Every time the US government pokes its nose into anything, my knickers go in a bunch. The US government, popular media, Hollywood and every dweeb on my news feed. When everyone and their mother hop on a bandwagon; any mofo’ing bandwagon- especially those that have to do with children, and Africa, I get worried.
Concerned, when I find out that – all this time – the cure for breast cancer lay in #nomakeupselfies. Or that a league of pedophiles could convince half my friends list to change profile picture into a cartoon character, to, uh.. was it, curb child violence? And then the infamous KONY2012 that made me roll my eyes from the onset. Not to mention all the social media activism incentives gone wildly stupid.
This post so far invokes the presupposition that I don’t want to #bringbackourgirls. Wait, whose girls? I digress. I must clarify that the girls should be freed, indeed. This is a cruel injustice. However, I would like to mourn as well, with the 200 villagers murdered last week when the same group (I hold reservesation with throwing around the term ‘terroists’) razed an entire village, whom didn’t qualify for a hashtag campaign. Not to mention the 300 who were killed, proximally in a market massacre by the same group. My Nubian brothers and sisters in the Central African republic, in Kenya, in Somalia, in Sudan, Algeria and Angola, who breathe their last in ethnic genocides, and conflict errday; no hashtag, no selfies.
And thus, I couldn’t help but wonder, why an embarassing number of people who couldn’t even place Nigeria on a wolrd map, somehow feel that staging themeselves next to a #bringbackourgirls sign, and posing, steadfastly, could compel noteworthy change. As a Kenyan female who possesses no constitutional rights accorded to Nigerians to participate in their democratic process, I’m afraid my influence is miniscule. However, at the very least, I will not urge for American military power, to address this issue. Because it seems, American intervention in Africa is only ever bad news. Libya, Anyone? It makes me wonder whether there is an agenda behind this all, a greater political incentive, a plot twist where Western media suddenly gives a fuck about WOMEN in a third world AFRICAN nation.
I thence, do not condone Western powers, especially the American government to barge itself in African affairs. Because I am aware that if I partake in this, I might be funneling a bigger problem. I would be complicitly collaborating in a military expansionist agenda on the continent of Africa. And even though my global politics comprehension is wanting, I feel that this campaign is currently only legitimizing America’s encroachment and military presence in Africa. Especially in a resource-rich nation as Nigeria.
I hate to end this way, but I’m sure there are solutions. Let’s not use this hashtag to exercice self-actualization. Or ownership. These are not my girls. These are not your girls, America. Let’s stop romanticizing this problem. These are their parents’ girls. Their community’s girls. Their nation’s girls. Girls with unique identities. Girls whom you probably never gave a darn about before. Be honest with yourself: your like and share has not freed African children. And they are not ‘yours’.
These girls need to be returned home to their families and communities.