Posted in journal

Congratulations Momma!

I received a whole lot of congratulatory messages the other day. It wasn’t my first, and I felt the same way i’d always feel when ever I’m being honored with some accolades; I felt incomplete, as my babies weren’t there with me still. This time however, my lil’ man was, his sister was in school and quite far away.

I had just graduated from my college of first instance, the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), where I had a National Diploma certificate in Mass Communication; that which qualifies me as a trained journalist here in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). I’d completed my studies in NIJ since year 2015, but the institute just had it’s convocation where we all (up to 5 sets) graduated at once.

It was a moment of great joy to find my name as the only student who held distinction from my set, and I was awarded the overall best graduating student in the ND category of the year 2015. I knew I had put up a whole lot of academic works while I was a student there, a lot more than I am doing in my present course of study, but I wasn’t exactly pursuing the distinction. I simply knew I had to put in my best, which I did then. It was actually my first challenge to prove some people wrong, based on some events while growing up. I’m glad I scaled through it.

I remember having my second baby the exact day I submitted my project for final approval of my supervisor, Mrs M. Popoola, a very straight and supportive woman. It seems like just yesterday, yet that baby has grown into a lil’ man.

My kids are not old enough to know what exactly this mean, and every other times I’d been awarded for one reason or the other, I would think about them and say to my self: for you lil’ Nobles, all for you. Patiently I await the days they would know what it all means, and they would be spurred to do more than their momma. My mother remains my number one role model and everything I have achieved and would still achieve, I owe it to her, next to God.
Again, some things are bound to keep you up when so many others are asleep; Dreams to pursue, projects to plan, assignments to complete, books to study, calendar to update, and a bunch of other stuffs. You don’t get to sleep when there’s just so much to do and your day is filled with just as much. Keeping up with this journal is one of such things for me.
Really been a long while here though and I have more keeping up to do, despite that I do the whole keeping up in my mind, I never get to get them published on time. My plate has been so full in recent times; I just started a new business brand, and there just never seem to be enough time for so many things. Just wanted to put this up, as it is the most recent and another awesome experience to keep afresh at all times.

Now, I have exams to prepare for, but before then, I hope to enjoy the remaining hours of this weekend with my little treasures. This week is set to be really tasking, and I pray myself and my friends all the best in our exams.

Amen.
Thank you for reading.
Kindly drop your thoughts in the comment box and remember to follow this blog for more updates about the student mother.

Cheers

!


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Posted in journal, random

What 2017 Was Like.

It’s the last Episode for the year 2017!

As a mother of two and an older sibling to many, I find myself constantly thinking about children. Little innocent souls…
It’s the end of the year 2017 already, and it’s been such an amazing year for me. I remember a post I made on my Facebook page, January this year, claiming “this year is going to be a successfully busy one for me…”, It came to pass.
I actually had no mapped out plan, no well thought out time table, no event-marked calendar or anything else to that effect. I was simply optimistic, and that was enough to make the prophesy come true and through. Prophesy? Yes indeed! That was how it felt when everything started unfolding.
Most of the unfolded events have already been discussed in past episodes of this journal. And it’s worthy to note that the year ended on a good tone for me, personally, and the NGO I run.
I staunchly believe that “for the children, let us save the world by spreading the message of love through charity”. This has led me to Kickstart a Non-Governmental Organization, the NobleHeart Children Foundation, sometime in October 2016, after brewing the passion for a few months. We had our 1st partnership with Arms of Clemency, Unilag, in October 2016, and our very first outreach in December 2016.

It was an outreach to celebrate the season, with love, with needy children in our society. Hence it was tagged #LoveAChild. With little material and human resources, we pulled it through. It wasn’t an easy call for me to reach out to people seeking financial assistance, so I spoke with a few friends and relatives, and with the support of the very few among them who responded positively, the project was a success. The second edition was held a couple of weeks back and we also celebrated our first anniversary.
That set the pace and it has been a roller-coaster of successful events for every quarter of the year 2017; The foundation recorded a few more outreaches, individually and in partnership with other NGO(s).

