Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic Newspaper, Muslim News Nigeria, has unveiled no fewer than thirty (30) Nigerian female Muslims who have excelled in their chosen areas of human endeavour.
These courageous women were presented in the February 2022 special print edition of the newspaper that was dedicated to celebrating World Hijab Day, held on Tuesday, February 1 in about 150 countries across the world.
The publisher, Mallam Rasheed Abubakar explained that the nominated ladies, representing different geo-political zones of Nigeria, were carefully chosen having considered some criteria.
He said most of the chosen women are those who do not only adorn the hijab, but also advocate for it in Nigeria.
“Many of them have also excelled despite the hurdles they faced. While others, despite their status in the society are still proud of being Muslimahs and associate with the hijab,” he said.
Abubakar, who is also the organiser of the “Global and Nigerian Muslim Personalities of the Year Awards“ explained that the release of the thirty (30) names was part of the activities to mark the 2022 World Hijab Day.
Hijab, literally translated as a covering and popularly described as a headscarf, is an attire worn by female Muslims to cover their heads and other parts of their body in the public in obedience to God’s commandment.
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Many hijab-wearing Muslim ladies have, however, been repeatedly molested and harassed in Nigeria and across the world for choosing to wear the hijab.
Abubakar, in a press release issued on Sunday, March 27, 2022, said the shortlisted names would serve as a point of reference for other believing women to stand firm, irrespective of challenges that come their way for wearing the hijab.
He said the management of the newspaper – the only Muslim-tailored media house in Nigeria – chose the 30 hijabites, irrespective of the size of their hijab, to appreciate their contributions and excellent performances in their various professions and chosen careers, more particularly for reaching out to the needy and the less privileged.
Abubakar explained that the nominees were categorized as women of substance in different areas such as leadership, religion, politics, media, finance, academics, activism, and those in the corporate world.
He said, “At this year’s World Hijab Day, we deemed it fit to acknowledge the women of substance in Nigeria for their dedication and perseverance. This is part of our own contribution to the advocacy on the use of hijab in the country. The fact that some women did not make the list does not mean they are not women of substance in their own world.
“Wearing the hijab is a fundamental human right of Muslim women, but some overzealous members of the public have continued to molest and persecute female Muslims who have chosen to wear the hijab.
“It’s on this premise that Muslim News wishes to acknowledge these women who have sailed the hurdles to excel in their chosen areas of human endeavors; hoping that they will always speak up in defence of Muslim girls’ rights to use the hijab in public and private establishments.
“We have various categories: they are Muslim hijab achievers in government; women achievers in the private sector, in NGO; Muslim women advocates in mundane and religious organizations; Muslim students, teachers, Muslim women who resist oppression; Muslim ladies in business and entrepreneurship”, he added.
The nominees are:
1. Hajiya Aisha Buhari is the wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari. She hails from Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria and she is one of the prominent first ladies Nigeria has had. Aisha Buhari is a beauty therapist who adorns the hijab and amazes the public with her fashion sense. She has a Diploma in Beauty Therapy from the Carlton Institute of Beauty Therapy, Windsor, United Kingdom as well as a certificate from a French Beauty School, Academie Esthetiquein Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Public Administration from Ambrose Ali University (AAU), Ekpoma and a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Strategic Studies (MIASS) from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
Prior to becoming the first lady, Aisha Buhari ran a beauty salon, Hanzy Spa and Hanzy Beauty Institute, Kaduna and Abuja. She is an expert in Cosmetology and Beauty Therapy. The wife of the President had served as a resource person for the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology. She also participated in curriculum development for the NBTE. In her almost fifteen years in the beauty industry, the hijabite had successfully trained, mentored and supported hundreds of Nigerians. She is an advocate of women and girl-child education, a passion honed by her experience growing up in a region where girls and women are educationally disadvantaged. She has sponsored and initiated so many programmes to empower the women folk and girls.
2. Ms. Amina Jane Mohammed is a British-Nigerian diplomat and politician. She currently holds a top job at the United Nations as the fifth Deputy Secretary-General. A highly accomplished Muslimah who covers up, Mohammed was Nigeria’s Minister of Environment between 2015 and 2016. From 2002 to 2005, she coordinated the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project. The diplomat would later serve as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2005, she was charged with the coordination of Nigeria’s debt relief funds toward the achievement of the MDGs.
