I was born in Daura town on November 28, 1961. I started primary school at Kano State in 1967, 1968 and completed my primary education in Daura from 1969 to 1973. I proceeded for my secondary education at Government Girls Secondary School, Kankia, from 1973-1978, and then proceeded to School of Nursing, Katsina, from 1978 to 1981.
In early 1982, around February, I got married and left Katsina to Kaduna and then to Sokoto State with my husband. I started working there from 1984 to 1990 but before then I had my School of Midwifery Certificate, Post Basic Midwifery in 1988.
I returned in 1990 and joined the Katsina State government service after it was created from Kaduna State in 1987. I had a transfer of service and was posted to maternal and child health clinic, Kofar Sauri, and from there I was posted to General Hospital, Katsina. Thereafter, I was taken to Ministry of Health as coordinator Women in Health in 1997, and by year 2000, I went back to school at ABU Zaria, department of community medicine, where I read Community Health, a diploma course from 2000-2001.
I returned to the office at Ministry of Health, Katsina, and was later redeployed to State Primary Health Care in 2005.
I later went for another degree course which is BSc. Community Health, American University, Benin Republic, from 2010 to 2013. I equally have a Masters Degree in Public Health.
I was coordinating UNICEF activities on malnutrition from 2002 to 2019. I was coordinating any activity that involve nutrition with donor partners like UNICEF, Save the Children, Hellen Keller International and so many donor agencies coordinating nutrition activities. I retired in 2019 and got appointed as commissioner for Women Affairs in the same year.
When I was growing up, I had two teachers, though they’re both late now, they were my mentors. I remember I always hanged around them because I really wanted to be ahead in class. I normally go to visit them at home and will hang around even when they are busy. I remember one of the teachers very well, I’ll wait while she cooked and would ask her questions afterwards. These practices helped me get ahead in class.
I have another mentor, her name is Haija Nana, she was a director in the Ministry of Health. She believed in me so much that she recommended me for transfer to the ministry from the General Hospital even when there were more qualified staff ahead of me.
I also worked with the executive secretary after the creation of the State Primary Health Care. He was really down to earth and supported me a lot.
The support of these people really helped in moulding me into who I am today and I will never forget them.
During my final year in secondary school, I had a friend whose sister was in School of Nursing and I admired her a lot. I liked her uniform back then because they used to wear their gown and cap, and that enticed me so I decided to be a nurse. I told my parents about it, some of my relations discouraged me but my parents and elder brother supported me.
So, I eventually went ahead and attended the nursing school and eventually became a qualified nurse.
DO YOU FEEL FULFILLED WITH ALL YOU’VE ATTAINED IN LIFE?
I always pray to Almighty Allah for blessings because if I look back from my primary, secondary school to School of Nursing, I always thank Allah. I don’t know about now because I have not seen some of my mates since our secondary school days down to the School of Nursing. We were not many but when I look around it looks like I am a champion. So, I always thank Allah for that.
I lost my parents and I feel a lot of pain anytime I remember them because they did not enjoy the fruits of their labour. My worst fear was that my parents would not be around when we start making money so we can appreciate their good work for training us but they died before that could happen. There is nothing we can do now but pray for them.
You must face challenges as long as you’re alive. You will have situations where people you worked with may not appreciate what you are doing, they will even accuse you. I had a mate that accused me when I was posted from General Hospital to Ministry of Health. There were a lot of issues at that period, I had challenges even with the senior officers, but still I made it.
As at today, I have so many plans for the women in Katsina State because I want every woman to be engaged and self-reliant. I don’t want to see any woman begging around the street or hawking, I really hate that. If I have the opportunity, 100 or at least 80 per cent of women in Katsina State will be self-reliant.
The COVID-19 pandemic has really slowed things down but, nevertheless, we are still trying to empower women in the state.
We have given palliative and support to 10,000 women to go and establish themselves (2000 women in each LGA). We are planning to really empower them to be self reliant.
I advise every woman to try and be self-reliant. They should stop depending wholly on their husbands for their daily need because the man would get tired of such hand outs one day.
This is why we are trying to empower women and stop street hawking and begging in the state, so, every woman would be self reliant in each ward.