Contemporary Northern female role models

Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i rose through the ranks and attained the highest academic position in the university. She served as a commissioner of education in her home state, Jigawa, and later as minister of education. She demystified one of the many myths around the girl-child potential in Northern Nigeria.

The medical profession in Nigeria, and precisely the North, has largely been male-dominated ever since Western education came to us. Amidst that milieu, Katsina produced the first female medical doctor in the region, Dr (Mrs) Halima Yalwa Adamu. The likes of Hadiza Shehu Galadanchi trained and excelled as Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, one of the physically gruelling specialities in Medicine.

My father was a consistent listener of the BBC Hausa service. And I grew up very familiar with Jamila Tangaza’s voice, free of any crack and inspiring to even the casual listener. Hindu Rufa’i Waziri was another regular producer in the same organisation. And their performances rivalled those of their male colleagues. I later found out that Tangaza is a town in Sokoto, and the presence of other Tangazas in the media scene to date could have been inspired by Jamila’s decent career.

With the right mindset, fashion can be turned into fame. Hajiya Bola Shagaya is a fashion designer and one of the richest women in Africa.

The list goes on; all of local women who have carved a niche for themselves in chosen endeavours, solid role models for our sisters and daughters.

If one Kannywood actress parades herself as a role model, the next spontaneous question I will ask myself is: does she fit to be a role model to my unborn daughter, sister or any girl-child in the region? What exact impact has she made in her unique way, solving any sociocultural/religious issues in the region, without compromising the tenets of our religion and culture?

Globalisation is a process, and the sprout of entertainment industries like the Kannywood in our midst has just begun. However, the public conduct of some actors and actresses leaves little to be desired of a role model in them, in a region where the bar of public and moral conduct in both sexes has already been set high. Recent scandals involving some of them only upend the foundation of whatever they claim.

Dr Zahraddin Abdullahi, Kafin Hausa, Jigawa State

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