Haram. The group name translated literally means Western Education must go.

AKINDE- TO TERRORIZE THE BABIES TO HAVE THEIR PARENTS, THEiR MOTHERS ON THE FLOOR WAILING,ITS HORRIFIC.

Nayaba Akinde is an editor and activist. The 48 year old mother says this is unacceptable.

AKINDE- We can protect our girls in school now. Someone can just snatch your child willy nilly and nothing is done.

Allegedly the girls have been sold as brides for 12 dollars each to their captors. Mutale Nkonde , a feminist advocate says she is concerned.

MUTALE- THE IDEA THAT THEY ARE BEING RAPED BY A SECT. ITS HORRIFYING.

John Campbell is the former US Ambassador to Nigeria. He said Boko Haram is a diffused militant sect.

CAMPBELL-BOKO HARAM is dependent on a literal reading of the Quran. Boko Haram argues that Western education is essentially secular and therefore anti Islam.

Under Islam women are revered but Boko Haram has a different definition.

CAMPBELL- Its prominent warlord Abubakar Shekrau has said that that women shouldn’t be educated.They should stay at home and get married.

Yoliswa Cele is one of the organizers for a demonstration in support of the girls.

CELE- My vision for it is the powerful moment of seeing young people coming together for something bigger than themselves.

The girls have been missing for about two weeks. About 6 of them escaped with no help from the government. The coverage of this by the media has been almost non existent. Cele says she is trying to create awareness.

CELE- I think its always important that when we see things are not being addressed. We as the next generation assert ourselves and make sure we are heard.

The Nigerian government has still not made any statement. Today there was a car bombing in the capital of Abuja where19 people died.

I am Asabe Vincent-Otiono, Columbia Radio News.

Comments


bottom of page