Days of Their Lives

Stories From A Summer in North-East Nigeria

Category: Borno


The Lecturer

After graduating from the University of Maiduguri in 2003 with a degree in Public Administration, Christiana Stephen was posted to Bodinga in Sokoto for the mandatory-one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. There, she began teaching the women something else she learned while in school – making beads, dresses and other small-time domestic craft. ‘My […]


The Children of Borno

In 2014, Umar was a 300-level Geology undergraduate of the University of Maiduguri. His love for education had made him continue with his education after completing a diploma in Surveying & Geoinformatics at the same university. To pay his fees and cater for himself in school as well as support his four younger siblings, he […]

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The Interview

In 2014, Maina Bwala was in Lagos for an interview to be the representative of a pharmaceutical company that wanted to expand its operations in the North, specifically Niger State. When the interviewer found out that he had lived all his life in Maiduguri, the hotbed of the insurgency being orchestrated by the terrorist group, book […]

The Elasticity of Yakubu

The smile on 27-year old Yakubu Abana’s face gates his cumulative anguish. As Nigerians were celebrating the triumph of democracy in the 2015 general elections and electoral observers were wondering how an incumbent had lost the presidential elections to a serial challenger, his family was mourning.  His father, Pastor Abana Pogu had been killed just […]

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The Credit Alert

In the larger of the two dimly lit rooms of a photocopying and computer business centre somewhere in the heart of Maiduguri, eight women sit waiting – a few of them cradling their babies in their arms. As the minutes approach an hour, their smiles become creases. The uneasy silence in the room is punctuated […]

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‘Porridge Mom’

Before 2014, Lydia John, then a 32-year old mother of six would fry yams, potatoes and akara, then sell to the people of Gwoza in Borno state who ate peacefully, wiped the oil off their mouths and came back for more. A few months into 2014 however, she lost many of her customers then lost […]


The Landlord of Maiduguri

“At the peak of the insurgency crisis in 2013 and 2014, we had so much business coming in that we had no time to eat”, says Usman Ahmad Balarabe Ahmad Geidam, one of Maiduguri’s most popular realtors in his office on Damboa Road. There is no power and the lighting in the office is very poor, […]