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This is that generation, and we’re right here by Ijafiada Benhirki


Name: Ijafiada Benhirki

Country Representing: Nigeria

what inspired you to enter the ultimate storyteller contest?

I was inspired by fear, as ironic as it may sound. Each country on our continent has a thousand and one challenges, however in my country, things as basic as the right to live or the right to speak freely is considered treason. It is masked well beneath the façade of democracy.

Speaking our reality in any form that criticizes our government is a ‘threat’ to the state. I choose to speak the truth in the face of it, come what may. Entering the Ultimate Storyteller Contest for me is a rare privilege and I believe that every voice matters. And thanks to this platform, I finally have the courage to want to be heard.

what does storytelling mean to you?

I sometimes imagine what life might look like if I couldn’t speak. If I didn’t have a voice for some reason, either by nature’s choice or some other doing. There are many in that category, but we should never call them disadvantaged because every single person under the heavens has a story to tell. An artist, a songwriter, a doctor, nurse, or farmer…basically, everyone!

Storytelling to me is living out loud and by that, I mean sharing and living my life like tomorrow doesn’t exist and isn’t guaranteed (which of course, it isn’t). It’s in the memories you hold dear to your heart, the pictures you share, post or comment on, the travel experience, the marches and protests and my favorite of the lot — it’s in the stroke of a pen.

why did you choose the story you told in your first submission?

I chose this particular story because for the longest time, I have battled post-traumatic stress disorder. And while I don’t have actual battle scars; staring death in the face, being unsure of my next breath – it is something I have lived with since the sad encounter on that fateful day in 2018. Africans, or should I say Nigerians, don’t really believe in counselling or outlets that let your feelings show. That doesn’t really fly where I’m from so I’ve had to pretend for the longest time that I was okay. But I know that many Nigerians like myself live that horrible reality each day, especially in recent times when crime rate has been on the increase. No one is safe.

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208 thoughts on “This is that generation, and we’re right here by Ijafiada Benhirki”

  1. Samuel Oluseyi Bolarinwa

    This is the generation! They know it, they feel it, they see it.. They are trying all possible to put us down but we need to “soro soke”. Never let our voices drown in the midst of all the propaganda. Big ups Jafu!

  2. Okechukwu Divine Peniel

    This is so inspiring big sister ❤️….keep up the good works…God will always give your voice greater platforms and you will touch the nations.

  3. Congratulations Ijafiada, this is indeed where we are in our beloved nation. I see the great need of Grace intervention. This is wonderful and reviling.
    More face for greater impact!

  4. Great story. Hope this generation shall change the narratives. Many young like you shall make the difference. Keep it up.

  5. Rebecca UJames Yohanna

    Waoh!!! What an inspiring piece 👍🏽👍🏽♥️ keep soaring high and higher dear 💞we are proud of you.

  6. George CHUNGA Otiende

    Much as we are competing, I must admit that I have admired your zeal today; we were with you down at number ten but you have battled you way up… I am from Kenya with the Umoja Band story but I have given you a vote in the spirit of healthy competition…
    Wish you well… Hope we will all make it to the semi final stage.

    1. I am brought to tears and I am truly humbled and grateful. Thank you so much and I wish us all the best in our endeavors. You have inspired me.

  7. This is a painful but realistic description of where we are in Nigeria. May God have mercy on us.
    Jafu, this is heart touching. May God turn this to prayers to save Nigeria🇳🇬

  8. The story is breath-taking, presented from the heart oratorically with courage, precision and record- breaking demonstration of agony,fear and pains arising from injustice, insecurity and bad governance of the day. Jafu you are an iconic brains and beauty. Keep making us proud dear

  9. What a breath-taking piece!
    Quite incisive!! Thanks for doing us proud dearie. God bless your future!!!

  10. Dr. Grace Iyabo Osuman.

    This is a Story spoken in Poetry. Though Frightfully experienced but Beautifully told. Well done my daughter. Remain Blessed.

  11. This is soo inspiring speaking about what is happening in our country at the moment. Go girl the sky is your starting point

  12. May Heaven hear your heartbeats in this story and provide resounding solutions for you, your generation and posterity in Jesus name.

  13. It is so amazing…gushhhhhhhhh I love spoken words but this one is mind blowing and inspiring and it’s also an eye opener of the shitty things that are going on in this country…woooowwwww

    1. I am so so grateful guys. I don’t take it for granted, not even the tiniest bit. Thank you for all the support and yes, this message very much needed to be said!

    2. Keep soaring girl…beautiful story. All things work together for our good. The sad event of 2018 have become a beautiful story…proud of you dear

  14. Wonderful/amazing effort my daughter. Keep riding on and remain focused on your dreams, the sky is your stepping stop. Congratulations and all the best.

    1. This is so Inspiring! God bless you, my dear Ijafiada, and yes this is the bitter Truth. More grace and more inspiration.

  15. Dauda peter biye

    Many books have been written and many citations have been taken from them. But not every book is special and not every quote is worth reading. To save you some massive amount of time, i have created this selection as one of the most beautiful write ups of all time. Enjoy reading! And if you enjoy reading write ups have a look at these, kudos to you

  16. Beautifully and courageously said Jafu !! You’re an inspiration to a lot of us.I am very proud of you. God Bless !
    Uncle Sam Nggilari.

  17. Bala James Nggilari

    Awesome Ijafiada! You are truly an inspiration to your generation in these last days of the last days. You will continue to move from glory to glory and from greater to greater heights IJMN! This uncle is proud of you!

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