TY Bello narates her heart-wrenching experience with a traumatized Borno child

Ace photographer TY Bello recently returned from a 6-day visit to Borno State where she spent time with soldiers, civilian JTF, volunteers and Internally Displaced Persons. She saw for herself the unparalleled destruction Boko Haram terrorists have brought upon the people living in that area and has been sharing photos/stories to educate people on the problem some Nigerians in the North are facing. This is from a photo session she had with a child who has “seen things she shouldn’t have”. Read what she wrote below…

“I woke up at 3am and for some reason I started to stare at one of my sons .I changed my angle a little and in the dark ,it seemed his face had morphed into that of little Ba’aye ,the first girl I photographed at one of the camps .I don’t know if it’s because Ive found it difficult to get good sleep since I started making these images or simply because they both have rounded foreheads but It’s amazing how children look alike .

But then it came to me .. That look on her face .. I’d never seen on anyone her age ..this little girl had seen things she shouldn’t have !! Visions of her kept me awake ..she just stared harder and harder at that corner. When asked if she remembered anything about how she left her home in Bama she strongly affirmed ..”I don’t want to go back home “. When asked why, she replied ..”It’s not a good place”.No matter how different children’s personalities are.. They really are just big babies .. the 2 to 4year old living through this crisis isn’t blessed with ‘special ‘powers to ‘handle it’.

I tried to put my sons in the context of everything that has happened in Borno and it became even clearer to me how broken and terrified she and countless others must be .Children are children and War is Wrong.Whats more wrong is having a narrative about the situation that leaves them out …We must remember the children .They need us to . #tybellophotography #portrait #internallydisplacedpersons #Nigeria”

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