The Poignant New Novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, is
Based on the Chibok Abductions – An Event that Sparked a
Global Campaign Involving Notable Activists Such as
Michelle Obama and Malala
Ric Speaks with Award-Winning Nigerian Author
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
In the middle of the night on April 14, 2014, the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped more than two hundred girls from their school dormitory in Chibok, Nigeria. The abduction of the “Chibok girls” received worldwide media coverage, sparking a global Bring Back Our Girls campaign involving celebrities from Michelle Obama to Malala. So far, 107 of the Chibok girls have been found, rescued, or freed in negotiations between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. More than one hundred remain missing.
Born, raised and residing in Nigeria, author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani conducted countless interviews with the Chibok girls to write the poignant new novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree. The book tells the story of a young Nigerian girl who dreams of a new pair of shoes, a university degree and a husband. But her dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by the terrorist group Boko Haram. She is taken with other girls into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told.
In addition to those from Chibok, Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of girls across northeast Nigeria. According to Nwaubani, “I wanted to write a story that would enable the world to see these thousands of kidnapped girls not just as numbers, but as the curious, ambitious, and lovely daughters whom their families wanted to see again. I wanted the world to know how irreversibly their lives changed since the kidnappings and understand that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.”