Page 1




a r t x E

Aishatu Ahmad Transforming the education scene with diligence

Hi there!

This week’s edition, there’s a lot of interesting content to look forward to. On the beauty page, we’re dishing out all you need to know about facial waxing for a smooth

face and also, dealing with skin boils on a healthy living segment. Our cover personality this week is Hajiya Aishatu Muhammad Baba Ahmad, the Commissioner of Education in Gombe state. She gives a lot of insight into how she’s


Mashed Irish potato moin-moin by HALIMA ABDULRAZAK


re you tired of having Irish Potatoes in the regular, fried or boiled way? Irish potatoes can not only be fried or made as a porridge, you can mash itt and make a delicious and mouth-watering moinmoin with little ingredient and easy to prepare, it saves time and it is filled with lots of nutritional packs, it is a must cook in every home.

Chopped onion Chopped pepper Groundnut oil PROCEDURE In a clean pot, put the pilled Irish Potatoes

INGREDIENTS Peeled Irish potatoes 5 large eggs Seasoning to taste Chopped carrots Washed peas

and allow to cook until soft, next is to remove from fire and mash thoroughly, keep aside and boil your peas and carrots in a different pot, until it is soft, when cooked pour it into the mashed Iris potatoes and stir, add your Irish s seasoning which include, salt, M Maggi and anyone of your c choice, it’s optional, add your c chopped onion and pepper, b break the eggs and pour inside an stir thoroughly. Tie into and a clean white plastic bag or a container and cook for 15 m minutes. Remove from the fire an untie into a clean plate and and ea with sauce as you desire. It eat is best served when hot. Enjoy wi friends and family. with With additional information from the internet

Classic strawberry banana smoothie


trawberry banana smoothie is a healthy and refreshing milkshake that helps burn fats in the body also gives you energy. It is not expensive and requires just four ingredients. It can be taken at any time of the day. INGREDIENTS 2 cup of frozen strawberries. 1 fresh banana, peeled. 1 cup milk preferably almond milk 1 cup ice.

1 tablespoon honey, if needed to sweeten. DIRECTIONS In a clean blender, pour your chopped banana, strawberries, almond milk, ice and honey all ingredients to a blender, and pulse until combined. If the smoothie is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more fruit and/or ice. To get your desired smoothie, enjoy with loved ones.

redefining the educational sector in her state and a lot about life. Have a splendid Sunday.

– Amina Alhassan Call: 0818 7703733 or Email us at:


Creating an ideal outdoor grill in your backyard by HAFSAH ABUBAKAR MATAZU


ometimes, we tend to neglect how much we can do with our outdoor space. The backyard is a place that can be used for so many functional purposes, from relaxing, recreational purposes and entertaining. But it can also be used as a place to cook lovely grilled meals on a nice day and enjoy eating it with family and friends. An outdoor barbeque is perfect for days when you’ve had enough of staying indoors and just want to enjoy a great day outside without necessarily leaving the house. Not only will your house be filled with smokey mouthwatering scents, but mouthwatering meals as well made in a fully functional

outdoor grill. There are many grill options to choose from depending on your taste and budget, so no need to fret, you can customise it according to your budget. There’s something for everyone. You can even include a cute sitting arrangement to woo your guests while cooking up something for them on your outside grill. If you don’t have one, perhaps it’s time that you get one. After all, what’s the point of having a backyard and abundance of outdoor space if you don’t utilise it the way you should? So create a functional outdoor grill for your home and make the best of it for you and your family.



