May 4, 2014
By James H. Malgwi
Dear mum and dad,
We wish we were writing this letter in the examination hall from our imagination to an examiner as it is the custom of WAEC to test our knowledge on certain issues of life. Sometimes we smile while writing them because it’s just an imaginary adventure. But as it is now, our tears have been our food ,our last smile was before we left school only to be rolled into a truck by some fierce looking men to and unknown destination. This is not an adventure. It’s better imagined than experienced. We have read about jungles and life in the forest during our school days but little did we know that we will be here. Without a pen or a book. Nothing seem to be available. Not even a piece of paper. Our tears is our ink, the air is our paper. It’s been over two weeks now since we lost ourselves to our captors. We are sure you love us and have sleepless nights for our sake. You wonder if we are still alive or not. Sleep have not smiled at us since we left home. We miss our beds and pillows. We don’t even know where we are. The trauma has left us in pains and unable to reason well. Where ever we are, we send our love to you.
Here we are, lost in the jungle, kept in bondage by our captors. We don’t have choice of what to do or eat here. Our cries only hits the deaf ears of our captors and fades away in the thickness of the forest before it is heard by anyone. We have lost count of days. Our clothes are rags, our shoes are pieces. Everything is worn out. We are like those that were held captive by the rivers of Babylon. They were asked to sing a song by their captors but all they could do was to sit down and weep when they remember their home. Ours isn’t just a song, we stand between life and death. Our resistance is overcome by fear and torture. You can imagine how we will be assaulted sexually by our captors. Imagine how we will be forced to wash plates of food we don’t eat. We remember the advice we hear from you to keep ourselves until marriage. We have done that all this while, thinking our dreams and desire to be kept pure will be fulfilled someday. But little did we know that it will be lost to these heartless terrorist. We wish there was something we can do. But we are helpless here, like sheep waiting to be slaughtered.
We thought we are the mothers of tomorrow, taking the role you have taught and the legacies you have led for us. Could that be possible again? We think, we cry, we sing, we pray, but nothing seems appealing anymore. How shall we sing a song in such a strange land? Dad, please, don’t leave us here any longer. The torment here is unbearable. The trauma is unimaginable. We wish you can help. We are between life and death, who will rescue us? We wake up everyday with the hope to hear the sound of rescue , With the hope that someday, our freedom will come. Instead, the sound of gunshots and terror, the sight of bloodshed and impurity and the constant yelling of our innocent soul crying for freedom, has been the cycle of our experience in the jungle. Our dream, our ambitions and destinies lies between life and death. Who will rescue us?
Many things run through our minds but our little piece of paper is exhausted. There are no bookshops here in the jungle. We wake up daily, not from sleep, but from constant darkness of the forest with just a single question, who will come to our rescue to bring us back to your loving arms? We believe God will! Hope to see you soon. With love.
By James H. Malgwi