Although born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, Amina Mohammed had her elementary education in Nigeria, both in Kaduna and Maiduguri. She is also an alumnus of Henley Management College. She had served on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.
3. Her Excellency, Hajiya Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu is the wife of His Excellency Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State. A Medicine and Surgery graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Zainab is a Consultant Paediatrician who is very passionate about children and women’s health with special focus on cancer.
The Kebbi State First Lady studied Paediatrics and Neonatology in the United Kingdom. She has over the years served in many technical committees, including the Steering Committee for the National Cancer Control Plan and a ministerial committee to build world-class diagnostic centres in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
A gifted orator and writer who frequently makes interventions on topical issues, Dr. Bagudu is the founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation, the Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF). MCF creates awareness on health matters, trains health workers, and funds the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients in Nigeria. Over the last four years, the foundation has raised over 100 million naira for the treatment and support of cancer patients. Dr. Bagudu is indeed a Muslim woman of substance.
4. Hajiya Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello is the wife of His Excellency Abubakar Sani Bello, the Executive Governor of Niger State. A quintessential Muslimah, the Niger State First Lady is also a medical doctor of many years’ experience in the public health sector.
Dr. Aminah studied Medicine at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. She also proceeded to Liverpool University in the United Kingdom to study Public Health. She is very passionate about public health, with special interest in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Through her Non-Governmental Organisation, Raise Foundation, the First Lady has reportedly given succor to thousands of women with cervical cancer, who undertook surgeries at her expense, as well as hundreds of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) victims, amongst others. Dr. Bello is one of the prominent Muslim women in northern Nigeria leading health interventions for the people.
5. Hajiya Dr. Asma’u Inuwa Yahaya is the wife of His Excellency Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, the Executive Governor of Gombe State. An adorable Muslimah who regularly adorns the hijab, she wears a full hijab that covers her from head to toe. The Gombe state First Lady is also reputed for embarking on pro-masses initiatives to support the government and make life easier for the downtrodden.
Hajiah Asma’u is always at the forefront of advocating the girl-child and women rights. She has organised several empowerment programmes for women in communities of Gombe State. Her Excellency also champions the fight against gender discrimination and violence.
6. Hajiya Dr. Amina Namadi Sambo is another astute and accomplished hijabite. A business leader and entrepreneur, Amina is the wife of former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, who was also former Governor of Kaduna State. Dr. Namadi Sambo who hails from Kano State, holds a BSc in Political Science from Bayero University, Kano (BUK) and a Diploma in Arabic Language from Al-Manar International College, Kaduna.
The Kano-born Muslimah is the Founder, I Care Women and Youth Initiative, contributing to the development of IT skills, finance, startup businesses, healthcare delivery, and HIV/AIDS awareness campaign. Her organisation has distributed empowerment tools to many groups; provided funds for the establishment of small and medium scale ventures; sponsored training of hundreds of women and youths in various computer and vocational skills, and facilitated the giving of micro-credit facilities.
Hajiya Aminah Namadi Sambo is a humanist and philanthropist who has received several laurels and commendations for her large-heartedness, industry and interventions.
7. Alhaja Rofiat Idowu Sanni is the National Amirah of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN). The niqabite is a trained and an experienced teacher who rose to the apex of her profession as a school Principal in the Oyo State Civil Service before her retirement.
Alhaja Rofiah Idowu Sanni became the 10th National Amirah of FOMWAN. The announcement came at the 36th Annual National Conference of the Muslim Women Organisation held between 25th to 28th August, 2021 at the Pyakas Government Science Secondary School, Maitama, Abuja.
She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Ibadan (UI). She is a wife of a prominent Oyo-born Islamic activist, Alhaji Kunle Sanni. Alhaja Rofiah is equally an Islamic activist who makes selfless efforts for the propagation and promotion of Islam.
8. Hajiya Munirah Ahmed Momodu is the Amirah and Coordinator of Al-Usrah Sisters’ Circle in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. She hails from Etsako East of Edo State, South-Southern Nigeria. Also the CEO of Mirobaby and Founder of Heartdialogue and Your Teen & I, Hajiah Munirah is very passionate about the wellbeing of children. She mentors and coaches teenagers and young adults on self enhancement and productivity.
Living in a region where Muslims are in the minority, Momodu is one of the very few ladies that wear the hijab in her community. Despite shaming and provocations from traducers, she has refused to drop the hijab and her religion, Islam. She is one of the shining lights in the hijab and a model for other Muslim ladies.