// CO V E R

Hajiya Aisha with daughter and grandchildren

Transforming the educational scene with diligence Interview by HARUNA GIMBA (GOMBE) Introduction My name is Aishatu MB Ahmad, I am an indigene of Gombe State from Akko Local Government. I was born in Gombe on August 14, 1966 to the family of late Malam Magaji Aliyu Barunde, my father is the son of Sarkin Tukulma Aliyu and a grandson to the famous Galadiman Gombe, Barunde. My mother of blessed memory is a princess from the Pindiga Emirate. Her father, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan is the Emir of Pindiga she was also the granddaughter of the famous Sarkin Pindiga Hassan. I am number three in the family of six children. And I am also the first and only female child in my family because of my position as the only female daughter in the family, I was fondly raised by my parent. My father also named me after his grandmother because of his special love and affection for his grandmother. Eventually in the cause of growing up I found myself between two families. At a stage I was living with my grandmother and later with my parent. I am also a writer with three published books; ‘Vision of the Jewel’, ‘Voice from the Kitchen’ and The twist’. I also coauthored titled ‘The GSM Wisphers’. The books are read in FCT College of Education, Zuba, Abuja. FCE Zaria, Gombe State University and Senior Secondary Schools across Gombe State. Educational background I started primary education in Kaltungo in 1971, then there wasn’t nursery education. We went straight to primary one at Kaltungo Primary Education Authority (LEA). I was then staying with my grandmother in Kaltungo. But I completed primary at Hassan Central Primary School, Gombe in 1978, because I had to move to Gombe to stay with my mother after my father died. After primary school I proceeded to Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Doma, from 1978 to 1983. Immediately after graduating from secondary school I got married in 1983. In fact, after finishing secondary school, I didn’t spend up to a month in my father’s house before I got married. After my wedding, I continued my education at the College of Education (COE) in Azare, Katagum in Bauchi State in 1984 and bagged an NCE in English and Hausa in1987. In the same 1987 I secured admission at the University of Maiduguri where I graduated with a Bachelor of Education in English Language with Second Class Upper in 1991. I did my NYSC in two places. Initially I was serving at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, then my husband moved to Kaduna, so I had to transfer and completed my NYSC at the Kaduna Polytechnic. Career background When I graduated from the COE Azare, I got three certificates of merit: I was the Best Student in Hausa, Teaching Practice and in the School of Arts and Social Sciences. So, I was given automatic employment at the college’s demonstration school. I accepted the offer and started working there before my husband felt that I should leave the job and proceed to the university and acquire a degree. After NYSC I had a stint at the National Teachers Institute (NTI) in demonstration school for few years, teaching Primary one pupils. I really appreciate that experience because it is still impacting on what I am doing today. I then moved back to Bauchi when I saw an advert of a teaching job at the ATBU. I applied, was called for interview and offered a job at the General Studies Department as a

Graduate Assistant. I spent six years lecturing at the ATBU. In 1996 when the Gombe State was created, my husband being a civil servant, had to move to Gombe, so I had no option than to follow him. In Gombe, I started lecturing at the FCE (T), Gombe, where I was teaching Use of English. I was teaching when the college’s provost felt that there was need for a new head at the staff school. So he directed that I should go and head the school and automatically became the Headmistress of the FCE (T) Demonstration School. I then had two responsibilities, teaching my students and heading the demonstration school. Then my husband got an appointment at the National Boundary Commission (NBC) in Abuja, again as a woman, I had no option than to follow him to Abuja. While in Abuja, I applied and got appointment with the College of Education (COE), Zuba, in the School of Languages, teaching English Language. Later I became head of my department, then the dean of the school. At a time I was the acting Deputy Provost of the COE, Zuba. I was occupying that position when I was called in 2007 to be the Gombe State Commissioner for Education. That was how I found myself in Gombe in 2007 under the administration of Governor Danjuma Goje. I spent four years, and after our tenure ended in 2011, I went back to COE Zuba and continued working. I was called again

