Would you risk your life to help a stranger in danger? Would you deny yourself a good life in order to change your society? I found myself asking these questions while I read through Alexis Okeowo’s “A moonless, Starless Sky”. She tells the stories of ordinary Africans like you and I living in dangerous terrain. Every page drips with emotion and my chest hurts from the raw pain & hurt experienced by the characters. .
Her book tells the tale of War, Extremism, Terrorism & Slavery using countries in Africa like Uganda, Somalia, Nigeria and Mauritania. Alexis sheds light on these issues by telling the stories of real life characters like Eunice from Uganda captured to be a child bride, Biram of Mauritania who is constantly fighting against slavery, Aisha from Somalia who wants to play basketball but keeps fighting against societal norms & Rebecca who was one of the Chibok girls captured by Boko Haram. There is a common theme in all the stories. I came across a bit of history which I found a little tiring. Otherwise, the stories are great. .
In the end, one realizes that almost all the African countries share similar “drama”. A denial of the real problem by the government and sometimes immediate coverup as soon as same escalates to full blown disaster. There is so much going on around us that we do not know. It’s either not good enough news for the media or suppressed to “avoid panic”. These stories are true and some of them are still ongoing. I found myself asking how we got here when I read the account of some of the Chibok Girls.
I think everyone needs to read this book. Some of the character’s stories are yet to be concluded. Some of them might never get the happy ending they deserve. Notwithstanding, it’s worthy of note that they are fighting and alive. If you have read this book, please share your thoughts below.