9. Mrs. Hajara Adeola is the Founder and Managing Director of Lotus Capital Limited, a Nigerian pioneer in Islamic asset management, private wealth management Advisory services and financial advisory services.
Prior to founding Lotus Capital, Hajara was the Director, CCT Islamic Finance at UBS Warburg, heading their London Islamic finance desk. And before joining UBS, she was a Convertible Bond Research Analyst at BNP Paribas, London. She is a seasoned professional with 25 years of international experience in research & analysis, investment management, corporate finance and Islamic finance.
10. Prof. Binta Tijjani Jibril is a Professor of Economics and Director, International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance (IIIBF), Bayero University, Kano. She is a globally renowned expert in Sukuk Structuring and has been keenly involved in several committees and technical/analytical work designing the FGN Sukuk issuances since 2017.
A brilliant Muslim woman of substance, Prof. Binta graduated with a first-class in Economics at BUK, finishing as the best graduating student of her class and essentially the first female to achieve such a feat. She also obtained a Masters degree with distinction from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, and a PhD in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. Her areas of specialization include Quantitative Development Economics, Economics of Education, and Islamic Economics.
The hijab-wearing Don had also served as Kano State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, where she became a strong advocate for girl-child education and integrated curriculum which combines secular and Islamic education to address the crisis of education in Northern Nigeria. Prof. Binta is a sought-after speaker on Islamic banking and finance, and a key resource person for the Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals (IIFP), the West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), the Islamic Development Bank, and other global reputable training centers across the world.
11. Hajiya Suwebah Bola Kupolati is the Women Affairs Secretary of Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria, NASFAT, a Nigerian Muslim prayer group with focus on the spiritual, economic and moral uprightness of Nigerian Muslims . Hajiya Kupolati has served NASFAT in a couple of capacities, too numerous to mention, but the most recent of this endeavours is her serving as NASFAT Empowerment Secretary and the Chairperson of NASFAT Women in Agric Production Cooperative Society. She was also a member of Board of Director, NASFAT Agency for Zakat and Sadaqah (NAZAS). She is also a member of Muharram Sisters, an NGO involved in Prison Vanguard Initiative that helps to provide care and relief aid for inmates.
The honest, hardworking intellectual Muslimah in Hijab is a seasoned administrator who served at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture where she was a deputy director until her retirement in 2019. She is a trained agriculturist with an MSc in Fisheries and Marine Biology from University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Hajiya Kupolati is presently with the Lagos State Judiciary Service Commission as a Member of the Customary Court. She is a philanthropist who believes in promoting the welfare of others, especially by the generous donations of money in good causes. Hajiya Kupolati is a Fellow of Fisheries Society Of Nigeria (FISON).
12. Hajiya Morufat Balogun is a Professor of Genetics at the University of Ibadan. She is also a Visiting Scientist (Tissue Culture Specialist) of the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) Project. Hajiya Balogun has had a stint at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training Moor Plantation, Ibadan for 10 years where she left as a Senior Research Fellow. She then joined the services of the University of Ibadan and was promoted tp full Professorship in October 2018.
Hajiya Morufat Balogun is a Fellow, United Nations University/Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (2000); IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria (2000-2005); Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellowship for Women in Science, United States Department of Agriculture (2005). She is a member of the Royal Society of Biology and Fellow, International Institute for Training, Research and Economic Development. Also a member of the Genetics Society of Nigeria and the Society for In vitro Biology (United States), the professor has won grants from the State Department, USAID, USDA, and the MacArthur Foundation.
She is also the Naibul Ameerah (Vice President) of The Criterion (Association of Muslim women in business and professions) in Oyo state. She is also a member of other Muslim bodies such as Bodija Estates and Environs Muslim Community; UI Muslim Community, among others.
13. Hajiya Sekinah Lawal is one of the finest Muslimahs in the Nigerian media space. A committed hijabite, who uses any opportunity at her disposal to help the course of Allah. She is an advocate of hijab who spread the universality of the Islamic message through her weekly column back then in the the now rested National Mirror.
Hajiya Lawal, a member of NSCIA media committee, has facilitated various training programmes bordering on accountability in governance, peaceful coexistence, advocacy, citizens’ rights, positive masculinity, gender equality, youths and women in leadership, and reproductive health matters, among others.
