By: LaRey Wright
“Bring back our girls!” was the cry heard around the globe when 276 female students were kidnapped by a terrorist organization in Chibok, Nigeria. Even first lady Michelle Obama retweeted this statement to raise awareness shortly after the initial attack in 2014. Since the initial attack, some of the girls have been released through negotiations and some have escaped captivity. However, 112 girls have yet to be returned to their families. Now it seems the world has quietly moved on.
Daughters of Chibok is a virtual reality book that won the Lion Award for best story this year. This film gives viewers a heartwrenching look into the life of one woman who is still waiting for her daughter to return after 5 years. The town of Chibok has been encumbered with hardships since the attack. When you put on the VR glasses and headphones you are transported directly into that struggle.
This virtual reality book was produced by Norfolk State Alumn Tim Reid and it was created by Joel ‘Kachi, a man from Nigeria who was once kidnapped himself. As a survivor ‘Kachi understood the psychological trauma that the victims were enduring. He also understood the parents’ turmoil. Many parents who were otherwise healthy have fallen dead solely from the grief of the situation.
“Mass communication can be used to make a difference,” says ‘Kachi.
Kachi’ and his team never set out to win awards. They set out to simply bring awareness back to the ongoing hardships in Chibok. Since the book has started to make its way around the film circuit there have been some major changes. Policymakers are starting to take notice of the issues that are still afflicting the people of Chibok and NATO has offered to start giving therapy to the parents tortured by these traumatic events. The people of Chibok have also received electricity for the first time since the attack.
The virtual reality technology used for this book has a powerful effect on the emotions. Each scene is entrancing as you turn your head and pick up intriguing details from every possible angle. This is a growing technology that was expertly used to force viewers to empathize with a woman who is still suffering from the effects of an event which the world seems to have forgotten.