Personally, the year has been an amazingly successful one. It was one of exploration, personal development, self-discovery, testing fresh waters, crossing new borders, making new acquaintances, connecting with more people, discovering more passions, etc. It was a year of insight, awakening and enlightenment, a year of a great many challenges but above all, it was a year of positive energy and success.
“To whom much is given, much is expected.”
With my new attitude to life, after an insightful trip through my mind, came a kind of clear road map.
I didn’t set out this way. I’ve never been a “5-year-goal-planner” kind of person, I live my life one step a time. Now, I am more than grateful to God for the woman I’m becoming. At a year above two decades and half a dozen, I haven’t seen it all just yet, but I’ve been through failed expectations, genuine hurt, true disappointment, lustful desires, honest envy, subtle pretense and lies, etc.
I’ve fallen to such great extent that I can’t recall the number of times I picked myself back up. I’m however mostly grateful to the Almighty God that I’ve never had a reason to dwell in sadness, there have been countless of reasons to be happy all year long. I’ve met folks who brightened my moments, I’ve happened across people who gave me reasons to keep going, I’ve been supported by genuine friends and surrounded by sincere and beautiful personalities. I can say that I’ve had my fair share of the two sides of the coin of life.
Most importantly, I’ve given in the same measure I’ve accepted and even more.
That in itself is my true definition of living.
“Sometimes we live life waiting for tragedy”
My children are grown now. Never mind me saying “grown” like they are adults. I mean, they’ve grown beyond my fears and uncertainties when I first started my journey in pursuit of my dreams. My daughter is now a five-year old (wise) beauty and her brother is a two-year old smart (troublesome) boy. Holidays still remain our favorite reunion moments for the whole family.
I’ve been a fortunate lady, that I must confess, and I’m most grateful to God Almighty for this favor, as a believer. My only fear, at this stage of my life is having any tragedy befall my children. So I cry each time I find any child(ren) in any tragic situation whatsoever, my only thought usually is “that could be my child”. My days are therefore spent seeking ways to better the lives of children around, and my nights praying to God Almighty to keep my children and all safe.
“Life is only what you make of it”

So, I had my first flight and train travel experience this year. I stepped out of the southwest and paid visits to a couple of states in the north. I had the privilege of being hosted, with others, at the Chinese and Finnish embassies in the Federal Capital Territory, during the Abuja International Model United Nations Conference

and I had loads of other exciting moments in the year.

I hope to have my sea travel experience and also have a more fulfilling and amazingly successful year come 2018.
I also hope to have my books finally published. I’m sure there are lots of other projects brewing and a container-full of ideas waiting to be unleashed already.
I believe strongly that 2018 would come with new opportunities, renewal of dreams and passions and realignment of priorities; Faith, Family, Academics, Dream, Career, Passion etc.
I have no mapped out plan as usual, save my optimism, positivism and absolute trust in God as the disposer of all affairs. And trust me, I’m not leaving any of those 2017 energy behind.
“I’m set upon a path… so help me God.”
Mar’yam Thaoban
NobleHeart
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On My Way To Success

