‘I don’t like telling peo­ple I’m Lau­ren­tia Malam’s son’

Tisan Malam, a busi­ness­man, is the third of seven chil­dren of a former Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, Lau­ren­tia Malam. In this in­ter­view, he talks about traits he picked from his mother and more. Ex­cerpts:

Weekly Trust - - Front Page - Chris­tiana T. Al­abi, Kaduna

Daily Trust: How would you de­scribe your mum?

Tisan Malam: She is a self­less woman. I grew up to know her as a hum­ble per­son. She is God fear­ing and has a very large heart. DT: What kind of mother would you say she was when you were a child and now? Malam: My mum was very ac­tive in our early lives, she al­ways at­tended school events such as sports, plays and Christ­mas car­ols among oth­ers. She was a great in­flu­ence on us as she en­sured we par­tic­i­pated in church and youth ac­tiv­i­ties, she al­ways laid em­pha­sis on be­ing hon­est and good to peo­ple. Even now, she is still in­volved with all her seven kids and their fam­i­lies, re­mind­ing us con­stantly of th­ese virtues.

DT: What fun child­hood mem­o­ries do you have?

Malam: Christ­mas din­ner was some­thing we al­ways looked for­ward to be­cause our mother would bake cakes, cook all kinds of dishes, grilled or fried beef, chicken and turkey. We would also get Christ­mas gifts. So we al­ways ea­gerly await Christ­mas din­ner. DT: At what point in your life did you re­al­ize that your mum is a prom­i­nent woman?

Malam: At an early stage, prob­a­bly when I was about eight years old, I started re­al­iz­ing my mum was a well-recog­nised per­son, even be­fore she joined pol­i­tics. She met Pope John Paul more than once per­son­ally. Then, af­ter she won the 1999 chair­man­ship of Zan­gon-Kataf LGA in Kaduna State, she be­came even more prom­i­nent.

DT: Has be­ing Lau­ren­tia Malam’s son opened doors of op­por­tu­ni­ties for you?

Malam: Not nec­es­sar­ily, be­cause what­ever I get my­self in­volved in, I try to rely on hard work and merit so as to cre­ate my own iden­tity. How­ever, it some­times could be an added ad­van­tage when my back­ground is re­vealed.

DT: Other than pol­i­tics, what other pro­fes­sion do you think your mum would have ex­celled at?

Malam: She would have ex­celled as a caterer or pub­lic re­la­tions per­son. She is very good at any­thing that has to do with hos­pi­tal­ity.

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

Malam: The big­gest traits I have taken from my mum are hu­mil­ity, re­spect for oth­ers and hard work. I also learnt not to look down on peo­ple from her.

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

At an early stage, prob­a­bly when I was about eight years old, I started re­al­iz­ing my mum was a well-recog­nised per­son, even be­fore she joined pol­i­tics. She met Pope John Paul more than once per­son­ally The big­gest traits I have taken from my mum are hu­mil­ity, re­spect for oth­ers and hard work. I also learnt not to look down on peo­ple from her

Malam: We talk about a wide range of things such as fam­ily, busi­ness, pol­i­tics or any cur­rent events hap­pen­ing at that time.

DT: How does she re­act when she’s up­set?

Malam: She is not the loud type; she would ad­dress an is­sue by point­ing it out im­me­di­ately or might even ig­nore you un­til you get to re­al­ize her dis­plea­sure over it.

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

Malam: The big­gest les­son she has taught me is trans­parency in deal­ing with peo­ple. She also taught me to al­ways look be­fore I leap.

DT: What would you say is her favourite meal? Malam: Lo­cal beans and yam

DT: What does she like wear­ing?

Malam: She likes wear­ing na­tive at­tires with head ties, a bag to match, low-heeled slip­pers, wrist­watches and light jew­elry. DT: How does she re­lax?

Malam: She re­laxes by read­ing, laugh­ing at jokes or watch­ing tele­vi­sion.

DT: What does she love to do most?

Malam: She loves Church ac­tiv­i­ties, pol­i­tics and help­ing the less priv­i­leged in the so­ci­ety.

Tisan Malam

Former Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, Mrs Lau­ren­tia Malam

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