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Pragmatic Analysis of Chibok Girls. GBAMLOG.COM

Literature is so significant that it can perform a lot of functions. One of such functions definitely has to be the affective function. Literature can be affective when it aims to produce certain effects on the reader. Having established this fact, it is ideal to state that this essay aims to display the affective power of literature by conducting a pragmatic analysis of the text Chibok Girls.

The text in question has its characters and setting drawn from real life; hence, it can be described as a realistic one. It contains the investigations carried out by Helon Habila in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. The investigation revolves around the history and causes of insecurity in Nigeria. Because of the presence of the writer at strategic places that have been affected by violence instigated by the dreaded sect, Boko Haram, this text can be described as one which contains first-hand information on the prevalent issues plaguing the country.

The title of the text is significant because it captures the most notable and internationally-recognised crime perpetuated by Boko Haram — that is, the abduction of 276 school girls on the 24th April, 2014, by Boko Haram. This title, however, does not constitute the focal point of this report, rather it serves as an instance which illustrates the ruthlessness of the Boko Haram sect.

Insecurity, as highlighted in the text, is as a result of activities such as terrorism, bad governance, corruption, religious-instigated violence etc. All these issues no doubt are bound to have certain didactic or other forms of effects on the reader. Some of these effects include: pity, fear, anger, apathy, and the didactic lesson of early prevention.

Pity is one of the major effects this text has on the reader. This is plausible because ruthless and despicable acts of Boko Haram on harmless civilians will without doubt draw out the pity of the audience. A good example is how the mother of Riskatu, one of the abducted girls, is made to narrate the painful events of the day her daughter was kidnapped. This instance, surely, is significant because it captures the pain and suffering which the parents and the relations of the abducted girls are going through because of their ignorance on the status of their daughters — that is, are they alive or are they dead? Another object of the reader’s pity has to be the abducted girls who will now serve as wives and concubines of terrorists instead of being with their families and completing their education. Unarguably, the pragmatic effect of pity is brought to the fore through the theme of terrorism.

Another pragmatic effect the text will likely have on the audience is that of fear. Human beings are creatures who fear a lot of things, ranging from known and unknown dangers. In the case of this text, the reader’s fear is justified because of several reasons. One of these reasons has to be the reader’s in-depth knowledge of the activities of this sect, and another reason for the reader’s fear, obviously, is the fact that the reader is a Nigerian; hence, he is not completely safe from the violence caused by the nonchalance of the government towards small and large-scale criminal activities and, of course, violence instigated by religious extremism as seen in the way Yusuf, the elder brother of Shekau, was able to spur his followers to commit several atrocities, and also, through the Maitatsine Uprising, as described by Helon Habila in the text. Hence, one can be certain to say that the themes of violence, terrorism, religious extremism etc., are sure to instigate the feeling of great fear in the reader.

When talking about the pragmatic effect this text has on the reader, one is sure to mention anger. The reader is surely going to experience anger at the government because of their nonchalant attitude towards fighting crime and safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians. This attitude is captured by Habila in the way he narrates the transition of different government and the way they have all handled insecurity with levity. The focus, however, centres on Jonathan’s regime as president because it was during his tenure that the Boko Haram sect committed their most notable atrocity — that is, the abduction of the school girls from Chibok. The security agencies are also not innocent. Habila, through his report, captures instances where soldiers decided to collect bribes instead of arresting offenders. Surely, the callousness of the government officials and military personnel will surely emit the anger of the reader.

Furthermore on the pragmatic effect this novel has on the reader is that of apathy. Apathy in this sense means disinterest. This disinterest encompasses both religious and political participation. Because of the extreme way in which the insurgents attacked churches, many Christians, especially those living in areas in the north, will, of course, find it difficult to feel safe during church service; hence, they will end up avoiding service to God. An example of Boko Haram’s ruthless way of dealing with Christians is captured by Reverend Madu’s story on how his church was attacked. Muslims themselves are not exempted from religious apathy. Habila reports stories of clerics who were killed because they spoke against the tenets of Boko Haram. All these acts of violence against religious institutions will surely make the readers feel discouraged about religion.