Its a new year for me! Yass!
So, today henceforth, I’m officially a year plus two decades and half a dozen.
I’m still “on becoming” not there yet, but glad I’m threading the path of the woman I would love to be.
A few years ago, I honestly wouldn’t have thought this is where I’ll be. I’ve always known myself to be a lady of so many passionate ideas about diverse things; from poetry to journalism, volunteerism, photography, public speaking, fashion designing, entrepreneurship, the list goes on.
With a singular dream of being a lawyer of course, that had always being at the background.
I however had no mapped out plan. I remember attending a seminar on self development a few years back and one of the facilitators said something about how important it is to have a written set goals, five-year plan etc. Well, I never even gave it a deep thought, and when we were asked individually about our written plans I simply let everyone know I don’t exactly find that approach appealing.
I remember also, an interview I granted couple of years back, with an online media outfit, and I was asked if I had a strict routine I adhere to. Truth is, I have none, and that was my response. I’m not a routine person, I live my life a step at a time and I simply go with what comes next. I do not bother about what tomorrow holds, because my total trust is in the One who holds absolute knowledge of it. And I’m a very optimistic person.
Now, for the few years I’ve spent on earth, with uncertainty of when I’ll be “called to glory”, but hope that it’s a long time from now; living through failed expectations, rich disappointments, unlost love, pure/impure desires, wants, needs, lust even, fear, life, strength etc. Through all these, I’ve accepted humans for who they are, appreciating their every effort; for those who make any, less bothered about their deceit; for the ones full of that. I love aimlessly, in the same measure being shown to me. I trust without borders, until that singular thing or those piled up bits that would give you away as a devil. I appreciate real ones and relate carefully with those unreal.
I love going to new places, meeting new people, testing new waters, crossing new borders, Learning new ways/things etc.
For these few years. I’ve met people I admire and appreciate so much, people I found worthy of keeping as friends, allies, partners or even family. I’ve met people I love for every sake possible, but the sake of Allah surpasses all and lasts a lifetime. I’ve come across many with noble intentions and a few with intentions otherwise; the road could never have been sweetier with the absence of either. I find total solace in the words of one of our greatest Sahabas that: what would be for you would never pass you by even if it is beneath huge mountains and what is not for you would never reach you even if its on the tip of your nose (paraphrased), also in the words of the prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him): if the whole world gather to favour you but Allah does not will it and if the entire universe come together to do you harm and He does not will it also, neither can come to pass (paraphrased).
I’m no Saint, Not at all. I’ve made bad decisions, taken wrong steps, slipped and fall quite a few times, even sustained injuries a couple of times, but I do not consider myself an extravagant sinner. I strive daily to ensure I do not keep slipping into the abyss of my soul, to keep afloat, to remain on firm grounds on the surface of my effervescent soul. And I find succor in the words of My Lord which promises his unending Mercies after forgiveness, I therefore seek His forgiveness at all times.
I’ve heard people refer to me as a force to reckon with, a strong woman. I’m only as strong as every other woman struggling to be a good mother, loving and supporting wife and kind human to others. I have my vulnerable moments, my down times when everything would appear bleak and I’ll wallow in tears and fears. Good news is, they only last through the blink of the eyes. And I lift myself back on my feet.
I don’t know who or what karma is, but in my few years in this short life, I know enough to tell you that it is true that what one really gives is what one gets. Hence, I’ve been living my life in kindness, love, loyalty and above all sincerity, and trust me, it has paid off for me, still paying off and would continue to pay off, because I do not intend to stop living that way. So help me God.
On a final note, whatever I am today and wherever I find myself, are first and more importantly a result of the task carried out on us by our parents, the selfless support of my spouse, the best wishes and prayers of those who genuinely care and most importantly the steady result of self-development.
Mar’yam Thaoban
NobleHeart
Posted in journal, random

EPISODE 10: Awake at 2

Been ages in here! I had to spend a few minutes mowing the grasses that covered up the entire page.

*smiles* forgive my dry joke.

Been engaged in a lot lately. Couldn’t also find the right motivation to start from where I stopped, until earlier today at 2 am, something just clicked and I decided to pen this while doing some laundry.

I hope you enjoy it!

I’m awake at 2:33am. No, not chatting, not watching a movie and definitely not in the club, doing some laundry. Yes, that’s the other best time I can do it.
You see, that’s what it takes most times. Of course one have to think about the power situation in the country and the fact that doing your laundry with the laundry machine in a country such as ours means you dance to the tunes of the power holders i.e PHCN in our case, except of course you have one of those huge generators that can easily pile the tiny watts a medium size machine would consume on its huge workload already. Well, thats not even half the story.
People like me tend to do most of our serious works or chores when the family is asleep, at work, at school or even at the mall. Yes, It’s sometimes required that you have to stay back when everyone else is going to catch some fun, the work left would not do themselves trust me.
It doesn’t even matter if you’re nursing an ear infection and running nose like in my present case, or you’re simply having a bad time, things have to get done in the house. There’s only so much your partner or other relatives staying with you can do, the bulk of the work still rests on your shoulders, and if you fail to do them accordingly – let me speak for myself – I start feeling useless, irrelevant and unhelpful. I don’t know of a mother/wife who’d like to feel that way.

So it doesn’t matter how often I’m not around, I simply get to my chores and get the undone things done, believe me; there’s a lot of them, when I’m around.

There are times also that I break down, yes. Some times briefly and very few times its a big deal with huge messy tears, red eyes and running nose to last a while. I don’t think anyone has ever witnessed that (the big deal), guess why? Its just my personal therapeutic measure: I remember a book I read a long while back (my late teens) and the author said something about crying which I came to understand as tears been a definite way of relief for some, letting it all out in running drops of salty water down your cheeks and dousing whatever emotion took you there in the first place, until you get to that ultimate point of comfort. It works for me, has always done. Perhaps because i’m a somewhat emotional person. I go about my other activities without so much as a glitch afterwards. And when I hear statements like “…you’re such a strong lady…” I respond that I’m actually simply struggling and striving like most ladies out there, and I assure that I do have my down moments. No one is superhuman afterall.
Truth is, Breaking down for me isn’t just about stress, demands, expectations and every other thing related, its sometimes a spiritual break down. Good news is, I always get myself fixed. Where it all started is where it ends.
Next: Soulful breakdown.

