‘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:
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.
Former Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Malam