Nigerians Who Escaped Boko Haram Graduate From Texas HBCU
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue


Midala Rabi (center) and her daughters Magdaline and Sidamari (Image: Screenshot from ABC13 video)

Before the tragic story of the more than 200 Nigerian girls who were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok in April 2014 ever went viral, three women fled from their northern Nigerian home to escape the wrath of militant group Boko Haram.

[Related: More Terrorism: Diasporans React to Yola Bombing in Nigeria]

“They burned down my father’s house simply because he allowed his daughter to acquire the Western education,” Midala Rabi told ABC’s local Houston affiliate.

Midala, who was studying to get her GED in Lagos, Nigeria, would later bring her four children to America for better opportunities of safety. “I had to leave because I had a passion. I just wanted to be heard, to be seen like other women in other states,” she added.

She and her two daughters Magdaline and Sidamari ended up studying at Texas Southern University (TSU), and this month they’re celebrating completion of their studies via graduation. Magdaline and Sidamari have earned degrees in biology, Midali one in business, and they’re all graduating with honors.

“It’s not a common thing from where I come from to have mom and sister and myself graduate at the same time,” Sidamari told a reporter. “So I’m really looking forward to it.”

The sisters also added that their brother has supported the family financially since they arrived in the States and in return, he only asked that they study hard and be successful.

Their plans after graduation: Midali will reportedly help run the family business and take a break from school, while Sidamari plans to continue her education at medical school and Magdalene at TSU’s pharmacy school.

Watch more on their story via ABC 13.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.