Chika Oduah is a writer, poet, photographer and journalist known for her news coverage across Africa. Her reporting goes beyond the headlines to explore culture, conflict, history, spirituality, human rights and development to capture the complexities, hopes and everyday realities of Africans and people of African descent. She is an alumna of the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop led by acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, VICE, National Geographic, the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Quartz Africa and other news media outlets. Chika is one of the few reporters who have worked in northeastern Nigeria where the Islamist extremist organization Boko Haram was established and continues to operate. Her nuanced coverage of Boko Haram’s jihad has shed light on the multi-faceted nature of the insurgency.
A work of creative nonfiction Daughters of Bloody Soil is Chika Oduah’s coming-of-age story as a journalist traversing across one of the most complex countries in the world – Nigeria – to witness the uprising of the designated terrorist organization Boko Haram which has killed more than 300,000 people so far. Yearning to connect with her beloved homeland, American-raised journalist Chika Oduah relocates to Nigeria and finds herself tracking Boko Haram’s ongoing war against the Nigerian government. The narrative chronicles Chika’s exclusive access into the heartland of Boko Haram, following her interactions with women whom she meets along the way and whose lives have been forever changed by the insecurity. Chika, then, must make tough decisions to decide how far she will go to cover the insurgency. Compelling conflict reportage woven around a tender first-person narrative, Daughters of Bloody Soil captures a young woman’s search for the soul of a nation in a time of unrest.