Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 11.29.04 AM.pngAfter seeing their mother shot and their father receiving death threats for the rest of the family, Sade and Femi are forced to leave the comfort of their home in Lagos, Nigeria and venture alone to London, England where supposedly, their Uncle Dele is waiting for them.

Sade and Femi quickly realize how difficult it can be to tell the truth. Even with Mama's proverbs popping into Sade's head, she still struggles with whether she must stand up to her bullies and fears and speak the truth or stay quiet about their identities for her father's safety. However, Sade realizes the only way to save her family is to find her voice.

Essential Questions

  1. Why can telling the truth be such a complicated decision?

States of Nigeria By Roke (Lagos, the hometown of Sade and Femi, is on the Western coast)
States of Nigeria By Roke (Lagos, the hometown of Sade and Femi, is on the Western coast)

Enduring Understandings:

  • Being a refugee

Author of The Other Side of Truth, Beverly Naido, offers commentary and possible teaching resources on her website.

Imagine how terrified Sade and Femi are. Read this CNN article or watch the video to hear the stories of refugees who are fleeing their home countries and entering the US illegally in hopes of safety and a better life.

CNN features a series of video interviews from Syrian children refugees who share their stories. WARNING: Some graphic details

See the following CNN video about 63 girls who were able to escape Boko Harem, the group that kidnapped over 200 girls from their boarding school in April, 2014. offers an excellent simulation that shows students what life is like for families/children leaving home seeking asylum.

A very thorough history of Nigeria's government from the Nigerian Embassy

"For goodness sake, Folarin, look at what they've just done to Ken! The whole world was shouting 'Saro-Wiwa must not hang!' But did His Excellency Commander-in-Chief, General Abacha, and his soldiers care? Of Course not! So what will hold them back with an unknown writer called Solaja?...What good is the truth on the lips of a dead journalist?" (10).
Discuss with the class who Ken Saro Wiwa was and what role he played in Nigeria. Then, have students write about a time it was hard to tell the truth. Why is it hard for Sade and Femi to tell the truth?
Learn more about Ken Saro Wiwa on the website created by the Ken Saro Wiwa Foundation