I’M THE EL­DEST IN MY FAM­ILY AND I GREW UP KNOW­ING I HAD RE­SPON­SI­BIL­I­TIES, EVEN AS A GIRL

Sunday Trust - - TAMBARI - TAM­BARI

I at­tended Bap­tist Pri­mary School, Minna and pro­ceeded to Gov­ern­ment Girls’ Sec­ondary School, Kawo, in Kaduna. It used to be St Faith’s. Af­ter that, I went to the NTA Col­lege, then Bayero Univer­sity, Kano (BUK) for my pro­fes­sional stud­ies in Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion. I did my BA in Jour­nal­ism at the Her­itage Univer­sity, Cal­i­for­nia. I also went to the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute of Jour­nal­ism (IIJ) and did diplo­mas there, just to be a pro­fes­sional. Ca­reer I started work right af­ter I dropped my pen for the West African Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil (WAEC). The late Se­na­tor Adamu Augie ac­tu­ally fished me out. He heard me in Kaduna and said “this is a nat­u­ral broad­caster.’’ So I owe it to God and the likes of him that sought me out. So there I was, get­ting ready to go to SBS and there was work be­ing dan­gled at me, so I chose work. At that time I was very sickly.

I started from Ra­dio Nige­ria, then went to Ilorin, which made my dad happy be­cause at least I would go home and see what it looked like. I later went to the NBC train­ing school, which was manda­tory as a pre­sen­ter then.

The NTA Ilorin was go­ing to start, and the then gover­nor, Gen Bamigboye said, “Come and work at the NTA, we’ll take you to all the schools you want to go to.”

I ran away ini­tially be­cause I wasn’t ready to work. I was only 20 and wanted to go back to school. All my mates were al­ready at the SBS. So I came on and got hooked. I went to school while I was work­ing, and that has been my life. That set me up to start work in earnest. I be­came the first face on the NTA, Ilorin. My fa­ther wanted me be a lawyer, but at least his grand­daugh­ter, my daugh­ter is one, so I kept telling him while he lived that she would stand in for me. Chal­lenges A lot. Ini­tially, I didn’t like the stereo­type of hav­ing to cover just women and chil­dren. I wanted to do other things. I’ve been pun­ished, kind of, to cover the agric desk. I be­came an un­cer­ti­fied agri­cul­tur­al­ist. But what­ever I do, I put my whole heart into it. I learnt ev­ery­thing, from till­ing the soil to good yields, bad yields, pes­ti­cides and all that. I just be­lieve that ev­ery beat you cover as a jour­nal­ist, you should be an au­thor­ity on it. It gave me ex­po­sure. It was meant to be a pun­ish­ment by the au­thor­ity then, be­ing a pop­u­lar pre­sen­ter and din­ing with the so-called au­thor­i­ties in the land, “so take her to the farm.’’ To­day, I can seek farm­ers and en­cour­age peo­ple and the po­ten­tials that are there.

I think the most chal­leng­ing thing for me in life has been deal­ing with pre­ventable deaths. My mum suf­fered the same fate. She was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent, but be­cause she couldn’t be treated im­me­di­ately (she didn’t have any open wound) we lost her to in­ter­nal bleed­ing. That, for me, was a life chang­ing mo­ment, and I de­cided that I Life lessons There are many. The com­plex­ity of hu­man be­ings, wicked­ness, in terms of the things we do to our­selves; but most im­por­tantly, the love we share, which is why my heart bleeds for the state we are in this coun­try to­day. The Nige­ria where we grew up was one. While grow­ing up in Minna as a young girl, I could speak Hausa, greet you in Gbagyi and play with the Igbo. To­day, there is no sin­cer­ity in what peo­ple preach and what they do. There’s too much bit­ter­ness these days that I won­der when we got to this level. But I’m very optimistic that things will turn around for the bet­ter. I have a lot of hope for the young ones and I be­lieve in their po­ten­tial. What or­di­nary Nige­ri­ans are ask­ing for is min­i­mal com­pared to what those of us who have op­por­tu­ni­ties are ask­ing for. So I hope the coun­try changes. We see chil­dren se­verely mal­nour­ished. It is beyond me. Most re­ward­ing part of your ca­reer The op­por­tu­nity it has given me to knock on any door is very re­ward­ing. If I feel bad about any­thing hap­pen­ing in gov­ern­ment I can pick up my phone, and even if I can’t call the pres­i­dent, I can call some­one close to him. The ac­cept­abil­ity you get be­cause of who you are is great. Joys of moth­er­hood It is beau­ti­ful. If you sur­vive, it is won­der­ful. The joy of bring­ing life forth is very ful­fill­ing, es­pe­cially when you have a child with po­ten­tial and liv­ing to that po­ten­tial. It’s a

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