Still on apathy as a pragmatic effect, one can, of course, not gainsay the fact that the activities of Boko Haram has caused a lot of people to become apathetic towards politics. This is evident in that there has been no elections in Chibok for years because of the fears of an attack by the terrorists. This political apathy will surely manifest itself in the reader because they will, without doubt, contemplate their safety during elections, and this will ultimately make them sit at home instead of voting. Another cause of political apathy definitely has to be the Nigerian irresponsible government. Helon Habila does not mince words as he reports how the government both at federal and state level have played huge roles in the current malaise of insecurity plaguing the country. Knowledge of this irresponsibility on the part of the government is likely to make the reader brand everyone in politics as birds of a feather; hence, the reader will surely show nonchalance towards politics.

Finally, the didactic lesson that can be learnt from Habila’s report is that early action by the government towards the prevention of crime is the solution to insecurity in the country. Habila draws attention to this by constantly reporting or emphasising how the various governments in Nigeria have ignored the signs of an uprising until it became out of hand as seen in the Maitatsine Uprising and Boko Haram Insurgency. Because history is deemed as a great teacher, it is expected that Nigerians (both the government and the readers) should learn from past mistakes in order to avoid repeating these errors.

In conclusion, the text Chibok Girls is one which captures the realities of people living in Nigeria. It is set in Nigeria; therefore, it may be regarded as one which will have lots of pragmatic effects on Nigerian readers. Some of these effects have been discussed in this essay; thus, proving that the text Chibok Girls is one which can be defined based on its affective powers on the reader.

Ude, Chiedozie Orji.

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The Sweetest Surprise CHAPTER 1 | GBAMLOG 

Sweetest Surprise by Cane

There is an event being held at only one school, where once a year, all the lights in the city are turned off at night for a couple of minutes, and everyone is forced outside of their comfort zone. During this time, anyone can do anything to anybody without anyone finding out.

It’s 7 PM at the moment. The venue is gorgeous; the ceiling, pitch black with little blue bulbs which are lit up like stars. In the center, there is a huge chandelier that gives off a dull glow. Beautiful tables are scattered along the room,excluding the stage. Everything would have been perfect if my friends didn’t ditch me. Wonderful, right?

We girls are all wearing gowns or cocktail dresses, while the boys are dressed in expensive suits, with matching bow or ties. This night would go along much better if I had a date. Oh well, at least my best friend, Gail is happy; flirting with her so called boyfriend. She happily smiles at my direction as I walk over.

“Angelina, don’t give me that look, I’m sorry for not accompanying you,” she looks at me with pleading eyes. I roll mine at her.

“It’s okay, be happy with your boyfriend,” I say sarcastically, emphasizing the word ‘boyfriend’.

Suddenly, Gails boyfriend -Rease- contributes into the argument. “Are you jealous of Gail not being with you, or are you jealous of me being with her?” he mocks.

Once Rease started going out with Gail, he changed. We all know how terrifying it would be if she found out that Rease is going out with other girls. In short, he is afraid of my best friend. He is such a coward. I let out a smile, and remember that he had the nerve to tease me.

I stare, shooting daggers at him. Then he laughs. “Get out of here and get your own date, so you won’t be lonely anymore. And if you don’t find a date, I’m here. I can date two girls at the same time,” he chuckles and winks, as Gail slaps him on the shoulder playfully.

“If you dare to,” she starts. “Then I wouldn’t have a choice but to leave you dead cold in the middle of the street,” she grins then starts to laugh.

“No babe, we both know you won’t do that, you can’t resist me.” he pouts.”Aww, you’re so cute.” she leans into him giving him a peck on the lips. I jokingly cover my eyes at them being lovey in public place. I then slap the back of Rease’s head.

“Hey you two, no PDA here! God, you’re so embarrassing,” After my remark, they both laugh.

“You’re just jealous, admit it already,” he teases me again.

I sigh. “Okay okay, if that will make your mouth shut. I will leave you two now, it seems like you want me out of here anyway.” we laugh.

While I give them space, I walk to the catering and look at the food. As my eyes wander among the tables of entrees, my mouth starts to water. I decide to eat now, since there’s no way I would ask a guy:

“Would you be my date? Because I don’t have a date,”

That would never happen, it’s far too embarrassing. That’s why I should eat everything in plain sight. There is still is an hour before the party starts. I need to find my other friend, Russel. I cross my fingers, hoping he is still dateless.

“Hey there, Angel,” well, speaking of the devil. I smile as I turned around to see him.

“Hey-” I stop when I see him with a girl, and my smile turns into a frown.

“Why didn’t you tell me you have a date?” I raise my eyebrow as I question him. He’s with a girl who is quite pretty, wearing baby pink dress falling above knees, hugging the shape of her body matching her silver heart shaped necklace.