Note: If it comes easy, I just might do a little bit of catching up on the lost episodes, again.

Thanks for reading this episode of the journal.

Kindly drop your thoughts in the comment box below.

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EPISODE 7: Keeping Up With The Lost Episodes 1 

It feels like it’s been ages since I last updated this journal. Actually, it’s been quite a while. A lot has been going on for me, as usual. The push and pull; of Life, passion, vision, dreams, love, family, academics, career, spirituality etc. 

Well, here I am again, to keep up with the lost episodes, I hope I can do justice to that in this episode, besides, my fingers have been itching me; they miss pouring out these wandering thoughts of my mind. I’ll love to start from sometime around March, when I applied for a poetry competition, I’d already forgotten I applied when I received a mail that my poem was shortlisted among the top 10 poems in over 400 entries. Well, I was glad, and I was more happy when I got to know I was actually among the top 3 poets to be awarded. This took me to Abuja, my very first travel outside south-west actually, where I was awarded the 1st Runner-up for the Korean Cultural  Center Poetry Fiesta, on 21st of March, celebrating world poetry day on the same date. In March was also when I represented the National Association of Muslim Law Students(Unilag chapter) for a debate in Lead City University, my first ever debate really, it was a success for we won the debate but lost the competition (our marks got reduced after someone raised an objection that my co-debater had multicolored socks on), although we didn’t come home with the trophy; we did with victory. 

Well, that’s about March and the awards. In April, we had our first semester exams and around the beginning of the exams, I was not sure of myself and the demands of my choice of study, the demands were becoming overwhelming. But I forged ahead nevertheless. I’d had to drop a few of the things I used to engage in upon resumption this session, so I can have ample time for studying and my family. Still, it felt like I still had a lot on my plate. An instance was an advert I saw for a poetry competition, it was before the exams though, but I applied during the exam period. I couldn’t let it go, this is one of my most ignited passion after all; I applied and took my mind off it, while I continued with preparation for my next papers. After the first paper, I felt a little relaxed and certain that I could do this after all. I made sure however to go home during the breaks between one paper to the next; There were times when we even had upto 5 days break between 2 papers. I would go home, and draw inspiration from the sight of and being around my kids. My little man is now very familiar with me, never wanting to leave my side as soon as I’m home. And I ensure never to forget to take home goodies, because my handbag is his first point of exploration as soon as I drop him back on his feet. And my girl, she’s also grown into a young thoughtful girl, that she sometimes asks, “mommy when next are you going to school? Mo ma miss yin ti  e ba  ti lo – I’ll miss you after you leave.”  

Now, May came, and along with it a short break of about 10 days, which of course a lot of us expanded into 2 weeks and more. Then came resumption. I spent as much time as I could with my kids, took them home to their dad. He was so happy to have them around. They were also on holiday and theirs was also a short one. It was a nice time with the whole family together, their dad took his Leave from work also, and it was fun running to mom this moment and to dad the next moment. That was all I could ever have asked for, but I’ve come to realize that life does not really give you all you ask for, you have to make do with what you have and be content with whatever you can find however or wherever you find yourself. I then told my daughter they have to go back to their grandma soon, and I have to resume school in a few days time and dad would also resume work. And with the promise that they would come back home soon enough, for another break or holiday, she was satisfied, I’m sure by now she also knows that life can not always be fair to give you everything you want, the way you want it. 

To be continued in the next episode here… 

Thanks for reading this episode and  the journal. 

Kindly drop your thoughts in the comment box below. 

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EPISODE 9:The Interview II

Remember the interview I? Well, this episode is dedicated to another such interview, it was conducted by a group I belong to on campus known as the “Parliament  of Poets” after I received the last poetry award I did. You might want to read through it. It gives an insight into my sojourn as a poet. 

(1) Who is Mar’yam, the poet, and how has the journey being so far?

Mar’yam is a lady who finds solace in poetry, as an art and as a passion. I find solace in poetry because I believe it is the only way I can give fluidity and flexibility to the emotions that surge within me. And the journey hasn’t really been far for me because I started taking poetry serious just a bout 2 years ago and the first lengthy poem I wrote then was titled “thoughts on the white throne” and it was really so,  because I was in the rest room when the words kept coming like a revelation, and I remember repeating the words to myself then calling on one of my siblings to start putting it down before I forget. Before then, I only usually write my musings of Max 10 lines on an application known as “wattpad”. And because I believe rhymes and rhythms makes a whole part of this world, I enjoy having most of my works actually rhyme, all my early works can be seen as that.  

