‘Be­ing Me­d­ina Dauda’s daugh­ter hasn’t opened doors for me’

‘Mum likes to ‘in­ter­view’ her chil­dren’ Fa­tima Ahmed, 31, is a jour­nal­ist and daugh­ter of vet­eran me­dia per­son­al­ity, Me­d­ina Dauda. In this in­ter­view, she talks about traits she picked from her mother and more. Ex­cerpts:

Weekly Trust - - Front Page - Ab­dulka­reem Baba Aminu & Nathaniel Bi­van

Daily Trust: How would you de­scribe your mother? I would de­scribe her as a su­per wo­man. She is al­ways there for me and has taught me how to be the per­son I am to­day. I have stud­ied her so much. I hope to be like her some­day. I grew up see­ing her not give up. She’s that strong. She doesn’t like de­feat. This has given me the courage to want to be like her. This is why I de­cided to go for tele­vi­sion jour­nal­ism in school. That’s how I started work­ing for the BBC, and peo­ple who were ob­serv­ing said I couldn’t be like her. I have seen her com­bine her work with tak­ing care of us and be­ing a dis­ci­plinar­ian. I would like to be like my mum, till the day I die.

DT: What kind of mother would you say she was when you were a child, and now?

My mum was a dis­ci­plinar­ian then. I won’t say she’s gen­tle, be­cause if she was, I wouldn’t be where I am to­day. Even when I was in school, I al­ways tried to re­mem­ber what she told me. She never al­lowed me to speak to a boy while I was in sec­ondary school, un­til I was eigh­teen. She did this so I could learn how she was also taught by her mother. She was al­ways there to check and see that you are do­ing the right thing. She’s a dis­ci­plinar­ian as well as a jovial and friendly per­son. My mum is my best friend and I can dis­cuss any­thing with her. I go to her for re­la­tion­ship ad­vice. I hardly see her frown, ex­cept when she comes back from work tired. And we still dis­turb her then. DT: What fun child­hood mem­o­ries do you have? I re­mem­ber how she used to help me draw and write. She would tell me to write the let­ter A and I would write the num­ber 1, pur­posely to see what she would do. Also, I al­ways looked for­ward to my birth­days be­cause she al­ways bought me dif­fer­ent things like dresses and cake. I’d dress up in all of them, feel­ing like a lit­tle princess. We could lay in bed to­gether and she would read aloud from a novel to me. She used to carry me on her back, up till when I was eight years old. DT: At what point in your life did you re­alise that your mum is a prom­i­nent wo­man? I re­alised it when I was about ten or eleven years old. That was back in Kaduna be­fore my fa­ther died. I was al­ways around her and that was when I ob­served the kind of peo­ple that came around her and then when we lis­tened to her on the ra­dio. Also, when we went out and peo­ple tried to talk to her and wanted to take pic­tures. I no­ticed how my mum would go out with a bunch of com­pli­men­tary cards and not re­turn with any. DT: Has be­ing Mad­ina Dauda’s daugh­ter opened any doors for you? To be hon­est, I can’t say yes to that be­cause when I fin­ished univer­sity, the first job I got was through a friend. They had gone far with the train­ing for in­tern­ship when I at­tended. I later went in for the in­ter­view and I got the job. I even­tu­ally pro­ceeded to ap­ply for a job with BBC and got it with­out my mum’s help. When I go out to seek job, I don’t even men­tion that she is my mother.

DT: Other than the me­dia, what other pro­fes­sion do you think she would have ex­celled at?

She would have made a good politi­cian be­cause of the way she un­der­stands peo­ple and their problems. I told her if she could be a politi­cian she would end up help­ing a lot of peo­ple, but she said she wasn’t in­ter­ested.

DT: What char­ac­ter trait of hers would you say has made the big­gest im­pact on you?

The one trait I have taken from my mum is not look­ing down on peo­ple. Wher­ever my mum goes to, no mat­ter the water or food those peo­ple take, she par­takes. She doesn’t look down on peo­ple. There’s also her pa­tience, which I like to think I’ve im­bibed.

DT: What’s the sin­gu­lar, big­gest les­son she has taught you?

The one big­gest les­son she has taught me is not to give up. If you fail, don’t give up. It doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goals. Like I said, I have never seen her give up.

DT: What do you usu­ally talk about th­ese days when to­gether?

We talk about many things, like how she might be re­tir­ing soon, to stick to her busi­ness and so on, or we talk about re­la­tion­ships. Then she would start in­ter­view­ing me, so to speak, and I would tell her to stop in­ter­view­ing me (laugh­ter). She in­ter­views her chil­dren at home and

I even­tu­ally pro­ceeded to ap­ply for a job with BBC and got it with­out my mum’s help. When I go out to seek job, I don’t even men­tion that she is my mother

not just peo­ple out­side.

DT: What would you say is her favourite meal?

She likes Tuwo, whether the one made from wheat, corn, pounded yam or rice, with co­coyam, veg­etable or og­bono soup. DT: What does she like wear­ing? She likes wear­ing na­tive at­tires like the reg­u­lar Atamfa, skirt-and-blouse sets she matches with shoes of match­ing colours. She doesn’t wear trousers, she’s al­ways in Ankara fab­ric out­fits, or Jal­labiyas, to go to the mosque or work. DT: How does she re­lax? The only time you see my mum re­lax is when she sleeps be­fore her lap­top, or is watch­ing news on TV in the par­lour.

Fa­tima Ahmed

Me­d­ina Dauda

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.