Salihu Mahe from the Wazirci Family of Gwandu Emirates. Though an indigene of Kebbi, He was born and raised in Sokoto by his mother, who hailed from the Tangale tribe in Gombe.
He obtained most of his primary education in Sokoto.He attended F. G. C Sokoto Pri. Sch. and Blue Crescent Secondary School. He studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering in F. U. T Minna and He is currently pursuing a masters degree in Control Engineering from A. B. U. Zaria.
He has come to adore writing. In short he is addicted But presently he is broadening his horizons with prose. He is into writing poetry, they come naturally he said. He isnt really a fan of talking much about his dislikes. Despite being a critic, he likes to focus more on his likes.But among other things he dislikes noise and intrusion of his quiet time or activities. And he definitely dislike his time being wasted.
What made you choose your career path?
Let’s see. I was not under that parenthood influence, that craving for a doctor child. Mother showed her interests but she didn’t pester. I was very good at biology but Medicine was not for me as I was more interested in Maths and Physics.
I guess at a point it just hit me that I wanted to be an Engineer. I recall browsing through the Nigerian universities brochure, for courses of interest. The course was unique,a triple major so to say. Electrical Electronics and Computer Engineering in F. U. T. Minna.
I applied for it as a first choice and chose Architecture in A. B. U,Zaria as my second choice. Of course A. B. U. does not entertain second choice then. I got admission into F. U. T Minna.
I guess I always wanted to change the world and I think engineering can give me a chance to do it.
What are your other interest and hobbies?
I really love writing and Mother said, I don’t know need to study English or Literature to become a writer, when I wrote my first poem at the age of eleven on a mango tree. I meant sang the poem. I like singing too but not publicly. I sing around the house all the time, mostly the songs I have written.
As a child, my favorite sport was football. I go every with my ball. Kicking and tossing her about. She was my first love and best friend. I mean there’s Sani M. Bello, Aminu Maishanu and Sada Malumfashi but she was the best then.
I like studying and watching movies amongst other things. I love observation. I will sit down quietly and just observe stuff, people’s behaviour, the laws of nature etc. I also love kids a lot. I also really adore silence and enjoy solitude as I believe they make way for creativity.
How do you think the North can work towards Sustainable Development?
For the north to move from its current stagnated position or at a faster rate, we need an industrial revolution. Most of the industries in Nigeria are situated in the South. Though you find many in the north as well but many of them are not functioning anymore or are obsolete. This hinders production and hence slows any tangible economic development. In the event that our northern governors stop focusing their agenda’s on inflated budgets on contracts and direct the funds into more meaningful projects that will bring about progress and at the long make their states self sustainable, independent on Federal government allocation.
For instance, in Kebbi state there are two rice milling factories that I know of. One, Labana which has been in existence for a while then a new one that was recently constructed, I think in other to meet up with the Presidential focus on farming. In a few months the factory was up and running and you will see trucks parked by its side. This is progress. We need to produce things we consume. We don’t have to rely on oil. Agriculture is very well capable.
Besides industrial revolution, another important aspect that can bring about sustainable development is good governance as mentioned earlier. Any good progress that will be interrupted after every four years will not be sustainable. Our leaders need to outline a blueprint focused on a goal. Upon which governments should work on. Continuity is key for sustainability.
Amongst other things is education and mindset. We need to change our mindsets. A typical northern youth’s mindset is that, I want to work in an a political office, I want to work for the government. I mean our locals have business mindsets but our graduates are lost. And the two need to work together. On education, northern Nigeria has the higher population of uneducated people, yet most of our government schools are free. What does that say, we need to change our mindsets towards education and schools should not be expensive but on the other hand it mustn’t be free.
Honestly sometimes that’s why our youth don’t take school seriously. And we need them educated for a sustainable development.
The north has been moving backwards for a long time. We have been suffering from dwindling development and lack of good leadership.
Are there areas in your State you wish were better?
Yes. A lot. I don’t stay much in Kebbi but I know that many aspects needs development.
First of all,the capital city Birnin Kebbi is under developed. This is because majority of the population in Kebbi state don’t live in the capital. The capital is somehow deserted. They prefer staying in their local government areas. This is not a bad thing but as such development is scattered faintly over the state without any hub as the driving force for development.
If the indigenes of the state will come together and develop the capital or any strategic part of the state to make it the driving force, the centre of development it will help the state move forward. And soon from there development will reach all parts of the states. It’s like the market effect. Every seller or buyer comes to the market to engage in a transaction and at the end of the day every goes back home satisfied, one with money, one with what he needs. At last they’ve all developed!
What are you doing to change the narrative of the North?
I’m writing. And through the tip of my pen, I intend to change or improve the minds of my people and give a better perspective as regards to how the North is viewed by other parts of the country.
Aside from writing, I want to impart useful knowledge to the next generation. Today we are youths but tomorrow we are teachers. If we say our current situation is a as a result of the failure of our teachers, elders and leaders, what will we do when we become them? I want to change/improve the way of upbringing of the northern child.
Most importantly I’m trying to change myself. To be a good and resourceful citizen of the North. Break the barriers and change my mindset. Because in all sense, I’m the North, I’m the narrative.
What is your advice to other Northern Youths out there?
My advice to our youths is that they should strive to be productive. They should avoid ‘zaman kashe wando’ and the unyielding ‘zaman majalisa’. They should have set goals and objectives as that will give them focus and purpose. They should aspire to be more than just government workers or politicians.
It’s not that those are not good things to be but that there are not enough vacancies or positions for all of us out there. They should develop business mindsets and startup businesses. They should not chain their future perspective to their course of study. Meaning they should pursue their talents. Our youth need to believe they can become successful and be passionate about raising Northern Nigeria to a higher standard of living.
What makes you a proud Northerner?
Our rich cultural heritage. Our deep rooted history. I’m proud of the notable personalities the north has raised. Such as in recent times, the late eloquent Dan Masanin Kano, Sardaunan Sakkwato, The Golden Voice of Africa in the person of Tafawa Balewa. And far back, the renowned Caliph Usman Danfodio and his brother the erudite scholar, Abdullahin Gwandu. To last of whom I can possibly trace my ancestry to. And I’m proud of every northerner man or woman. I’m proud of the northern man. He is known to be honest, modest and a good leader.
I’m proud of the northern community. It has always been a structured one with guiding moral principles. The north has always been known to be a modest and peaceful community.
I’m proud of the mono dualistic nature of the north. Most people view northern Nigeria as a single entity. One language, one religion, one attire. But the north is very diverse. You can tell a person is from Sokoto by the first word he utters, from far a Borno man by his cap, up close, the embroidery on the clothing of a man from Zaria will tell him apart. There are numerous languages in the north. In Adamawa, the news is broadcasted in about five different major languages. The northeast has about the largest concentration of different native languages in the world. Especially in Taraba. I’m proud of the north. I’m proud of the Hausa language. Because despite our diversity in our dialects and languages, the hausa language has unified us. It has served as a common ground of understanding. Despite our different natures, you can tell a northern man on the busy streets of Lagos. We are diverse, yet we are united.
I’m a proud northerner!
What three words best describes you?
Easygoing, creative and multi-talented .