‘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:
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.