(2) You have been on a winning streak for sometime now, Tell us about it?

Well, I believe it’s been God’s grace all along, and of course tremendous effort to better my poetry skills personally by reading and appreciating other people’s works and also commitment to always pass a message across to the world through poetry. So far, so good, I’ve participated in four poetry competitions and of the four, 3 were organized at grassroots level and one, national/International; I had the 1st position in the very first one by “Angearl initiatives last August, thereafter was the arms of clemency’s own where I also came 1st, then came the M.A.D initiative where I was among the top 3, then the most recent which is also the fourth one is that of the Korean Cultural Center Nigeria, where I came up as the 1st runner up – second position – in the adult category with over 400 entries.

(3)What makes the poems that have won Poetry Prizes unique and how do you think they stand out?

Well, I’m also still trying to find out that one or two things that makes them unique, but I’m sure of one thing, I ensure I write in simple language, clear enough diction, apply adequate literary devices in my poems, observe other spices that give a poem it’s uniqueness when dished on a piece of paper, and God’s grace does the rest. Also, I believe it’s obvious to whoever reads my poems that I write them with passion, I don’t force the feelings or the words down, I write them when they flow, that’s why I sometimes spend days, weeks or even months on some of my poems before completion.  

4) You are also a staunch member of the Parliament of Poets, how has the PoP being and what is she to you? 

Well, the Parliament of poets has been a kind of bedrock for people like me, a place where I can feel comfortable in my own skin, where I can bring home my emotions by expressing them unhindered. PoP has been like a mother, in whose arms we have been carried to attain feats with poetry, it has created an avenue for people like me to be part of a great family that pushes one to achieve greatness with poetry. Now, being a member of this great movement has been a privilege to me, and I’m glad to be part of the founding members. It is however a very dear movement to me, one which I’m sure is designed for greater feats within and beyond its Alma Mata. 

5)What can you say about the most recent poetry prize you won? What defines the prize?

The most recent poetry prize I won is the 1st runner up i.e second position in the Korean cultural center Nigeria Poetry competition, the competition was organized by the KCCN in collaboration with Arojah concepts in Abuja, and the winners were announced and given awards at an event commemorating the “world poetry day”  on 21st of March 2017. The event was really eye-opening to me and indeed very exposing, as I had the opportunity of meeting with some dignitaries, young poets, performers and of course it was my first visit to Abuja. The 1st prize winner in the adult category is to be given a cash prize of one hundred thousand naira, the second; seventy thousand naira and the third; fifty thousand naira. Although I do tell people, it’s not just about the money, the most important thing is that achieved feat, winning or topping the list because your message was heard or read. Funny thing is I had even forgotten I entered into the competition, until I received a mail a week to the event, informing me that I was shortlisted among the top ten in an entry of four hundred and seventy two participants from Nigeria, Ghana, Thailand and one or 2 other countries. I was happy then, but I still wasn’t sure of my exact position, so I was anxious, hopeful and prayerful until I got to know I was among the top three, that enabled me go to Abuja for the event. 

(6) What are your plans for/about Poetry and what do you think poetry is capable of giving the world

My plans for/about poetry include writing more poems, participating in more poetry competitions, letting people know that poetry is serious business and publishing my first collection of poems before the year runs out (God’s willing). 

I believe poetry is capable of shaping the world positively through the poets’ words, like when a poet uses his words to preach cleanliness, propagate peace, promote unity, ensure equality an so on and on, all these for instance we’ve done and will still do in the Parliament of poets where we’re known as “Acknowledged Legislators For the World”. 

I have a message and I shall spread it through my pen. 

Your words to other young poets? 

Let your passion be driven by a desire to always pass a beneficial message across to the world with your pen. Write more, Read more, Muse more and of course Dare more. And, never enter into competitions for the sake of the money or prizes, else it would stain your passion and turn it into an unholy mission. 