She has attended many trainings, workshops and conferences within and outside Nigeria. They include the CNN African Journalist Media Workshop, the British Council Training on Quality and Accurate Health Reporting and the UNESCO Training on Safety of Journalists in Nigeria, among others. She is a two-time recipient of the Lagos State Quality Health Reporting Awards and the Dame Awards on Developmental Reporting.
14. Hajiya Mutiat Orolu-Balogun is the Founder and CEO, Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiatives, HRAI, an advocacy group that secures the rights of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab in Nigeria. Hajiya Orolu-Balogun, through HRAI, has collaborated with different organisations in Nigeria to demand and secure the rights of Muslim girls to use hijab. She is the convener of the annual World Hijab Day in Nigeria. The 2022 edition in Lagos which held on February 1st had about 20 notable organisations forming a coalition. This beautiful Muslimah in hijab is a legal practitioner with experience in human rights advocacy, business, corporate, employment and labour law practice, media, research, and customer service.
15. Since 2017 when she made up her mind to enter into Islam wholeheartedly and pronounce the Kalimah, popular Igbo Muslim activist, Aisha Ugochi Obi has dedicated her life to Da’wah (Islamic propagation). Hailed from Nbaitoli Local Government Area in Imo State, the CEO of Aishat Obi Da’wah Foundation is very passionate about the overall wellbeing of orphans, widows, widowers. She has been threatened and even attacked by some hostile people, who see her Islamic activism as a ‘threat’ to the Igbo community, where Muslims are in the minority, but they are presumed not to be heard. Yet, the Secretary General of FOMWAN Okigwe Branch and National Women Leader of Muslim and Christian Youths Council of Nigeria; has remained committed to the service of Allah. Apart from her kindness to the needy, she is always happy preaching to rejected members of the society (thugs – both males and females) many of whom have accepted Islam and turned new leaves through her relentless advocacy.
16. Malama Hadiza Balanti is arguably one of the most brilliant media personalities and successful entrepreneurs from the northern hemisphere. Blessed with oratory prowess, especially in Hausa language, the hijab-wearing presenter and producer has been dishing out Islamic messages to many northern audience via medium, Freedom Radio, the first independent indigenous FM radio station in Northern Nigeria, with its headquarters in Kano. Malama Balanti, the CEO of DAKE AKE Global Consultancy, is the brain behind a popular call-in programme on radio every Friday, and the programme, which has been running for over a decade has impacted millions of audience positively.
17. Al-Muminaat is one of the leading Muslim women organisations fighting for the rights of Muslim ladies in Nigeria. The organisation under the leadership of Hajiya Nimotallah Abdulquadir has provided both spiritual guidance; professional and vocational training to its members that cut across the states of the Federation, including the FCT, Abuja. Hajiya Nimotallah isn’t only a revered religious leader, she is currently the Deputy Director of Education, Lagos State Education District 2. With a BSc in Education (UNILAG) and Masters in Guidance and Counselling from the University of Ibadan, the advocate of hijab is a certified biology teacher with 15 years experience. She belongs to different professional bodies including Professional Counselors Association of Nigeria (APROCON), Teachers Registration (TRCN) Council of Nigeria, and an active member of the Muslim Teachers Association of Nigeria (MUTAN), among others.
18. Ummahani Ahmad Amin is the CEO of The Metropolitan, a Corporate and Commercial Law Firm and The Metropolitan Skills Limited, a capacity building and consulting firm. Ummahani, who hails from Borno state, got her LLB certification from Bayero University, Kano and her Masters in Business and Commercial Law from the same institution. She equally has a diploma in Negotiation Skills from the Institute of Negotiations, South Africa. She’s a certified Public-Private Partnership expert from the Institute of Public-Private Partnership, Washington.
Called to Bar in 2003, Ummahani has since acquired work experience in litigations, private banking, corporate practice and consulting; having worked with the CBN, Jos Branch for her national youth service year and subsequently with Solomon Umoh & Co., Mohammed Shuaib Chambers and Northbridge Investment and Trust Limited.
An achiever and a go-getter, Ummahani established her law firm in 2008, where she’s now a Managing Partner. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, the International Federation of Women Lawyers and the International Bar Association.