Surely, Russel knows how to pick a girl.

” I just met her, her name’s Trisha. Where is your date, Angel?” he asks me suspiciously.

I start panicking. “I don’t know, I think my prince’s late, well he didn’t really ask me I think. Okay I’m not going to lie, I need to find a date. What should I do Sel?” I whisper at him. I could tell he sees the fear in my face. as he looks at the students scattered around the venue, everyone seems to have a partner.

“Well good luck, Angel. You look beautiful tonight, I’m sure you’ll find your prince. Sorry I can’t be your partner,” he smiles and kisses me on the forehead. Well, my friend is naturally sweet.

I couldn’t help but smile. “Thanks Russ, go enjoy your time with Trisha, she’s your date right?”

“If you need me I’m there,” he points to bar beside the cater. The bar has various types of drinks: pop, juice, and even tea.

“Ehem Ehem, mic test,” The principal says while holding the microphone, and standing is the small stage. “Our party is now starting!” All of the students scream happliy “Let’s start with my very long speech,”

We all grumble in unison, which made us all laugh, including the principal,

“Just joking. I want to thank you all for coming to this event, this is a celebration for upcoming valentine’s day, yes tomorrow will be the day, I want to thank my wife for taking care of me, for loving me with all your heart, I love you, and always be in love with you,” As people start to lose interest, he quickly to wraps up. “Students, enjoy this party, I made this for all of you, for my wife, and for all the couples there.” The principal in his mid thirties. Young and handsome, wearing simple white tuxedo. We all cheer as he takes out a bouquet of flowers and gives it to his wife sitting at a table.

“Wow sweet.” I said bitterly. I still don’t have a date, and everyone is slow dancing right in the center of the hall. How can I be the only one who doesn’t have a partner?

Suddenly, someone taps on my shoulder. I look in their direction, and see a pair of green eyes. I Immediately know who the owner of those eye are. “Sel? Why are you here? ” I ask, confused.

“Can I have the honor of this dance, my lady?” he takes out one of his hands.

I step closer. ” Where’s Trisha?”

“Don’t worry, she didn’t ditch me, she said we should dance with our friends and later we would meet up again,” he smiles.

“So, would you be my dance? Angel?” he says with his unrealistic British accent. He’s wearing red polo inside his black coat with matching green necktie, which made his beautiful emerald green eyes sparkle. I am wearing a red and black sweetheart dress that matches his outfit perfectly .

“Yes mister British,” we laugh. I then I take his hand, and we go to the dance floor.

We talk about the memories we share during our childhood: the amount of embarrassment we caused, and all of the fun we had with Gail, Hans, Raven, and Sean.

“Come to think of it, where’s Sean now?” I ask Russ. Sean was the one who always bullied me. Not the typical kind of bully, he is more verbal; always insulting me: my looks, failures, and many imperfections I make. You think I would ditch him, but he was very nice if he put his mind to it.

“He went to France two years ago. Remember?” he points out like it is the most obvious thing in the world.

Why didn’t Sean tell me? Am I the only one who didn’t know?

“Don’t tell me he didn’t tell you?” he says, startled. “That’s why you couldn’t come that day, when we sent him off in the airport,” I’m so shocked, that I am unable to even mutter a word. “He said you’re sick. Angel.” Russ finishes.

I don’t feel well now. “Russ, lets meet later,” I say, distantly. “Dance with Trisha now, I’m going to bathroom.”

(Play the song here===>)

I retreat from his sight. I’m more than confused. Oh my God, Sean didn’t tell me anything, and he is one of my childhood friends. As I was franticly keeping calm, I heard a click sound, and my sight was gone. God, already? I am still in the dance floor, and I don’t have any plans to be kissed by a stranger. Yet, I don’t see anything, and I don’t know which way I should go.My mind went blank, when someone suddenly grabs me. He places both hands on my waist. Once I realize he wasn’t letting go, I wrap my arms around his neck. The song is still playing, and I am starting to believe it is a wonderful night. I don’t even know who this guy is; yet I won’t say anything, since he might recognize who I am, which would ruin the magic. I sway with the mysterious man, feeling bubbly inside. He smells like expensive cologne, which is very addicting. When the song stops, everything started to happen in slow motion.

I felt his breath fanning in my lips, and in a second maybe, before he starts kissing me. I was frozen still, savoring the minty yet sweet flavor of his lips.”I missed you, Angel,” he says in a whisper. His voice was unrecognizable. I can feel my body is slightly shaking