By Elizabeth Uwandu
Often times than not, we forget the aftermath of terrorist attacks, especially on women and children. What becomes the fate of girls forcefully turned into women, what becomes the fate of the likes of Alele Williams, Funmi Ransome Kuti, Chioma Ajunwa , etc who due to insurgency get deprived of education, the hope of the common man?
Rape in the Desert by Olayinka Kadiri and reviewed by Mature Tanko Okoduwa tells story of the family Baba Ahmed and Laraba, blessed with four children, Hauwa, Hadiza, Musa and Shehu that got torn apart by ravaging beasts of Boko Haram in Konduga village in Borno State,
Armed with the desire to educate all his children irrespective of their gender, Baba Ahmed who strongly believes in education sent his daughters to boarding school to allow them mature not only academically but emotionally and physically.
However, the lofty narration of bliss and comfort of the Ahmed family in 226 paged novel, published by Dagamone Nigeria Limited, changed one Friday evening when their village was attacked and that changed the course of their lives. As everyone took safety only to return days later, Hauwa and her siblings could not find their parents already killed by the helmsmen.
Left at the mercy of Uncle Mumuye who they simply called kau, the children’s lives got messier as they got separated with Musa going to stay with his mother’s cousin in Lagos. While the girls were sent back to boarding school on the meagre income made from the sale of their parents’ properties by Kau, until for them to be abducted and sent to Sambedi forest where their dignity was abused and some of them put in the family way against their wish.
Also highlighted in the novel is the inner strength of the girl child who defied odds to come out established as seen by Hauwa, the heroine who got trained to become a secret agent and was of assistance to the villagers and the larger society.
In the words of Okoduwa,” the book superbly captured the hostel life of the girls held against their will and wish by the Boko Haram terrorists’ group. Its narrative is gripping, revealing and exposing the danger of terrorism and its menace to the society.
” This book will serve as a foundation to those that want to teach Hausa language as the language was carefully integrated into the story like spices. This book will be a good read for secondary school students and tertiary institution General Studies courses, ” noted the reviewer.