My name is Hajia Habibat Abdullahi nee Shaibu Onuakpa, a woman of many parts. I was born on 20th August 1976 to the family of Alhaji Shaibu Onuakpa and Madam Asmao Shaibu of Ejule, Ofu local government area of Kogi State. My mother was my most cherished person of inestimable value but I lost her. And having lost my mum so early in life in a polygamous home, I had to square and spread my growth with my elder brother who was then working in Maiduguri, Borno State. He became a foster mother and later, father. I am number five in a family of seven, two men and five women. I am in the strategic position of number five where, both in character and look, I resemble my mother. Presently, both of them (my father and mother) are late.
My early education started from Saint Mathew Primary School in Ejule, Ofu Local Government, Kogi State, then it involved obtaining primary 6 certificate before you consider going to secondary school. From there, I proceeded to receive my secondary school at Government Day Secondary School, Egume. After my secondary education, in 1994, my brother wanted me with him because my mother was no more, he didn’t want a frustrating situation because sometimes, many stepmothers are not lenient with their stepdaughters. I am saying this today unequivocally that most child developments in some families are retarded because of polygamous lifestyle. In Maiduguri, while staying with my brother, I wrote JAMB and in 1995/96 set, I gained admission to read Mass Communication and graduated in 2000. Since I didn’t want to be affected by my being an orphan, I started selling zobo, meat pie and moi -moi to augment the efforts of my elder brother, who suddenly became the father and mother of the family of 10 all together. It is the desire to be able to rise to all occasions that informed my being enterprising in life till date.
I am happily married to my husband, Alhaji Abdullahi. He is a loving and kindhearted husband and I wish others to have such. In this very complex society of ours today, such kind persons are very rare to come by. I pray to Allah that the quality he saw in me that has brought us together doesn’t wane.
Advice To Other Women
One thing I discovered in life since I grew to adulthood and I want to share with other housewives is that, it’s wives that create unnecessary situations for suspicion between husband and wife. Once you learn this basis, you are good to go. As a Muslim, it is clearly stated that a man can marry as many as four wives based on the extent to which his means can accommodate, so, why do women worry about their husbands marrying other wives? If you believe that the home belongs to both of you, why again do you create vacuum for suspicion? Be honest to your husband and you have all.
I fear disappointment, most people who have confidence in you may tend to shift ground because of disappointment. ‘You again’, is what I dread. People should be able to defend you in character even when you are not around.
Because I did not grow up with my mother to guide and chart the proper way of life for me as the case may be, I would not want people to look at me as a wayward child, a person they would say lacks home training. I remain confident that as long as life remains in me, whatever my mother was supposed to have done for her family that early death did not allow her to achieve, I will do.
When I was in Maiduguri as an undergraduate, my lecturers pitied me. I was trained not to attach my success in life to any one in particular and that informed my being enterprising. During my undergraduate years, my lecturers were sympathetic with me when they heard about my story- no mother, no father; they became more interested in my matter. Prof Umaru Pata, Mallam Mustapha Umoru, Abubakar Muazu and Mallam Liman Danjuma Gambo were all there for me.
My late father, Shaibu Onuakpa, was a successful businessman. We grew up to know that whenever you have N100, you could make some money out of it. I discovered that when you buy bread for N100, you could sell it N120, which was how I gained the experience.
Combining Profession With Family Life
My husband understands the workings of a journalist and that does not disturb him. The most important thing is for you to remain focused and never step beyond the freedom given to you by your husband because of the nature of your job.
I initially wanted to read law but I was handicapped because looking at my situation, I could not afford some books required. People are saying I would have been a good lawyer but here, I am a Mass Communicator.
I am a staff of Radio Kogi because of my passion for journalism. I believe that working in an employment position is the right of all irrespective of gender and as such, nothing will stop me from exercising this right so that I can contribute my quota to societal growth and development. I draw my inspiration from late Alh Abu Onaji, a veteran broadcaster, former GM of Radio Kogi, who said journalism, was his life, handled his job with passion and kept faith with God.
How are you different from others?
I live my life my own way, I don’t believe in trends.
Mrs Eugenia Abuh is somebody I revere so much. Each time I seat down in the office to work, I see the energy, intelligence, doggedness and above all, commitment to duty being exuded by her. How she combines her official duty with domestic matters without clash thrills me. When I was growing, I had it at the back of my mind that I would like to be Eugenia Abuh.
Volleyball, reading and cooking.
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