19. Hajiya Basheerah Majekodunmi is the Amirah of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, Lagos State – the most active area unit, that has been at the forefront of hijab advocacy in Nigeria. Hajiya Majekodunmi, a positive mindset enthusiast, business coach, mother, teacher, leader, blogger and a role model has served at different capacities and levels of the society before her emergence as the female head. She has attended several courses, trainings and seminars on business, and with this, she has been able to build her brand.
From her wealth of experience, she has trained many entrepreneurs on ‘how to overcome procrastination’, ‘how to build resilience for business amidst all odds’ and has a ‘Health, Wealth and Wisdom’ page on Facebook where she blogs on how to live a happy and successful life.
Hajiya Majekodunmi has also worked with several young sisters and mothers to become better versions of themselves. They have moved from having fixed to growth mindsets. She is currently working on two projects; an academy to train business owners on ‘how to set up a business from home’ and an NGO to help secondary school students ‘eradicate poverty mindset’.
20. Who doesn’t know Ny’mat? Yes, the same Ny’mat Zibiri-Akashat, one of the beautiful damsels on Your View, a daily talk show, phone-in programme on TVC. She isn’t just a practicing lawyer, the beautiful Muslimah is also an advocate of truth, fairness, and justice, as we have seen her exhibiting this inspiring outlook on screen. Ny’mat’s religion, Islam, has greatly influenced her lifestyle even while on duty. That’s why she has used the medium to address the Islamic position on a myriad of issues discussed by the ladies of Your View, directly or indirectly. Ny’mat, who hails from Edo State, is a role model to many, especially young aspiring and promising female TV personalities, who have never thought that a Muslim in hijab can stand out in the men-dominated broadcasting industry. With her presence on screen, she is a mouthpiece of every voiceless Muslim school girl/lady in hijab who are being discriminated against in private and public places. Ny’mat, together with her beautiful friends, have brought guests – including Hijabis and Niqabis, to express their views on the ranging hijab crisis in some parts of southwest, Nigeria, on World Hijab Day, held globally every first of February.
21. Hajiya Firdaus Amasa has become a household name following her audacious hijab activism with the Body of Benchers (BOB) at the Nigerian Law School during her Call to Bar ceremony in 2017/18, which put a stop to years-long discriminatory practice of not allowing Muslim ladies wear the hijab for the event. Firdaus is a graduate of Law. She bagged a Second Class Upper Degree in Law at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State. Amasa proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Abuja Campus where she obtained her Barrister-at-Law Certificate in 2017, but was denied Call to Bar alongside her colleagues due to her stand of wearing the hijab. Later in 2018, she was allowed the Call to Bar, opening the opportunity for hijab to be duly recognized for the event. Amasa has won many laurels for her rare courage and unprecedented action and seen by many young Muslimah as a symbol of resistance. Her areas of practice in the legal profession include, human rights, corporate and commercial practice, banking, real estate and property law practice, civil and criminal litigation, family law, Islamic law, international law, arbitration.
22. Hajiya Kabirah Kafidipe is a renowned filmmaker, actress, presenter, producer and director. She is popularly known as “Araparegangan” for the major role she played in Tunde Kelani of Mainframe (Opomulero) production’s blockbuster movie “Saworo-Ide” in 1999. She’s similarly featured in other outstanding blockbuster films as: Iwalewa, Irugbin, Obiri Oloja and her recent faith-based film, ‘A date with Asmau’, released in 2020 shortly after she made a comeback to the industry she left barely a decade ago. Kafidipe isn’t only a practicing Muslim who promotes the universality of the Islamic message through her movies, she’s also a certified mass communicator, a host of round table series (an initiative projecting the act of consciousness in islam). She is young and active, a passionate being, loves filming, serving humanity, particularly the less privileged through her foundation, “DURO ORIKE FOUNDATION”.
23. Hajiya Bushrah Olagunju-Matemilola is a graduate of English and International Studies from Osun State University, Osogbo where she came top of her department. She similarly obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Mass Communication and a Masters in the same field. Recently, she obtained another Masters, this time in Literature-in-English; all from the University of Lagos, Akoka.
Olagunju-Matemilola is a multiple entrepreneur who is engaged in a number of fields, ranging from an online bookstore as well media presentation on both TV and radio stations. She is at the moment the Managing Director of Hasbee Royale, an online fashion store for both male and female alike. She is an author of three books, a motivational speaker who has trained individuals and group of students as well as adults on skills acquisition.