by the new governor to come again and serve as the Commissioner for Education. After his first tenure in 2015, I went back to COE Zuba again, but he also called me again to serve, that is where I am today. What benchmark did you set for yourself when you were first appointed? After our swearing in in 2007, while sitting at the council chamber waiting for our posting, I was praying in my mind that God should make it possible for me to be posted to the education sector, because I have passion for education and I was also a teacher, not because of compulsion or I don’t have any other job to do, because I like to teach and also love children. Then, behold I heard that Aishatu MB Ahmad should go to the Ministry of Education. I almost jumped out of joy. When I came to the ministry, people were wondering, because I am the first female to be Commissioner for Education in the state. They were surprised that a woman would be posted as commissioner. But within myself I was happy and as a teacher I have a lot of benchmarks that I want to achieve. Having taught in schools I know that I have what it takes to turn around the schools. So, it was never difficult for me. So when I came, my first priority was to motivate teachers, because I know with good, committed and well-motivated teachers, learning can effectively take place even under trees. So I decided not to be a sitting commissioner who is always in the office. I decided to be going to the classrooms to be teaching myself. I was going to the schools to be teaching and interacting with the students, going to the dining halls to eat with them and conducting assemblies in some schools and attending evening classes. I also carried out inspections, and the teachers seeing me in classes doing exactly what I was instructing them to do. I brought myself to everybody’s level. When I meet the students I interact with them as my children, and with the teachers as their colleague, which actually I am. We interact, brainstorm and rub minds and through that we are able to push the level of education forward in the state. Apart from motivation, I decided that we should have adequate teaching and instructional materials for them, because when we came on board, we had instances of

students graduating without having the feel of a textbook. That is why we have failure in external examinations. So, with the coming of this government a lot has been done; congestion of classrooms and poor motivation of teachers and a lot have disappeared. Have you achieved the benchmark you set for yourself? I am happy today because looking back we have achieved so much. With support from Governor Dankwambo I can say we have achieved beyond our dream. Example, in our science secondary schools, the committee recommended well-equipped laboratory each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics, but the governor went ahead to build three laboratories each for the three subjects in all our science schools. That is, SS I, SS II and SS III have separate laboratories to facilitate the practical teaching of these subjects. And that has done a lot of magic for us. Growing up My childhood was very nice and encouraging and I always look back with nostalgia. I recall my days in Kaltungo when I was living with my grandmother. Family life back then was communal, when you entered my grandmother’s house you could move up to seven houses from the same door. They were separate houses but they used the same door, unlike today when people don’t even know your neighbours. When returning from school, I moved from house to house before finally arriving at my grandmother’s house. I also remember the days when we will be climbing mango and guava trees, as well as singing, dancing and listening to folktales (tatsuniya) after dinner. All these things have disappeared and I so much miss them. We learnt a lot from our grandparents by sitting down with them to gist. Also, about six to seven of us would sit down and eat together from the same bowl. We really had a nice childhood and always look back with nostalgia. Challenges The major challenge I faced in life was when I lost my father, then I was staying with my grandmother. My father died when I was 10 years old. He was the breadwinner of the family. My mother never went to school, so she was a complete housewife. Therefore, when he died we really felt his absence; that my grandmother had to move from Kaltungo to Gombe. The other one is the general challenge that a career woman normally gets in the course of building her career. When I was at the COE Azare, my husband was a lecturer there. I was going to school and at the same time taking care of the family. It was really challenging but I tried my best and you can see from the certificates of merit I received when I graduated. Eventually, my husband had to leave for a PhD abroad, he left me and I had to go and stay with another family.


