Iman Sulaiman-Ibrahim was born in Jos, Plateau State but hails from Keffi in Nassarawa State. Her father was late Engr S.K Danladi, and her mother, Aishatu Sulaiman Danladi. Iman attended Aruwa Nursery School, Jabi Primary School, now called LEA Primary School, Jabi and Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Bwari, Abuja before proceeding to the University of Abuja, graduating with a BSC. Sociology at the age of 19. She is a certified SAP HCM consultant. She is married with children.
My name is Iman Sulaiman-Ibrahim. I was born in Jos Plateau state to Engr S.K Danladi, whom we just lost three months ago, and an educationist mother, Aishatu Sulaiman Danladi. I hail from Keffi in Nassarawa State, but I was raised here in Abuja. My father was part of the team tasked to build the city of Abuja. I watched him serve this country, building this beautiful city.
My mother was a work-from-home mother, she always did things that added value around her. Both of my parents inspired me. We are eight siblings in the family. I am the second child of the family. I am married. I have three kids.
I attended Aruwa Nursery School. It was the only nursery school in Abuja then. I was in nursery for just one year and they promoted me to primary one, I was one of those gifted children. I then went to Jabi Primary School, now called LEA Primary School, Jabi. It was also the only primary school then in Abuja and it was very good. I moved to Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Bwari, Abuja. It was a great experience as it was my first time of living away from home. It was a school that had value systems and operating structures. I cherish the sisterhood. I attended the University of Abuja, graduating at the age of 19 with a BSC. Sociology. Here I made lifelong relationships. I moved to the UK where I got my MBA and MA in Management and Human Capital Development.
After my NYSC in NNPC, Kaduna Zonal office, I worked briefly at the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) before moving back to the UK with my husband, with the intention of doing my PhD, which I haven’t done up till now because I did other things that caught my attention.
At the UK I got certified as SAP HCM consultant. I worked briefly in the HR function, then stumbled onto Mary Kay Cosmetics. I rose to become a top Senior Sales Director, the only director from northern Nigeria in the company of over 3.5 million Sales Force globally. I ran my Mary Kay business for 11 years. My experience in Mary Kay strengthened me internally, externally and eternally. It was a training field for me which I knew would polish my skills that will set me apart for greatness.
There are many of them, in my primary school I remember Mr. Lucky, a Ghanaian who was also our lesson teacher at home. He was very instrumental to my success especially during those early years. He was passionate about teaching. In my secondary, I remember Mr. Aliyu, he went beyond being our Hausa and IRK teacher to becoming our guardian. He gave us a lot of security as a family friend. There was also Mrs Fojule who now teaches at American International School, Abuja. There was also our principal at FGGC Bwari, late Miss A E Uwanaka, she is unforgettable. She didn’t have children of her own but we remained her children. She protected us. She had a lot of values that she transferred to us. At the university, Dr. Usman stands out very clear, I still call him father(Babana).
Just like every kid, I had many. Initially I wanted to be a lawyer because I love justice and fairness. I felt discouraged because I had stage fright. I also dreamt of being an engineer taking after my father, looking at my mother, a great teacher, I wanted to teach to be like her. I also wanted to be a pilot, because I love to travel. But ultimately, I just wanted to serve and provide solutions for people, I just wanted to help people, I like to add value.
My advice is that women should hold on to their faith and values and ensure they pass them on to the next generation. Women are main actors in building and shaping any nation. We must dedicate ourselves to raising a generation of positive and grateful children who are committed to smart and hard work. I want to use this opportunity to encourage women to support other women and be part of others success story.
In the last 16 years of my life I have been extremely busy, but what I have learnt is that you have to learn to delegate. You have to be great at your time management and a master planner. It is not easy. Sometimes some things will suffer. You must learn to manage your expectations and teach people around you to do the same. I tell people around me to remind me of certain things I need to do, I also set alarm to remind me. It is really challenging balancing work and family commitments.
I am a very positive person. To be honest with you, I have never failed in anything I did, I have only learned. Sometimes I have had bad experiences, things didn’t go the way you planed, but I always take out the lessons. I look at the positive side and I am always grateful to God for the experience because I know there is something good in that experience for me.
I am going into politics.
I have been inspired by a lot of people, from my parents to those who have put others before themselves and made the world a better place.
I have zero tolerance for negativity and mediocrity because I belief excellence is possible.