The routine of a nine-year-old girl in the days we live in is not far from the following – watching Disney Channel, dressing her dolls, helping her parents with some chores at home and possibly doing her homework, but a certain nine-year old by the name of Splendour Joe King decided to add a complete different spice to her routine.
She left the norms of psychological behavior and went for an activity more challenging than just picking out an outfit for her doll or doing the dishes.
She is helping to tackle a societal issue with a very ugly head. This societal demon in called Terrorism. Young Splendour Joe King has written a book titled ‘’Effects of Terrorism on Children’.
Splendour got inspired to write a book on terrorism as a result of her past experiences. She had visited one of the Refugee camps housing displaced persons in Kuchingoro, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (in Nigeria), in company with her father, Mr Abisoye Joe King and Senator-Elect Ahmed Abubakar.
During her visit to the camp, she got the opportunity to meet with the refugees and also interact with the children going through tough times.
As a result of this meeting, Splendour became so passionate about this national problem and realized it was time for her to use her words to let Nigeria and Nigerians know that the time to completely eradicate terrorism had come.
She could clearly see the horrible effects of terrorism on the children. She could relate with their fears and plight to some extent. Afterall, she is still a child.
It is no longer news that Boko Haram is the main terrorist group terrorizing Northern Nigeria. Founded in 2002, they have been maiming and truncating lives with reckless abandon for 13 years. Now, that is a long time. The Second World War only lasted 6 years.
Splendour Joe King was born during the Boko Haram era and had grown used to seeing and hearing words like bombs, suicide bombers (sometimes they were little girls), killings and so much more.
This child grew inquisitive and took interest in this aspect of life and decided to embark on a journey to help her country find a solution to this ugly issue.
When asked why she chose to write a book on Terrorism, this was what she had to say: –
These terrorists we see today were once children like us. I want to catch children young now, so their lives won’t be miserable in the future.
Therefore, in the book, Splendour defined the lexical item ‘’Terrorism’’ and stated the different types of terrorism. She additionally clarifies why individuals go into terrorism and how it influences honest kids.
She also went ahead to give an insight of what the inner and outer world (physical, mental and spiritual) of a child looks like in a unsafe society clearly not suitable for the proper development of children.
In the book, she tells the story of a chance meeting with a kid she met in the camp who was a casualty of terrorism. She saw the unpleasant psychological effects of terrorism on youngsters and walked away the sad knowledge that these experiences will stay with many of them for life.
Splendour also proffered solutions as to how the government and the society should handle and fight terrorists and violence, pleading with Government of the day to ensure that kids can develop and live free from terrorism and its negative impact.
Perhaps to be in a good position to advocate for children, Splendour hopes to become a Lawyer in future and has announced that she would be starting an establishment for kids and casualties of terrorism, which will shield them, train them, provide them with grants and take care of their physical and psychological issues.
For a nine-year old, this is impressive to say the least. She saw a problem and decided to something about it.
Wherever you find yourself, there is something you can do. After complaining on social media, roll up your sleeves and seek ways to be part of the solution. Africa is waiting for you. So stand up and be counted!
This story was contributed by Ngozi Ichoku. She lives in Abuja, Nigeria
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