In ‘Beneath the Tamarind Tree,’ award-winning journalist Isha Sesay follows a group of kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls who made it home

 
(Courtesy of Isha Sesay / Dey Street Books)

(Courtesy of Isha Sesay / Dey Street Books)

 

Kidnapped from their dormitory beds by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014, the 276 girls from Chibok, Nigeria made headlines around the world. But so little is known about these girls and their experiences — until now.

In “Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram,” award-winning journalist Isha Sesay follows a group of Chibok schoolgirls who made it home. Isha introduces readers to Priscilla, Saa, Mary and Dorcas with firsthand accounts of the kidnapping, their years in captivity, and the resiliency and sisterhood that helped them survive. 

As a CNN reporter, Isha was on the ground in Nigeria to report on the kidnapping in 2014 — and was the only journalist to accompany 21 of the girls back home. Her new book builds on that reporting and offers analysis on the Nigerian government’s response to the kidnapping, what was lost in the international coverage of the incident and why we must not forget the girls’ stories. 

Isha shares with Assembly readers an excerpt from “Beneath the Tamarind Tree.”





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About the author

Omolara Uthman is a Malala Fund editorial intern and student at Johns Hopkins University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing and food photography.