It's Paul Olarewaju's Blog Again!!!: Vulnerability of The 'Almajiri' Child - (A Touching Experience)


Friday, 11 March 2016

Vulnerability of The 'Almajiri' Child - (A Touching Experience)

Photo credit:Temitope Kalejaiye
A trained journalist, Tope Kalejaye posted on Facebook this touching narrative about her encounter with an 'Almajiri' boy in the northern part of the country.

Immediately I read her words, I felt the need to share her post with you all.

She wrote:

"This time last year I made a documentary as part of my studies - a short film shot in Yola, Adamawa about the vulnerability of 'Almajiri' children and the horrifying
phenomenon of child suicide bombers."

"It was picked up for worldwide distribution by Journeyman TV.
I was again confronted by child poverty and terrorism on a recent visit to Maiduguri.
There I was greeted by a small boy with his begging bowl - so reminiscent of the boys with whom I had spent so much time filming for my documentary in Yola.
But I was shocked by what happened next, and the realisation of the profound trauma suffered by people in this part of Nigeria."
Photo credit:Temitope Kalejaiye
"As the child walked towards me instinctively I raised my stills camera to take his picture.
I hadn't anticipated his reaction ...
Panicked he started to turn and run - he had mistaken my camera for a gun.
I called after him ... explaining I only wanted to take his picture ... the camera was harmless, I wouldn't hurt him.....ofcourse with the help of Blessing Tunoh my WCE he agreed."

"He stood rooted to the spot - in fear, his breathing fast and shallow. I could see his chest quickly rising and falling. I could almost see his heart beating.
What terrible sights had this poor child witnessed to make him recoil in terror from a camera as if it were a gun?"

"Calmed, he allowed me to take his beautiful picture - the face of an innocent child bearing deep emotional scars.
It is a moment that will stay with me forever."

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