‘Being Justice Asma’u Musa’s son made me choose better friends’
Umar Farouk Yusuf, 25, is a Sociology graduate from Nasarawa State University and the first child of Justice Asma’u Musa, a former Director of Public Prosecution with the Ministry of Justice and currently a Judge with the High Court. In this interview, he
Daily Trust: Why do you call your mum ‘aunty’? Umar Farouk
Yusuf: While growing up I heard everyone around the house calling her aunty and I thought that was her name. So I picked it up and have been calling her that ever since.
DT: What’s the relationship between you and your mum like?
Yusuf: It’s a very strong one indeed. She was there for me when a lot of people weren’t. She has taught me a lot about life. The relationship between a son and a mother and especially as a first born child is very unique.
DT: What trait of hers would you say you admire the most? Yusuf: She is very religious and hardworking. She taught me to be same.
DT: How would you describe her?
Yusuf: She’s strict when she needs to be, but generally she’s a really relaxed mum. Of course she’ll scold us when need be but otherwise we’re like friends. But when she started having more cases on her hands, often times we became confused whether she’s just being strict or is stressed.
DT: How has your mum’s occupation as a lawyer played a part in your life?
Yusuf: As a sociology student she usually tells me how people commit crimes in the society and it gives me insight into how people react, think and what people do in other place. It has impacted my life in so many ways.
DT: Have you ever considered following in your mother’s footsteps?
Yusuf: Yes. She usually tells me I would have made a good lawyer, but my own passion is elsewhere. I have always been interested in agriculture right from childhood and even though I didn’t study agriculture I’m still a farmer. I’ve always wanted to do my own thing. But I actually wanted my younger sister to follow in her footsteps and study Law. She would have made a great lawyer too but she decided to study Microbiology instead.
DT: Can you remember a piece of advice she has given you which has stuck with you?
Yusuf: I can remember many but one that resonates is the one about friends. She keeps telling me to be careful with the kind of friends I choose. They can influence one’s life greatly and can contribute to your failure or success in life, so you need to be careful who you keep as friends.
DT: What’s her favourite food?
She loves watching crime and investigative films. I guess it’s the lawyer in her because that’s pretty much all she watches I don’t see her being anything other than a lawyer but otherwise, I believe she would make a very good doctor because she pays attention to people even as a judge
Yusuf: Semovita with dried okra soup.
DT: What does she enjoy watching on TV?
Yusuf: She loves watching crime and investigative films. I guess it’s the lawyer in her because that’s pretty much all she watches. DT: How does she unwind?
Yusuf: During the weekends she cooks for us, spends time with us at home and spends the whole weekend indoors.
DT: If your mum wasn’t a lawyer, what other profession do you think she would have done well in?
Yusuf: I don’t see her being anything other than a lawyer but otherwise, I believe she would make a very good doctor because she pays attention to people even as a judge, regardless of what you bring to her. She always has a listening ear; she cares about people a lot.
DT: What unique aspect of your mum are people not aware of?
Yusuf: Many people don’t know that she can be really tough because she doesn’t show that to people outside. She comes off as a soft and gentle person.
DT: What’s the best part of having a judge for a mum?
Yusuf: It’s hard to lie to her because she can easily tell when you’re lying but in the long run it becomes an advantage to you because you can’t risk lying to her about anything. So it has taught me to be an honest person in everything I do.
Umar Farouk Yusuf
Justice Asma’u Musa, with son Umar Farouk