Zainab Usman: A lady extraordinaire by Muhammad Muntasir Adamu

It’s said that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra. As such Zainab is unarguably and undoubtedly an extraordinary lady and one of the best of her generation. As an undergraduate student, she is among those few young individuals that I look up to because of their remarkable achievements and their zeal in what they’re doing.

Since the commencement of this year’s annual ASUU strike which is just one of the Nigerian factors, I decided that am going to devote the whole of this compulsory break into reading books, essays, articles, some online and while others offline.  In the process, I became a regular visitor of Zainab’s blog site. Her blog and that of other great Nigerians became my dwelling home on the Nigerian cybersphere.

Zainab is someone who I think in my humble view is also full of humility. In one of her post which she titled “Back to school” which was posted on October 5, 2012, she was able to tell her reading audience in short words the plight of many Northern Nigerian ladies when she said “…I am acutely aware of how “lucky” someone of my demographic: black, African, Nigerian (Northern-Muslim in particular) woman is, to have such opportunities to pursue their dream,…”. It is humble prayer that in years to come, there will be many Zainabs in the Northern of the country.

Zainab is among the few graduates who left the university with not just their certificates but also with the comrade struggle (Aluta continua, Victoria accerta) which she has intrepidly deployed in her cascading fulmination against our philistines and political class. She writes articles on issues that are bedeviling the Nigerian society and proffer solutions on different mediums.

Zainab is an Amazon gifted with guts, gumption and iron in her backbone. Unfortunately, her poise, finesse, elegance and mental acuity can only be matched by few. I usually referred to her as Nigeria’s Thatcher because she is strong hearted, firm and resolute also.

Zainab has proved that it is possible for lady to combine beauty with brain and sparkling achievements. By doing this, she has joined the lengthy list of eminent women who are today occupying a sensitive place in the hall of fame not only in Nigeria or Africa but the world at large.

Few times I have wondered whether this greatness is from the name “Zainab” because my god-mother who goes by the name of Prof. Zainab Alkali is in my humble view, one of the greatest women to have ever grace the earth because she has proved herself as a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, god- mother, grandmother, lecturer, writer, University administrator and others numerous to mention. But if my assumption turns out to be true, I will have no option but to marry any lady who bears this name. Fortunately, there is one in my town who is also an undergraduate like yours truly.

Conclusively, Zainab I wish you the best in your entire doings. You are an inspiration especially to young individuals like me. Keep doing what you are doing and may the almighty God guide and protect you all the way. I assure you that as long as ASUU continues to strike; your blog site has not seen the last of me yet.

Zainab blogs at

Muntasir is a student of Univeristy of Jos, Jos, Nigeria.

@muntasirkanam(on twitter)


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