AISHATU MB AHMAD // CO V E R Another challenge is to leave my husband and children in Abuja and come down to Gombe and take a job as a commissioner: it is not easy at all, even though I once left them when I was going for my masters at the University of Jos. Then my husband was working in Bauchi, I left my only daughter when she was just a young girl of three years. Despite the previous experience, I still find it challenging. I am thanking God that I was able to do it and the family is able to bear my absence: especially my husband, who I always see as my mentor, who has done quite a lot to help me stabilise in my work, and I will keep appreciating what he has done. Life lessons The greatest lesson is that people have taken women for granted. But when a woman proves that she is a hard nut to crack, then there will be a change of attitude. So a woman has to work extra hard wherever she finds herself, otherwise people tend to downgrade women and see us as lazy and not so hard working as men. That is the factor that I keep in my mind that keeps pushing me to give my best wherever I find myself. Most rewarding part of my career The most rewarding part of my career is the commendation I keep receiving. When I was a dean at COE Zuba, all the deans in the school were assessed and I became the best dean in the whole college, it was very rewarding for me. And when I took up this appointment, because of the extent of work we are doing, I have received a letter of commendation from the state executive council. There was a never a day the council had a meeting and I was absent. The governor himself recommended that the council should give me a commendation letter. He is very happy with the job that we are doing. I have also received an award from the presidency as the Most Innovative Commissioner for Education in the North East. The president directed that they should find out the most performing commissioner in the whole federation, and they did it using the zones. And I was lucky to be recognised as the most innovative commissioner and I got the award twice. I recently got an award from USAID as the best commissioner in implementing their projects in the North East. There are other numerous awards, some from my students. Aspirations growing up I always admired teachers and I am happy that I have become a one. My aspiration was to become a teacher and God answered my prayer. I think my aspiration to become a teacher was because I saw teachers as good people: as people who moulded the life of children, and I have a special love for children and a special likeness for humanity. Also, I always want to be in a school setting. And most importantly, because teachers contribute to the development of the society and that was why I aspired to become one. And I am happy that I am contributing as a teacher and as an administrator in the education sector. Fond childhood memories What I miss much about my childhood is the communal aspect. Then, people lived in the community like one family. I can go to my neighbour’s house and find someone cooking or doing other house chores and I would just take over and continue without being asked to. I would not hesitate to carry baggage from an elder to his house. I moved freely without the fear of being kidnapped, there was no issue of petty theft or armed robbery in the society. I looked at my Christian brothers as my own brothers, no segregation in terms of tribe or religion. I didn’t know

where they came from. I sincerely believe we should revisit the past because there are a lot of lessons that our children need to imbibe for Nigeria to move forward. Joys of motherhood On the day I gave birth to my daughter, I had mixed feelings. I gave birth to my daughter on the day my mother died. There was a four-hour interval between my mother’s death and the arrival of my daughter. When my mother died I was in labour and I spent 10 years after my marriage without getting a child. When I delivered the girl, I was just looking at her and smiling. My husband heard about my mother’s death but he decided not to disclose it to me. So I was so happy and kept telling them to call my mother on phone and break the news to her, they kept giving me excuses until the third day when they broke the news to me that my mother died the day I gave birth to my daughter, Aisha. So I kept looking at the baby because my mother was the person I loved deeply. So I saw my daughter as a consolation from God on the day I lost the person that I loved so dearly. It had always been my mother’s dream to see my child. She prayed fervently for me to have a child and looked forward to the day she would see my daughter. And the baby came on the day that she died. Motherhood is a blessing and an opportunity to raise young ones. I am blessed with four little grandchildren that I am fond of. I gave birth to only one

child, but so many children have grown up under my care in this house. They have grown up and are working in so many sectors. How I met my husband My husband is my relative. He always came to visit my mother who was his aunty, and that was how it happened. So, it was from seeing his aunty that the chemistry worked, as they say, the rest is history. Most cherished attribute of his He has a very serious mentoring capacity. He is my mentor and has been a mentor in the family. His mentorship is a gift from God. And other attributes I like in him are his fear of God in whatever he does and I also admire him in terms of sacrifice that he can make for me and the society at large. When I was leaving Abuja to come to take up this appointment, I saw it as a serious sacrifice on his part. Because being his only wife, he allowed me to come and contribute my quota to the development of our state. When I asked him why he was doing that, he said he knew what I could do and he wanted the society to benefit from my knowledge. Top five things on my wish list My top priority is to continue to impact on humanity positively. To do that more, presently I aspire to represent my constituency, Akko


Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives. My next wish is that the next governor that will take over from Dankwambo will continue with the good work we are doing in the education sector. Favourite kind of music on replay I always like the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, particularly recitation by Sheikh Abdurrahman Al-Sudais, the melody and the messages in the verses are captivating. I listen to the recitation mostly at night in the quietness of my room before going to bed. First app I check in the morning and at bedtime WhatApps and mails. Favourite fashion items I like jewelry, especially my rings. Flats or heels? Flats, because of my height, otherwise I will be too tall. Most expensive fashion accessory My jewelry. What I wouldn’t be caught wearing Trendy and skimpy dresses. Favourite travel destination Saudi Arabia: to refresh my soul, pray and seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah for my shortcomings. How I relax I rest on my bed after a long day. Favourite quote or saying The first is, “A man’s best friend is his w ” While the second is, “There is wife. n force than a woman determined no t rise.” to Favourite food Pounded yam and vegetable soup. Definition of style Simplicity and whatever makes m me comfortable and appear decent. Favourite perfume, designer b bag and shoes Hugo and Gucci for perfume, I ccarry any bag, so also for shoes. Mum’s advice that has stuck w with me over the years She advised me never to transfer aaggression to anyone no matter the ssituation, and I carry this with me w wherever I go. Favourite colour, car, sport and w weather Brown, I am not particular about ccars, but there was a Honda Element I had, I loved that car. For sports, I llove handball, I played it in the past. I like rainy season. Favourite day of the week Friday, it is a great day and as a Muslim, I just love the day. I also love Saturday because it gives me time to rest. Role model(s) My role models are two. First is Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), she is the ultimate role model to all the Muslim women. Second is my mother, who was another Aisha, who was an epitome of love and compassion. Looking back, what I would tell a younger me I will tell a younger me to persevere and be consistent in anything she does. She should always have a goal and target. Final message I have message to my people that I am coming to contest for the House of Representatives in 2019. I am doing this not for my own benefit but for the things that I keep on seeing around. I have a feeling that the kind of representation we are seeing today is not what it should be. I really want to touch lives, I want to impact positively on humanity and particularly my constituency, Akko Federal Constituency, I want to turn around the lives of particularly youths and contribute to the development of Akko Local Government Area.



DJ Cuppy to send 10 people to university this year Nigeria female DJ Cuppy, daughter of a billionaire business tycoon Femi Adetola, took to her twitter page saying that it is always a great thing when people give back to the society. She intends sponsoring 10 people through their university education this year. She stated via her instagram page. She has proven that it isn’t all just words as the first student, Akeem Owolabi, is already off to the

Nigerian superstar Olamide loses mum The Nigerian multi-talented singer and rapper Olamide has lost his mother. Although the details of her death are unclear for now, is it also noted that the rapper lost his father few years ago as well.He took to his Instagram account with the caption, “Orisa bi iya o si.” His fans sympathized with him at his trying time and pray that the Lord gives him the fortitude to bear the loss.

Singer Di’Ja confirms she’s expecting baby number two The Mavin star, Di’Ja, who gave birth to a boy back in 2016 has revealed she’s expecting baby number 2 soon. She wrote on vlogger Adanna Steinacker‘s Instagram post on de-cluttering in preparation for a second baby. She added, “God help me declutter for the next arrival. So close and I haven’t started. Where have u been all my life?”the artiste seems very full of excitement for the arrival of her second baby. Congratulations to her.






Facial waxing by HALIMA ABDULRAZAK


t can be a tasking regime trying to get facial hair off. Waxing can be an easy way out. Waxing, as Wikipedia terms it, is a form of semi-permanent hair removal which removes the hair from the root. Facial hair waxing is fairly quick and gets even fine hair which can last for weeks at a time if performed the right way. So before you go taking the warm gooey stuff near your face, you will need the right product to avoid redness of the face and pimples. Facial waxing is often a much better choice over shaving for women because it uplifts hair out of the follicle and can keep skin hair-free for weeks at a time. These pluses are great for

the facial zone, zone which oft often en rank as one of the most annoying places of unwanted hair for women. Salon and spa appointments can really add up. If you don’t have the time or the funds in your budget, knowing how to remove hair at home with the gooey stuff can be a real asset.

Cream wax heated up in a wax pot is wonderful for many skin types. It’s great for delicate facial skin because it’s moisturising, gentle and it’s also easier to work with than honey wax because of its less sticky consistency. Cream wax is usually the much better choice for delicate skin. It seems to be less painful than honey waxing. Hair removal products break down hair so that it can be easily wiped off, a little bit better than shaving the face because it doesn’t us usually create as sharp of tip like ffrom using a razor. Results will o only last for a couple days at m most. Just be careful because hair rremoval creams contain harsh cchemicals and can burn your skin, eespecially the delicate area of the fface.

