‘How my passion for education shaped my career’
Hadiza Salisu Ingawa is from Katsina State. She has six children - five boys and one girl and happily married to Dr. Salisu Ingawa, who was a director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture before he retired. Her mother is Hajiya Sa’adatu Kuki while her l
IEducational background started primary education at Garama Primary School, Katsina, but because my uncle moved to several places due to the nature of his job, I changed schools a lot. I also attended Muduru Primary School, which is about 30km from Katsina. I wrote common entrance and got admission into Government Secondary School, Soba, Zaria. I spent only a little time there before I got married and moved to the US with my husband. I continued my secondary education there because I had so much passion for education. I made sure I continued with my studies. Education is very critical in my family.
After that, I went to Larson Community College, also in the US and did an associate degree in Food and Nutrition. When I came back from the US with two children, I sought admission into the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), where my husband was lecturing, and did my degree in Home Economics. After that, I went for my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme at Women Teachers’ College, Katsina after redeploying from Sokoto. After my NYSC, I started working in the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in 1990. In 1993, I went for my postgraduate degree at ABU in Public Administration. I went back in 2001 and did another postgraduate diploma in Guidance and Counseling. As at now, I’m the head of Gender Unit of the Agency for Science and Technology, FCT Education Board. Career I have always had passion for girlchild education. So I did several courses in gender mainstreaming and issues. But since I started working at the FCDA in 1990 as a teacher, I gradually moved to postgraduate levels 9, 10, 11 and kept going. I was posted to several schools. I also worked in the women education unit of the FCDA, where I spent about 7 years and moved to the Department of Science and Technology where I am now. I moved from one department or unit to another, but finally, I’m now the head of Gender Unit. I have been working in the FCDA all my life. But I was also working at the ABU, where I was dealing with women in the adult education unit, which is where I fully developed my passion for gender issues. Challenges Honestly speaking, I think the challenges I have faced were mainly confined to me being a married women, mother and wife. It wasn’t easy because I started very early. Combining education with other activities was quite the task. But thank God that my husband was very understanding. He gave me all the support I needed. But taking care of the children and the house wasn’t very easy, especially considering our culture. Growing up
Being the only girl in the family, I was over-pampered by my father and uncle. Growing up was really fun for me. I didn’t have many challenges. I was supported by my father, my uncle and my brothers to go all the way and achieve whatever I wanted to achieve. The family support system was amazing. Fond childhood memories I was very smart when I was in school, so constantly seeing my position as the first was such a joy. Even if I wasn’t the first, I was always amongst the first five. I was also a head girl. I was very slim. There was a girl who was fatter and we had a fight. We went behind the school and everyone gathered around for the fight. I thought I could fight her, but I was really beaten up. I had to go home and explain what happened to my uniform and the scratches. I can never forget that. Life lessons If you want to achieve something and have passion for it, you have to be focused and tell yourself that’s where you want to be. It’s not just saying you want to reach there. You have to work hard, be focused and give everything you can to get it. You must be determined and know what it takes and be willing to do it. If you believe in yourself, put everything you can into it. Most rewarding part of your career I really have passion for the girlchild. And I love seeing when I achieve so much through sensitisation. I love seeing the girls confide and trust me to reveal what they go through. Whether it is sexual abuse or something else, I find solutions and provide help for them and see the impact in them and help them move forward with their lives. Aspirations growing up When I was growing up I wanted to be a teacher because I believed in all those teachers I encountered to be breadwinners and sources of good. They seemed to know everything without a textbook. I also loved cooking and entertaining people. That’s why I read Home Economics. Joys of motherhood It is not easy; it’s a lot. My last boys are twins and they were such a delight when they were born. They are 21 now. It is wonderful. As a woman, there’s nothing more you can ask from God than having children and raising them with the best character, discipline and education. How you met your husband My uncle was married to his sister and he used to come and see her. He noticed how active I was, so he told his cousin that he liked me, but that I was too black. He loved a lot in my character and that’s how it came to be. We were basically family members already. Most cherished attribute of his He was fashionable and I loved how he paid attention to himself and what he wore. That’s what attracted me to him. I saw myself in him. I also admired his educational background. Top five things on your wish list I want to see sexual abuse become a thing of the past. I also want to stop seeing the almajiri issue. I always ask myself what I can do to stop this. I hate it so much. I want us to fully take responsibility for the children we give birth to. I want to see a corruptionfree civil service. I want to see a civil service work without selfish interests. I want us to have love for the work we are doing without brining personal interests. I want to see the end of my life with a good legacy left behind so that when I go, people can look and say that Hadiza has impacted on so many people’s lives positively. I also want to see myself improve on my religion and be the best Muslim I can be. Favourite music I love traditional Hausa music and Surajo Mai Asharalle, Shata and the
BEING THE ONLY GIRL IN THE FAMILY, I WAS OVER-PAMPERED
I WANT TO SEE THE END OF MY LIFE WITH A GOOD LEGACY LEFT BEHIND SO THAT WHEN I GO, PEOPLE CAN LOOK AND SAY THAT HADIZA HAS IMPACTED ON SO MANY PEOPLE’S LIVES POSITIVELY TAMBARI SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2019
recent one, Aminu Ala, as well as Boney M music from the 1980s.
First app you check in the morning/bedtime
I don’t check my phone at night, but in the morning I always go through my WhatsApp and check for the important ones I need to respond to. Favourite fashion items I love long gowns.
Flats or heels?
Back in the day, I used to be a really high heels person. I would walk so majestically in them. But now, I stick to flats for health reasons. What wouldn’t you be caught wearing?
Short clothes or anything immodest. Favourite travel destination I love the United States because I grew up there. I love their sincerity in everything they do as well. I also love going for Umrah in Saudi Arabia for religious purposes. How do you relax?
I usually just put on the Qur’an and listen to it. It soothes me and calms me down. Favourite quote “Ka zama mai gaskiya.” Which means, be truthful. No matter the situation or circumstances, stick to the truth. Favourite food Tuwo with miyan taushe. Definition of style It should be decent. Go with who you really are, and it should give you the charisma to carry yourself. Be modest, but also fashionable. Favourite fashion designer Myself. I design my own clothes to the taste I want. Favourite perfume, bag and shoes
1881 by Elizabeth Arden. For bags and shoes, I like Nine West andAldo.
Mum’s advice that stuck with you over the years
She would always tell me, “Rabu da mutum, kama Allah.” Which translates to, “leave people, but hold on to your God.’’ Honestly speaking, I think it has greatly worked for me. She would always say that, “if God loves you, that’s all you need. I always quote her. Favourite sport I used to play basketball; I love it. I like purple. For cars I like Toyota because it’s functional, and I enjoy the spring or rainy season. Beauty routine Just the usual; nothing out of the ordinary. Role model Hajiya Baba Ari. She was our director. I love her ways. She’s honest, religious, hardworking and carried everyone along. I think she has groomed me to be like that too.
Looking back, what would you tell a younger you?
I would tell her to take her family very seriously, be caring, loving, dedicated; and of course, be where you want to be and chase whatever you are passionate about. Don’t let anything distract you from what you want to achieve.