A new Voice of America documentary delivers an unprecedented examination of the terror group Boko Haram and the people who are fighting back. Mostly known in the West for its abduction and continued captivity of young school girls, the group has terrorized and killed Nigerians for more than a decade.
Narrated by award-winning British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo, best known for his role as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 2014 film Selma, Boko Haram: Journey from Evil goes beneath the surface to reveal the inner workings of the group and the Nigerian government’s response. Drawing on 18 hours of secret Boko Haram video obtained by Voice of America, the documentary reveals a hidden world of torture and executions. The documentary takes the story beyond the terror, profiling Nigerian citizens who are resisting the terrorists and working to bring about change.
The ‘Queen Hunter,’ who leads patrols to track and apprehend Boko Haram fighters in their home territory, the vast, dense Sambisa forest.
A social media activist who has raised money and awareness in support of the hundreds Chibok schoolgirls whose abductions in 2014 brought global awareness and condemnation.
An amateur photographer in the conflict-ridden Borno State whose portraits of Nigerians continuing on with their lives provide arresting images of suffering, survival, and hope.
A huge crowd at the screening of VOA’s documentary “Boko Haram: Journey from Evil” at the United States Institute of Peace, November 2, 2017 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy).
“Boko Haram: Journey from Evil is unique in the history of Boko Haram coverage,” says VOA Director Amanda Bennett. “It not only covers the group and its actions, but actually goes inside Nigerian society and shows how the people have been affected. It’s tragic, certainly, but also uplifting, as you see how Nigerians are fighting to take back their country.”
Panel discussion following the screening of “Boko Haram: Journey from Evil” at the Institute of Peace, November 2, 2017 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy).
Despite being mired in conflict and nearly a decade of suffering, Boko Haram: Journey from Evil shows that the spirit and determination of ordinary Nigerians remain very much alive. “I want the world to know that our work is about rescuing people and saving lives,” says Aisha, the Queen Hunter. “We want to ensure peace and stability in our country.”
(L to R): Ibrahim Ahmed, Managing Editor of VOA Hausa Service Mobile Stream, Beth Mendelson, VOA Senior Executive Producer, and Tom Detzel, VOA Investigative Editor, at the screening of “Boko Haram: Journey From Evil” at USIP, November 2, 2017 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy).
Boko Haram: Journey from Evil runs 55 minutes. It will be available through affiliate stations and online at VOANews.com in English, Hausa, French, and other languages later this month.