Khadija Mai is an indigene of Adamawa State, currently residing in Kaduna State.
She started her education in Adamawa state at Muhammadu Mai Memorial Primary School Yola, before leaving for Kaduna in 2003 where she completed her primary education in three different schools, before proceeding to Uncle Bado Memorial College for her Junior Secondary education and Zamani College for her Senior Secondary education.
She is presently studying Economics and Development studies in Federal University, Dutse.
What made you choose your career path?
To be honest, I never really liked economics as a subject back in secondary school. I always thought it was a useless course since I was sure that I was not going to choose anything related to economics.
Miss Amber, my economics teacher, sometimes said I might end up studying it in the University and I never took her seriously.
Yet, here I am about to start my second year. I really wanted to study Industrial Design but I didn’t meet the requirements, so I ended up studying my worst course. But Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), I think its the best for me because I am starting to really like it.
What are your interests/hobbies?
I love being around kids because I think they are amazing.
I like trying different fruits and vegetables, especially anything supposedly good for the body or hair.
I am an art lover. I love creative people , I love seeing creative things and I love creating creative things.
I am a food lover and my favorite past time is surfing the internet.
How do you think the North can move towards sustainable development?
The first thing we need to do in order to move forward is ensure adequate education in both Western and religious aspects.
I think illiteracy is the major problem affecting Northern Development. We sometimes use culture and religion as an excuse to refuse some vital things that are essential to our growth. For instance, the female child is forbidden from working even after she has gone to school and graduated with good results. We back this reason by saying that she goes out to mix up with men.
Meanwhile, this woman can do so much to make a difference in the society. We should give every woman a chance to be educated and to utilize that education for the betterment of the society. I believe the saying that goes “when you educate a girl child, you educate a nation”.
We need to come together and work hand in hand for a much better society.
Secondly, in all honesty, we Northerners are very lazy. An Eastern man can sleep in the market to make something out of himself, a Western student can go to school and farm at same time and still bring a very good result. But a typical Northern man would rather beg from someone or collect debt from those that worked hard to earn a living.
We always say “haka Allah yayi” (It is God’s will). We need to work hard and forget all our differences for a better society.
Are there areas in Adamawa you wish are better?
Our health sector needs serious work. Although we have a number of hospitals, I wish better healthcare will be accessible to the less privileged .
There is the need of better schools as well, especially primary schools where the less privilege children do not get a solid foundation. I also wish for good Adult Education programs, where our parents and can go for quality Western and Islamic education.
We need adequate water supply as well.
What are you doing to change the narrative of the North?
We used to have an NGO with my friends back in secondary school where we contributed weekly to buy something for orphans. We also visited hospitals and orphanages. It was called “Let’s Be The Difference.”
I hope to do more in the nearest future insha Allah.
But for now, there is really nothing I do. I just study hard and pray that one day I will be able to make a huge difference in the society.
What is your advice to the Northern youths out there?
I advice them to work and study very hard for a better future. Patience and prayer are very strong weapons to success.
What makes you a proud Northerner?
One reason I’m proud to be a northerner is the northern culture. I love our decent mode of dressing even when we adopt the western way of dressing .
I love the way we cherish our language dearly, preserving it for generations to come . A typical Hausa man speaks Hausa where ever he goes.
Most especially, the shy and reserved nature of the Fulani people (Pulaaku ) is something I’m very proud of.
What three words best describes you?
Focused, hardworking and dexterous.