24. A plenipotentiary, Maryam Thaoban Adam Al-Ilory is the Executive Director and Founder of NobleHeart Children Foundation, an NGO for the promotion of child welfarism through diverse means, with a record of impacting thousands of indigent children’s lives across Nigeria. She is the founder of Victims of Cancer initiative, a support platform for those affected by cancer in one way or another; the patients and their family especially.
A Law graduate (LLB) from the University of Lagos, a trained and experienced journalist from Nigerian Institute of Journalism and an award-winning poet, as well as the author of “Journal of a student-mother”, “One-28 days A Widow” among others, Hajiah Thaoban finds joy in helping people manage emotions, attain freedom, monitor their growth, build relationships, shape perception, thrive through grief, accept losses, win hearts and drive changes through writing.
25. Dr. Azeezat Yishawu is a Medical Doctor and Speaker of the Nigeria Youth Parliament with over 4 years of active experience in grassroots mobilization, citizen engagement, and stakeholder management. She has worked with NGOs like Involve Africa, Constitution Lab, etc. to advance democracy and human rights.
She is a Carrington Youth Alumnae, a Fellow at the USA International Visitor Leadership Program and the Young Women Political Leadership School. She is a former member, Lagos State Youth Parliament and also a former speaker of Lagos State University Medical Students Association (LASUMSA) Senate.
Azeezat is the Founder of Ethics and Political Leadership Foundation, an NGO committed to driving effective democracy, good governance in Nigeria; and co-founder of Constitution Lab, a youth-led organization committed to providing Nigerians with working knowledge of the Nigeria Constitution.
26. Labeebah Damilola Dhikrullah is one of the beautiful scions of Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafii, a renowned Muslim scholar. Labeebah, who hails from Iwo, Osun completed her primary education at An-Najat International School, Surulere Lagos in 2008. She then proceeded to Vanguards Academy, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state. She completed her secondary school education in 2014. Labeebah obtained her Bachelor of Science from University of Lagos in 2021 where she graduated with a first class degree in Marine Science (Biology). She recently completed her 1 year compulsory service year at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Abuja where she worked at the Cabotage Department.
27. Fatima Akinola is another quintessential hijabite who has done Islam proud through her academic excellence and essentially by shattering a 42-year record. Akinola became the first graduating student to bag a first-class in the Department of Mathematics, Usman Danfodiyo University (UDUS). She later went ahead to clinch a perfect grade of 4.0 at Marshall University, US.
According to Fatimah, her love for Mathematics dates back to childhood. She used to be an avid follower of the televised Cowbell Mathematics Competition, of which she later represented her school at state and national levels. She believes women need more representation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
28. Like other Muslim students making the ummah proud, Basirat Rufai became a cynosure when she did the unimaginable at the University of Ibadan during its 2019 convocation held in late 2021. The Abeokuta, Ogun State-born scholar graduated with a near-perfect CGPA of 6.9/7.0 to become the overall best graduating Pharmacy student. She is no doubt a perfect example of the popular axiom “I cover my hair, not my brain”, as she recorded distinctions in all her courses, including Clinical Pharmacy, and carted away major prizes during the well-attended ceremony.
29. Fatimah Adubiaro – Hijab-wearing Muslim lady from Ekiti was among the luckiest ones at the recently held induction ceremony of College of Medicine, University of Lagos, CMUL, as she graduated with two degrees – an intercalated BSc Physiology and MBBS, with 10 distinctions overall during the course of studying at the medical school.
The prizes the Ado-Ekiti State-born Muslimah won include: Best Final Year student in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Best Graduating Student in Obstetrics and Gynecology, part 1 and 2 and lastly, Best Graduating Student in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. In addition to her feats, Dr. Fatimah has completed the memorisation of the Noble Qur’an.
30. Despite the growing hatred and molestation, some Muslim students in hijab and niqab have continued to break grounds in their academic spaces. One of them is Hajiya Hamdallah Abolaji Abdulhakeem – a first-class graduate of Educational Management (Economics) from Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Kwara State. Hamdallah, a Niqabi, was the only first-class graduate produced by her department during the 2021 Convocation ceremony. She hails from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Hamdallah, who wears niqab, is also an Haafidha (memoriser of the whole Qur’an) from Darul-Arqam li Tahfeezil Quran, where she completed the memorisation in 2018. Before then, she had obtained an NCE in Business Education from Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo in 2016.
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