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14-year old Zainab* is from North East Nigeria.

Life was good before the conflict until someone came with his gangs in 2009 and destroyed the state. Innocent people were killed causing many problems in the society. Girls were taken as hostage.

One of my friends, her parents stopped her from going to school as they thought education was not important. So now she is married. She felt sad but she had to endure it. She is pregnant now.

It makes me sad because every child has a right to education and freedom. Education protects girls because girls can also be the leader of tomorrow. It’s important for girls to be listened to because girls are also human beings.

Read Zainab's poems below.

I am an African Child.

Young and bright and free

I play on fields of sunny hopes

And feed on dusty dreams

 
I am a child of Africa

Young and bold and bright

I think a million sparkling thoughts

And wish on shooting stars

I do not want your pity

For I am not a helpless pup

I do not want your charity

I do not want your prejudice

For that is your prison, not mine

You will not be a goat.

You will not be a goat

Where anyone can buy or use you for basic satisfaction

Listen to me

You will not be a goat

Where you flogged for minor things

Where you are crying and no one answers or listens to your problems

Read more poems written by girls from Nigeria.