Saratu Ummul-iman Abubakar, is from Niger State, Agaie Local Government to be precise. She is a 300 level journalism and psychology student at the American University of Sharjah. She is passionate about writing and according to her ,as a journalism student you don’t really have any option but to master the act of writing .
She attended Mameena Memorial School for her nursery and primary education and Danbo International College for her secondary education.
Saratu is also passionate about Mental health and works to create awareness however she can.
What made you choose your career path?
I majored in journalism because of the love I have for writing. Back when I was a child newscasters on t.v fascinated me and I always wanted to be like them. When I grew up and understood my passion for writing I couldn’t think of the best way to put it out there if not through journalism. For me journalism allows me to do what I love and the same time make difference in society by informing the public about things happening. Though I am minoring in psychology and not majoring I still see it as part of my career because I hope to build on it in the future. I have always had a very good listening ear, a lot of people saw me as a counselor of some sort and they aren’t scared of being completely open to me when they needed a listening ear for their problems. As a psychologist it is not enough to just have a good listening ear, you have to understand the gravity of people’s situation and how to deal with it. Getting into university, I took my first psychology course(introduction to psychology) as an elective and I immediately fell in love with what it entails. The fact that every little emotion matters and there is a psychological reason to every reaction in a human. It got me hooked and I just had to declare a minor in it. As I said earlier I am passionate about mental health and psychology was an opportunity for me to have an in depth understanding of mental illness.
What are your interests/hobbies?
I am interested in photography and also girl child right movement.
And then I love writing .Writing for me is a therapy, I write when I am angry, I wrote when I am sad, I write when I am happy. I just write all the time. As a matter of fact, I am even an author of a novel. I love to read you will always find me with a novel all the time. Hence, I have become a bibilophile, I can’t resist buying a good book.
I am also passionate about the awareness of mental health, hence, being a psychology student.Mental health is a serious issue and it is so sad how we have been down playing it for years. As Africans we believe we are suppose to have a thick skin and not let emotional or traumatic issue get to us. However, it shouldn’t be so. It is important we recognize that mental health illness is real. I am very happy with the progress we have made of it awareness as at now, I hope we keep pushing and we are able to change the stigma of mental health illness here in Nigeria. As a matter of fact I write for a mental health awareness blog.
When I am not reading I watch film( Exclusively Nigerian films), I feel like the Nigerian film industry does more than we give them credits for and more than we appreciate them.
How do you think the North can work towards sustainable development?
The North can achieve a sustainable economy when we start seeing education as a necessity for survival . According to Malcom X, ‘ Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it.’ When we have every individual in respective of their gender in the north educated, it will serve as a starting point towards the eradication of poverty. When we are all educated we will understand that sustaining the economy is not just based on what the government puts in place but a collective duty of all. It is essential for the government as well as the privileged people to put all hands on deck in providing various platforms and amenities to help in sustaining the economy. For example, the entrepreneurs help creating a sustainable economy through the jobs their enterprise provides for various individuals. Such acts can help in sustaining the economy because jobs are provided and revenue is being generated. The white collar job also generates revenue for the states and helps the workers in sustaining their financial situation. It is important for individuals to also acquire different skills, It will serve as a form of empowerment for those not privileged to be formally educated and also and extra advantage to those educated. The skill will help sustain the individuals and also the economy as a whole.
Are there areas in your State you wish are better?
Yes, I wish a lot of places where better in Niger state. Starting with the basic amenities; the roads are terrible, the government needs to do more. For a state that has the Kainji dam, which generates electricity for the whole country, the power supply is terrible. The water supply too is really bad. I wish the government will do more.
I wish platforms will be created that can help support the ideas and dreams of individuals. There are so many young people out there with various dreams and ideas that can be the next big thing if they get the right support. If there are platforms out there a lot of dreams won’t die out and a lot of ideas will come to life.
What is your advice to other youths like you out there?
Advice to young people It is important to take charge of yourself, build yourself in every aspect you can don’t wait for someone or somebody to come and do it for you. According to Kennedy, he said ‘ Ask not what you country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ Do not sit down hands akimbo and wait for the government to provide jobs rather stand up and create jobs. Don’t let anyone tell you your dreams are not worthwhile, if you want something go for it, if it doesn’t work out then try something. Don’t ever let your failure at a certain thing drag you down, failing is never the end of the world. Enjoy your journey, do not wait to get to the end before you can enjoy what you have achieved, the irony of life is that what you have will never be enough. As long as you are living you will always want more, so while working on attaining greater heights don’t forget to enjoy what you have already. Lastly it is important to be patient alongside hard work, it will definitely pay one day.
What makes you a proud Northerner?
There is this togetherness amongst northerners that they practice everywhere they find themselves. It is always home when you are among your fellow northern people.
What three words best describes you?
Retrophiliac, Realistic and idealistic.