MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – One Murfreesboro woman is watching the situation involving the kidnapping of a group of Nigerian school girls especially closely.
Kathy Onwu, Miss Africa USA 2013, just returned from a month-long trip to Nigeria. Onwu travels to Africa several times a year to do medical missions and promote education through her non-profit organization.
Onwu was born in Tennessee, but has dual citizenship. She still has family members who live in Nigeria. Onwu, said this last trip was different. She witnessed more violence and said natives were visibly scared.
“To see something like this happening, it’s sad,” said Onwu. “To know these girls want an education and they are being used as blackmail. It’s really sad.”
A new video believed to be from Nigerian terror group Boko Haram surfaced Monday. It shows more than 100 kidnapped Christian girls praying, and the Islamic terror group’s leader saying the girls have converted to Islam, and will be held until imprisoned militants are freed.
The girls were taken after completing final exams about three weeks ago.
Onwu said the support and interest in the situation in the United States means a lot. She hopes it brings attention to a serious issue.
“I just pray and hope that something will come out of this in a positive way,” said Onwu. “These girls deserve an opportunity.”
Onwu said the situation won't keep her from returning to Nigeria again soon. Onwu will continue to serve as "Miss Africa USA" until August.