Tell us a little about your family?

I am from Dawaki, Suleja Niger State. I am from a large family and the second child out of 14 children. I am happily married to Engineer Isa Abdullahi and we are blessed with five children.


What inspired you to advocate for youth and women empowerment?

My childhood experiences inspired me to become a broadcast journalist at the same time advocate for the empowerment of women and youths. Growing up from a humble beginnings, I developed this strong desire to change the narrative of most young girls like me. I desired to see one of my best friend who was married off immediately after primary school become a graduate, I wanted to see women given the opportunity to speak for themselves and be involved in the decision making process of their communities, I wished to see our highly talented and agile young people who are into drugs living a more productive lives. I had so many wishes growing up which I kept and held so tight; this is exactly what has been the greatest push that have continued to inspire me to be my best and  serve as a role model to the younger generation.

Since I joined the media, my reportage have remained of human angle stories especially that relates to women and youth. In the year 2014 I got nominated to represent Nigeria in the United States of America on ‘Global Women Health Issues’. This opportunity happened to be one of the most redefining moment of my life which actually influenced my decision to set up an NGO immediately I returned to Nigeria. The NGO which I named Crystal Youth and Women Empowerment Initiative aim to help the less privilege youth and women achieve their life goals and live safe and productive lives through mentorship and innovative leadership and development programs. Our activities is being carried out in Niger, Kogi State and the F.C.T. Although we have just completed the organisation’s registration with the CAC we have carried out series of programs targeting the youth and women, some of these programs include: Saving Her off the Street, War against Child Molestation and Rape, Help for the Flood Victims in Kogi State and the most recently is the Youth Peace Education Campaign in Suleja Niger State.


What are your challenges so far?

Media life aside, operating an NGO isn’t as easy as I initially thought especially as it has to do with finances as well as community participation but that wouldn’t deter me from achieving my vision for our women and youth.


What are your fondest childhood memories?

My childhood memories are the euphoria that usually accompanied my new school sandals and bags, which my father of beloved memory must provide me every term.


Who is your mentor?

Oprah Gail Wilfred is my mentor, I like her courage and determination to sail through the challenges she went through while growing up. I love her initiative for providing a safe space for  the girl child and youth in general.


What does style and fashion mean to you?

Style and fashion to me means modesty, natural and beautiful!


What’s your take on the new normal, sticking to facemask at the same time staying fashionable?

Using of facemask, practicing hand washing, avoiding crowded environment and taking a lot of water and fruits, well there is no contention that we are presently suffering from a global pandemic, which of course has mandated the use of the facemask as an important measure towards staying safe hence, the need for everyone to adhere and at the same time use it appropriately.


What is your advice to young people during this pandemic period?

I encourage every young person to know that there is a life after COVID-19, thus it is very important for them to engage themselves in gainful venture especially self development, entrepreneurship etc that would help them cope with the aftermath of COVID-19, because the youth of today are the future ahead.


What makes you happy and sweeps you off your feet?

Seeing children dancing, their dexterity and strength exhibited often sweeps me off my feet, at the same time assuring me that the future is beautiful.


How do you unwind?

When stressed out, I unwind by staying alone in a very calm and quiet environment.


What genre of music do you like and why?

I passionately love to listen to country side music because it has a way of playing into culture, feelings, and emotions. This is an old music genre, but it continues to dominate the airwaves until to date.


What is your highest point and where do you hope to be in the nearest future?

My highest point for now is the fact that I have been able to mentor over 500 young people, as well as influenced and empowered over 200 women with innovative ideas that can help them gain economic independence, the journey has just began.

I know you would want to know how i get funding for our activities? For now,  it’s personal savings and donations from friends, family and acquaintances that believe in my vision. Just recently we decided to establish a business line (Dependable Foods and Enterprise) to enable our women who have gained one skill or the other, get their products to the market through us  (The NGO) we decided this because most of our target are the stay at home women, who for a reason may not have access to selling their goods themselves and in the public so we step in to help out by selling their products. It’s been a mutual venture as it serves as a source of income for the women as well the little we realise, assists in touching lives. For now we have Kuli Kuli, yam flour, peanut butter bites, and liquid soup produced by some of our beneficiaries, though in small quantities but the results is what matters to us.

Hmmm, the future is bright, we hope in the nearest future to have a mentorship and skills acquisition centre were we can conveniently reach out to as many young people and women.


Do you think the Northern woman is where she ought to be?

We aren’t even near because we are still battling with the numerous issues that have continued to deter the girl-child from getting there.  Issues such as early marriage, denial of her rights to education, economic independence, career etc. One thing that the society is refusing to accept is that once a girl-child is educated, her community would have been liberated from diseases, poverty and violence, this is so because an educated girl grows up to be that woman who knows the value of balance diet in the life of her child, she becomes economically empowered because she knows she needs to support her husband and her extended family. She grows up to train and nurture her children with the best moral standards thus, the issue of having thugs, drug addicts etc wouldn’t even be there.

The beautiful thing is that as I earlier mentioned, the narrative is beginning to change even though it is very slow but I am very optimistic that some day soon we’ll get there.


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