Humans of New York, a photography project started by an American author and photographer, Brandon Stanton is in Rwanda and is sharing the stories of those who survived the 1990 genocide.
Following this, some young Igbo women on twitter are also sharing stories of their relatives’ experiences of the Biafran war.
The Biafran War also known as the Nigerian Civil War happened between July 1967 to January 1970. It was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra. Biafra represented the old eastern region whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the federal government.
We curate the account of 13 women who shared what their relatives went through during the Biafran war.
With these HONY posts from Rwanda, I’ve been thinking of my family’s stories form the biafran war. My Grandma trekked from Port harcourt to Imo state during that war, heavily pregnant with my mum. There was hardly anything to eat, she didn’t believe that she’d have a normal baby.
My maternal dad lost all his properties in the war and fled with only what he was wearing. My dad’s eldest brother and first issue of his parents was never seen again. My dad lived in the bush with his mother and they ate rats on desperate days when hunger shook their body
My Dad talks about the war, they only had him and his elder brother and my grandmother was pregnant with the third child. We still hear stories but I get what you mean, Generations to come may not know any of it.
My aunty had to live in the bush to avoid been raped. One time a soldier found her out of the bush, they had to lie she had to throw my other aunty who was a new born to her to breastfeed so the soldier would find her unattractive
My father was in the Biafra Army too. He has 3 very deep bullet marks on his arm. He insist I write his life story for him for the coming generation. What he went through was extremely painful. My granduncle didn’t return home after the war & a funeral was done in his memory.
The man that saved him during the Civil War was buried 1st Dec. my Call to Bar day. He says if not for his oga-in-the-army he wouldn’t have made it out alive. He was barely 18. We should make time, listen to our parents stories & document them if we still have the opportunity.
My dad fought in the war, he’s still here. My dad was shot. So many stories about the war. I have a friend whose dad lives with a bullet in his head from the war too. We have lots of people who can tell their stories
My dad lost part of his lungs in the war and we lost an uncle that was married to an Hausa woman in the north before the war… she disappeared with the kids to protect them and the families never reconnected
My mom’s dad, supposed to be my grandfather but never met him because he got lost in the war, my mom says he never came back(still my grandpa in absentia. My dad fought for the Biafra army. no good story, nope. Eating raw corn, raw okra, to survive.
Mum always talk about how she got caught in a trap and her mummy, my grandma cried and screamed the whole day. They kept the trap till date. Also remember Mum telling me about “OJUKWU bunker “. We really need to tell these stories.
I remember the day my mom told me how they were always hungry during the war and ate leaves they weren’t sure if they were poisonous or edible – I cried.
My Grandpa was just recounting the horrors he faced running from place to place to find safety alongside my Grandma, mum and uncle. It was horrifying to hear. The hunger, the fear, the way relief materials disappeared before reaching the people. These stories need to be told.
He usually is reticent but yesterday something must have shifted. I could only imagine the trauma he faced running for his life with his young family. My mum and uncle were practically babies. None of them were even three yet. Surely, I’ll write about their stories one day.
My Dad and his older brothers were teenagers, they had to live in caves and eat all sorts of things, they witnessed children die everyday from starvation.
This is so true. My dad lost all his brothers to the biafran war, he never really talked his experience and he’s late now. These stories need to be told.