Episode 6: The Interview I



So, I found this interview in my archive. I remember quite all right when it was conducted, sometimes last year, by an online based medium. After they got to know about the “journal of a student-mother”. 
Reading through it again made me realize that the information in it is still as relevant as ever, I then decided to share it in this episode of the journal. 

Q: WHAT WILL YOU LIKE TO TELL THE WORLD ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR IDEOLOGY AND BELIEVF ABOUT LIFE?

I: I’m a young mother of two who believes being a mother shouldn’t hinder one’s educational pursuit. I’m also a passionate writer, an Award-winning poet and a dilettante journalist. I believe in youths’ empowerment and good leadership. In addition, I’m an aspiring Senior Advocate of Nigeria, currently studying law at the University of Lagos. I believe life is to be lived in preparation for the hereafter. Hence, I strive to live a good life and pray for a better end and the best hereafter.

Q: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND?

I: I had my primary education at Sesame Kiddies, Surulere, Lagos. Then I attended Al-Hikmat College, Alimosho Lagos, for my Junior secondary education. I later attended Sango Senior Secondary School where I obtained my Secondary School Leaving Certificate. Afterwards, I attended Marcazul Uloom, Otubu, Agege Lagos, there I obtained an Idaadiyah Certificate in Arabic and Islamic studies because I have to seek knowledge about my pristine Islam. I later got admitted into the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), where I had a National Diploma Certificate in Journalism.

Q: DID YOUR FAMILY BACKGROUND INFLUENCE YOUR GROWTH?

I: My family background influenced my growth in a positive way because, I’m from a family where knowledge is valued, especially the Arabic and Islamic knowledge. I remember my father telling us at a very tender age the Hadith of the prophet (SAW) that says “seeking knowledge is compulsory upon all able Muslims” and “seek knowledge even if it as far as China”. With that, and countless other advices and admonitions, day and night, I grew to become a lover of knowledge and a woman of so many passions and righteous dreams.

Q: AS A YOUNG MOTHER OF TWO, HOW DO YOU COPE COMBINING YOUR MARITAL LIFE WITH EDUCATION AND ISLAM?

I: Maa Shaa Allah, it has been Allah’s mercies so far. And with a supportive husband and parents who have always been there, Allah has been making it easy. My mother has been helping with taking care of the children, so my mind is always at ease to study well while at school. And my husband has been very understanding and selfless in allowing me pursue my dreams at the expense of his marital pleasures. And my father has been a wonderful backbone all the way, never ceasing his financial and moral support, and always there to admonish me and put me back on track. 

Q: IS MARRIAGE AN OBSTACLE THAT AFFECTS ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE? PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE.

I: Marriage is in no way an obstacle affecting academic excellence, this I say with all honesty. In fact, I believe it is a means to attain academic excellence because, you have more (things) to challenge and inspire you, especially a supportive spouse. By Allah’s grace, I was one of the best students during the years I spent as a National Diploma undergraduate, and I’m working and praying towards becoming one now as well.

Q: CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR HUSBAND IN FEW WORDS‎?

I: My husband is a selfless Muslim and a kind man.

Q: WHAT WERE THE STRATEGIES THAT WORKED FOR YOU?

I: Strategies that worked for me includes, leaving home worries at home or locking them in a safe somewhere in my heart as soon as I reach my school gate, and never taking school worries home, aside assignments. I do most of my serious academic works at night.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR SCHEDULE YOU ADHERE TO STRICTLY?

I: I’m not exactly a routine person, so there’s no particular schedule I adhere to “strictly” except for my after ‘Salat Adhkar’. Although, there are some things I do in a particular way most times, I gladly welcome the change when it occurs.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A DRIVING FORCE AND WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS?

I: My children and siblings are my number one driving force, they inspire me and make me strive to be among the best. My parents are my mentors, especially my father because in him, I see examples of the Prophet’s teachings’.

Q: HAVE YOU EVER REGRETTED TAKING ANY ACTION?

