My profile of the week is Aisha Yesufu
Last week was dominated by news of the people rising up against police violence in Nigeria and especially, demanding the disbanding of the “SARS” Special Anti-Robbery Squad. In many main cities traffic came to a stand-still. In other cities of the world sympathy marches happened.
Elections and democracy are OK. But, more and more it appears that, governments have become slow or inactive to the needs of their citizens. The youths are impatient. They need hope, not empty promises. Hope is what conjures the future for these youths. Without it they are helpless and are no longer accepting to live on promises.
So, the past week, I looked at Nigeria to find my profile of the week. It was easy, because she has activism in her DNA. She is special because she is driven by empathy or as she puts it, she is driven by the suffering of others.
My profile of the week is Aisha Yesufu. She was born and raised in Kano. She says,
“where I grew in Kano State, can be compared to a ghetto, in fact some people call it the Ajegunle of Kano, where you have a lot of drug users, street children almajiris, where and using drugs was very normal .
If you are not into drugs in that area, you were seen as “odd person.”
Ajegunle, popularly Known as AJ City or simply AJ, is a neighborhood located in the heart of Lagos and Almajiris is a system of Islamic education taught in Nigeria.
Born 46 years ago, as she grew up, she quickly understood that education was the key. She was determined and resisted her culture and its traditions, and insisted pursuing her studies as most of her friends were married off at the tender age of 11 years old. She eventually did marry Aliu at the age of 24 when she was already in University.
The hallmark of her activist has to be in 2014 when she was the co-convener of the “Bring Back our Girls” movement that gain global attention and focus following the abduction of over 200 girls from the Chibok Secondary School. She was right there with the women who protested at the National Assembly in the Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on April 14th, 2014.
A fighter against injustice, Aisha, a graduate in microbiology is a phenomenon within the context of her religion and the culture is now capturing the nationwide and global attention. She is cut off the cloth of passionate activists for some decades passed, whose cause was their end and not a means to an end which is what drive many of the so-called activists today.
Many African countries and as a matter, many countries of the world are having to deal with the generational transition in which the citizens and mostly the youth want a governance system that is immediately responsive to their needs. In Nigeria, they will have to henceforth recon with Aisha, this tireless engine driven by “Turbo from Kano”.
If it concerns women, she becomes steadfast and uncompromising! What drives her? We said it before. In her own words,” One of the things I battle with is survivor’s guilt. I feel why that person and not me? When I say yesterday’s victims were once survivors, I feel it so deeply and my question is who is next?” Now that is empathy