Women march for kidnapped Nigerian girls in Sandton

Metro FM's Criselda Kananda, actress Rosie Motene, singer Ntsiki Mazwai and activists Vanessa Perumal and Mapaseka Steve Letsike joined forces with Lerato Nkosi to march for the Nigerian school girls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram.

The 3 km march, which was organised by Nkosi via twitter, was from the Sandton City rooftop the Nigerian Consulate. When the crowd got to the consulate there was a little bit of chaos as the police were told the crowd would not be allowed in. Once that was cleared however, some of the organisers were allowed inside and the memorandum was read. Kananda said she felt it was important to have this march as South Africa has been viewed as “a big brother” to other African nations. “We are united in this pain and we need to work together to find these girls. If the world wanted to find these girls, they would have done so by now,” she said.

'If the world wanted to find these girls, they would have done so by now'

Thami Ngubeni from Metro FM, said it is only human for everyone to care and she was happy that so many people came out in solidarity with those mothers who have lost their children.

“One girl is one girl too many and all we need is for everyone to care,” she said.

After the reading of the memo, the crowd broke out in songs then proceeded to shout “Bring back our girls alive”! Soon after that the crowd shouted “Shame on you Jonathan”.

To this, some of the men who were part of the march took offence and said it is wrong to shame the president. Some of the women shot back at their protest and said they had the right to say that and it was what they believed. They told the men this was not the place for them to ask that they limit their feelings and words.

Prince Adesina Al-Amin, former secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, said he did not believe that the women were out of line.

“I do not see anything wrong with it. They have the right to say whatever they want. These people walked 3km in the sun to have their say,” Al-Amin said.

He said he was there because as a father, leader and security personnel it was important for him to take a stand as what Boko Haram has done is unacceptable.

“I am a Muslim and Boko Haram is claiming Islam but what they have done is not Halaal. It is the opposite – Haram,” Al-Amin said.

Other celebrities who were seen in the crowd were Melanie Bala from Metro FM, actress Samkelo Ndlovu and singer Kabomo. The hashtag #Bringbackourgirls has been trending around the world for the past couple of weeks. On Instagram people have been showing their support by posting pictures of themselves with a placard or poster that read Bring back our Girls. Last week, Nkosi (@Lavistolee), took to Twitter to ask what efforts fellow Africans were making to make sure that 239 girls who were abducted over two weeks ago would be found. On Monday she sent tweets to activists and public figures appealing to them to do more. She suggested they march to the Nigerian Consulate in Sandton on Election Day and “#vote #Bringbackourgirls”. Within a matter of hours she had solid responses and her vision would soon become a reality.

“The news had been splashed all over the newspapers but still nothing was being done. The world was aware, Africa was aware, the leaders were aware but they were doing nothing. “I used twitter to mobilise a movement. They believed in the same thing and within a matter of days we had organised this march,” Nkosi said. The struggle, according to Nkosi, is for human dignity and the rights of children and she said this was something they had to fight for.