I: I have only deeply regretted not taking some actions when I ought to. Like, not standing up  for Islam when I should. Or not defending the rights of the oppressed when I can. And not speaking out against hateful insinuations about Islam by someone or a group of people.

Q: YOU ARE A FORMER AMEERAH OF MSSN-NIJ, WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIKE?

I: Being the former Ameerah of MSSN-NIJ was a remarkable albeit tasking experience for me. We had very little resources and even lesser or next to nothing percentage of Muslims in the school due to some internal factors in the school. However, we give all thanks to Allah that our tenure was able to thrive and hand over to another bright-minded executive who’ll ensure MSSN-NIJ survives despite all odds.

Q: WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO STUDY LAW AFTER A NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN MASS COMMUNICATION?

I: Studying Law was a dream I intended to pursue, due to some personal events and experiences in my life and the lives of people around me. However, after two failed attempts to secure admission into the University, I decided to pursue journalism, being a woman of several passions which included writing. I then decided to seek admission again, to study my dream course after the completion of my ND, and Allah gave His consent.

Q: WHO IS YOUR MOST PREFERRED SAHAABA (FEMALE)?

I: Sayyidatuna Aa’ishah – She’s my most preferred female Sahaabah because she was an epitome of wisdom, bravery and piety. She was one of the Prophet’s wives, a female scholar and also a courageous woman.

Q: YOUR ADVICE TO MUSLIM SISTERS?

I: My Advice to Muslim sisters is that they should live a good life, pray for a better end and the best hereafter. And please, get married early, it is the teaching of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Thanks for reading this episode of the journal. 

Kindly drop your thoughts in the comments box below. 

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Episode 5: Happy Belated Mother’s Day! 

Several years ago, Mom was our cook, our nurse, our teacher, our stylist, our seamstress, our friend, and above all, she was our mother, the African style; with winks, glares, spanks and even canes for going wrong. 

Although, we spent most of our childhood days with her mom, whom we call “mama”, and who was also our cook, nurse, friend and a true mother to us, that we almost never felt the absence of our mom. Mom was not always around as she was in the university then, but she comes to see us each time they’re on break in school. And if her semester break falls within the same period as our mid-term or end of the term break, she takes us home to dad, and that usually is our bonding moment, a great one at that. 

She was our cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner, preparing for us various delicacies; the “ikokore”, “ila asepo” with fresh fish, the “moi moi”, “godo”,”Amala” “Luru” among others, and by midday, she doubled as our teacher, teaching us both English and Arabic alphabets and words, in the African way though i.e with canes for every mispronounced and misspelt word or letter, those were the moments I used to dread most during those days. And she would take up the work of a stylist to make my hair into thick braids (the only style she knows how to do till date), and shave my brothers’ own with a traditional shaving tool (comb and razor; still can’t find that in recent years), she multiplied as our seamstress, sewing different types of dresses that were in vogue for us, she was also a great friend; playing with us and telling us stories, folktales and proverbs/adage late into the night at times, especially when we had to spread the mat outside in the compound for lack of power supply. She was a lot of things, yes, but above all, a mother that has the best interest of her children at heart. 

Here I am, several years later, threading that same path. Although, I’m still striving to be all that and more to my children, but not like the age-long “African-Style” mother, more like a “modern-African style” with lots of glares and scolds, few spanking and “almost never” caning. But I’m proud to be their seamstress, stylist (even though I only know how to braid like my mom, it’s not as thick as hers), friend, cook, teacher and nurse whenever I’m home.

“Ummu” (mother in arabic) as we now call my mom, doubles as mother to not just me and my siblings, but also to my children, and my little boy goes about the house calling her “mommy”, and when he sees me, he becomes the boy with two moms, both of us answering simultaneously some times, my girl knows better though, she knows one is her mom’s mom and the other is her mommy. 

So to all those mothers who multiply as different personalities to their kids; taking up various roles, despite all odds, and to those who strive to be, this is for you!

May our kids celebrate us always. 

Thanks for reading this episode of the journal of a student-mother. If it strikes a cord in you kindly drop your thoughts in the comments box below the post.