Women attend a demonstration calling on the Nigerian government to rescue kidnapped schoolgirls of a government secondary school Chibok, in the capital, Abuja. The kidnappings by Islamic militants have captured world attention, trending on Twitter. Photo: AP


Durban - The abduction of more than 200 Nigerian girls last month by Islamist militant group Boko Haram has unified outrage from around the world and inspired campaigns.

The girls, aged between 16 and 18, were kidnapped from their boarding school in the north eastern state of Borno.

#BringBackOurGirls started trending on Twitter after news of the kidnap broke. Nigerians are demanding their government take action against Boko Haram.

Social media campaigns have started across the world. Rock That Crown, which is behind the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, is urging women to wear a headwrap today to raise awareness and pray for the kidnapped girls.

South African women have joined in this movement, promising to wear their headwraps in solidarity.

Thandeka Khuzwayo from Durban, said: “This is very sad, I can’t imagine it happening to anyone I know so I will be wearing my headscarf, and it will be green which also symbolises hope.”

Carmen Smith said she would wear a headwrap. “I think this is terrible but the international support that it is getting is a good sign, I will wear my headwrap as often as I can until the girls are found.”

The campaign for more action to be taken to rescue the schoolgirls has attracted growing attention on social media. Figures show the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, which was first used on April 23, has generated more than 360 000 tweets and retweets so far.

Of the 160 000 tweets from users who specify a location, more than half have come from Nigeria, followed by the US, the UK, South Africa and other countries, according to Crimson Hexagon data.

Pop stars such as US singer Mary J Blige and the UK’s Jessie J have tweeted from their accounts, generating thousands of retweets.

Sunday Tribune