With additional information from the internet


Dealing with skin boils


oils are probably one of the most uncomfortable skin conditions imaginable. These painful lumps on the skin can pop up anywhere, but are mostly found in places where there’s hair, sweat and friction. Such places include inner thighs, armpits and other such places. According to Dr. Richard Agaba of Umaru Musa Yaradua Hospital, Sabon Wuse, Niger State; he says the boil develops, a mix of dead bacteria, dead white blood cells and dead skin cells accumulate to form pus. Although they may vary in size, the effect and pain is the same. There are simple ways to prevent boils which include washing and bathing frequently with mild antibacterial soap, cleaning small cuts and wounds with appropriate ointments such as iodine and disinfectants, covering wounds properly until well healed and also, eating well and exercising to boost the function of your immune system. However, if you happen to fall on the unfortunate side and develop a boil, it can also be treated at home or with medication. Either way, it should fully heal and

disappear within a time span of one to three weeks. Ways to treat boils at home include: Applying a warm and moist compress for intervals of 10 minutes three times a day to increase blood circulation around the boil and in turn, attract more white blood cells to fight the infection within the boil. Once the boil bursts, cover it with a sterile dressing to prevent further spread of infection and wash your hands with hot


Ovarian cyst

I am 29 years old and currently on admission for a case of ovarian cyst. I have had this for more than two years and doctors keep telling me there is no problem. I have had some sharp pains in the past few days. The scan I did shows a haemorrhagic cyst of 5.7 by 6.2cm on the right side. The doctor is insisting on operating me but I don’t want operation. What do I do? – Helen, Abuja Ovarian cyst of the size you mentioned may not need operation, but the pains that have made you to be on admission has changed the picture. It is a complicated ovarian cyst most likely due to torsion. If the twisted ovary had untwisted the pain would have subsided. For the pain to persist is not a good sign. Torsion after some time when the blood vessels become gangrenous would result into a dead ovary and persistent pain can lead to rupture of the ovary, which can be very dangerous. At this stage the possibility of ovarian torsion is high and I agree with your doctor. The operation (ovarian cystectomy) should be done as an emergency. An early operation would help to preserve the ovary. In case of a gangrenous ovary, the ovary on that side has to be removed.

Low sperm count


Dr. Nathaniel Adewole, MOBILE: 0803 8039182 EMAIL:

water and antibacterial hand wash. But if the boil is painful, over the counter pain killers can be taken to curb it. If this doesn’t work for you and the boil doesn’t burst (never burst it yourself for it will only further complicate matters), taking antibiotics to fight the bacteria and aid the healing process is also another option. Also, going to a see a doctor is also a good idea so that a professional can take the necessary measures of draining and treating the boil. With additional information from the internet

My husband did a sperm test and the result shows he has low sperm count. The sperm level is five million. He has refused to take drugs insisting he is okay since he can perform. We have been married for five years now and I am 38 years old now. I am being blamed for our childlessness. He drinks and smokes heavily. Please I am getting frustrated, advice me. – Maryam, Kaduna It is a sad situation in sub Saharan Africa when it comes to infertility among men. The age-long custom of blaming the woman by the husband and relatives still persists. In this particular case the problem is male factor infertility. He would need to take some drugs that can boost the sperm count. Being a heavy smoker and drinking does not help the matter. The two of you should see a gynaecologist and a urologist. The urologist needs to examine him in case of varicocele which may neccecitate surgery. Your husband would also be counselled on the negative effects of smoking and drinking. If you have the financial means you can go for assisted conception therapy.

2nd CS or normal delivery?

I had Caesarean section two years ago and I am 38 weeks pregnant now. I did a scan about a week ago and the baby weighed 3.48kg. Would I deliver normally or would it be another CS? – Taiwo, Bauchi What did your doctor tell you, did he assess your pelvis? Vaginal delivery after CS is known VBAC. It occurs in selected cases. In our environment here we prefer to try a woman who has a normal pelvis with an estimated fetal weight of 3.5kg. I advise that the fetal weight test should be repeated at 39 or 40 weeks. See an obstetrician for proper assessment. Please do not run away from CS because the most important thing is you and your baby’s health.