Posted in journal

EPISODE 8: Keeping Up With The Lost Episodes 2

So, we resumed school for a new semester (May still), I had a huge project right in front of me, a charity outreach of the children foundation I run, where we planned to celebrate children’s day with the needy kids by donating uniforms, schools socks, sandals, underpants and vests, in an event themed “Dress-A-Child”. I couldn’t resume classes immediately because of the running around; for the preparation of the event. Then results came trickling in and I couldn’t be less grateful; although, I knew I could do better, but thank God there was none less than average. The result for the poetry competition was also released and I didn’t make the long or shortlist, I then told a poet friend of mine, who also didn’t make it that “guess it’s the time for those who did, afterall, we both made it to the KCCNP and life is sometimes about give and take.” The charity event was later  held on the 31st of the month (May) and it was a huge success too. Again, I couldn’t be less grateful to God Almighty, because it initially appeared like just a dream; trying to dress over 200 pupils of a public primary school. But it was achieved, and 50 pupils got new uniforms, 50 pairs of sandals were distributed and socks, underpants and vests, and other school items were distributed indiscriminately among over 200 of the kids. 

May also marked the beginning of the Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan, a month we anticipate so much that we pray fervently to witness it, so we can earn lots of benefits from it. We’re therefore presently in the month and it’s been showers of blessing by the Almighty, as long as one keeps up the good works and acts of worship are done appropriately. 

June is here now, and with it comes new opportunities, renewal of dreams, rekindling of visions, pursuance of passions, realignment of priorities; Faith, Family, Academics, Dream, Career,  Passion and whatever comes and is admittable. Just recently, someone asked me how my husband feels about me taking up new roles. I said “My husband knows the kind of lady he’s married to, and rather than complain about my activities he accepts wholly that this is a woman who can go from being a wife at one point, to being a mother at a point, to being a journalist the next moment, to being an entrepreneur this moment, then a charity worker at that moment, and to being a student at another point to being whatever she wants to be at any point…” I remember him teasing me that “…you want to do everything, every single thing…” and I’ll tell him to just keep praying for me and supporting me, with that and God’s guidance, there’s no limit to where or what I can do. 

I’ll keep you posted on the events in June by God’s will… But believe me, my timeline is filled up already. My newest quote “I’m set upon a path… So help me God.”

Thanks for reading! 

Remember to drop your thoughts in the comment box below. 

Did you miss the last episode? Kindly Click here to read it. 

Posted in journal

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. 

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Episode 4: Busy Week = Presentation, Test and Debate… 

It’s a new week already! I missed the previous week’s episode of my journal; a lot has been going on as usual and the days of my weeks always scream “busy!”.  To say I had a busy last two weeks would be an understatement, last week alone, we had a presentation that was postponed from the previous week, it is to form part of our continuous assessment for contract class. It went well after all and we were all happy because we had put in our very best and the lecturer, a professor of law, had nice words for us. 

Interestingly, I was the presenter, though we were informed from the onset that the lecturer could call on anyone else for conclusion; that she did. But the beauty of it all was the spirit of unreserved team work. After witnessing other groups’ presentations and the poor comments from the lecturer, I couldn’t help but appreciate my group members over again. We worked tirelessly and met several times, with very insignificant dispute as we all had a common goal; to succeed in the presentation, so everything that would help in achieving that was embraced, and yes! It paid off. 

And there was the poetry performance we did at the Gani Fawehinmi Students’ Chamber’s annual symposium the previous Friday, it was fun yet challenging and also insightful because the chief speaker, Dr. Obi Ezekwesili, had very encouraging words for the youths to take back Nigeria with their voices. Coincidentally our performance was themed “Voices” too, we had positive feedbacks from our audience and we became more determined as members of the “parliament of poets” to do more with our ‘voices’  through poetry. 

So, I saw my babies last weekend and this of course, and it gets harder to leave them behind now, because my lil’ man recognizes me a lot now that he begins to watch my move to the moment he sees me dressed up, I’ll then resort to all sort of tricks to leave unsuspecting. But his sister, mini-me, has no issue with my leaving, as long as I provide her with something to munch on before I leave, she would wave her small hands and bid me farewell, she even looks happy sometimes, reassured in her little mind that she’ll see me soon again. 

Also, I’m doing all I can to ensure that my marriage doesn’t bear the grunt of my educational pursuit entirely. My husband has been very understanding thereby supportive, but I know not to take things for granted, so each time I’m home, I make sure I do all the necessary duties expected of me, and I ensure we save time for a little chat as well; it’s important to remain friends after all, not just bed partners. 

Now, I have to drop my pen, I have another test to prepare for, then a debate,  and our examination of course which is barely 30days away. I never stop to pray for God’s continuous mercy  and guidance because forging ahead despite all has only being by his grace and mercy. 

Thanks for reading! 

Kindly drop your thoughts  in the comment box below each posts…