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Illustration by Simone Martin-Newberry

A 15-Year-Old Nigerian Student Lends Her Voice to the Fight Against Boko Haram With Graphic Novel

Aisha Mustapha's graphic novel about her experiences under Boko Haram was published today for International Day of the Girl.

Aisha Mustapha, is a 15-year-old student from Nigeria, using her voice to tell her own story. The young writer recently penned a graphic novel about her experience fleeing Boko Haram, locating her family and trying to further her education. It's a heavy subject, obviously, but with her graphic novel, she offers a voice for young people directly affected by the crisis in Northern Nigeria.

The book was published today to mark the International Day of the Girl, a day established by the United Nations in 2011 to "highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights."

Aisha's talent for storytelling has previously been highlighted in Assembly, a by-girls-for-girls publication by the Malala Fund that brought Aisha's graphic novel to life, premiering it today in conjunction with International Day of the GIrl. Tess Thomas, Assembly's editor, elaborated on the purpose of the publication saying, "We believe in the power of girls' voices to generate change. Our publication provides girls with a platform so their opinions and experiences can inform decisions about their futures."

Aisha's words were illustrated by artist Simone Martin-Newberry, who had this to say about the process of creating the visuals for the graphic novel: "I was very moved by Aisha's story, and really wanted to treat it sensitively and do it justice with my illustrations. My aim was to capture the real emotions and actions of the story, but also keep my artwork bright and colorful and full of pattern, to help reflect Aisha's amazing youthful spirit."

Check out some excerpts from the piece below and head here to read it in full.
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Singer turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine arrives for a press conference, held at his home in Magere in the outskirts of Kampala, on July 24, 2019. (Photo by SUMY SADURNI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bobi Wine Supporters Arrested Following Government Ban on Red Berets

Wine says the Ugandan government's ban on red berets—a symbol of his People Power movement—is a "sham" intended to quell the opposition and undermine his run for president.

The Ugandan government has arrested six of Bobi Wine's supporters following a ban on the wearing of red berets—a symbol of the opposition leader's People Power Movement, Reuters reports.

Earlier this month, the government claimed the headgear as "property of the state," restricting it to military use, and warning civilians caught wearing them that they could be arrested and prosecuted under military law.

Joel Ssenyonyi, a spokesperson for People Power, told Reuters that the six young supporters were detained during a news conference in the suburb of Kabalagala on Friday after the police stormed the event. They intended to speak out against the ban. "The youths were emphasizing that we commit no offense when we wear these berets," Ssenyonyi told Reuters. "The beret, it's our symbol. When we wear those berets we identify not just with People Power but with the cause for a better Uganda."

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