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Home TOP NEWS Katsina: Grandma from Kurfi, 79, fulfils lifelong dream of being a graduate
Katsina: Grandma from Kurfi, 79, fulfils lifelong dream of being a graduate

Katsina: Grandma from Kurfi, 79, fulfils lifelong dream of being a graduate

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For 79-year-old Hajiya Fatima Kurfi,  it was fulfilment of a lifelong ambition to wear an academic gown signalling graduation from a university. Her dream came true, alongside 1,678 graduates of Al-Qalam University in Katsina, Katsina State, when they were called upon to receive their various degrees at a convocation last week.‘Mama Kurfi’, as she is fondly called by course-mates, was admitted into the university in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in IslamicStudies in 2009, but her convocation ceremony was deferred, with others’, till last week when the university held its maiden convocation for seven sets that have passed through the institute.A mother of four, and with over 20 grandchildren, Mama Kurfi felt age was no barrier to pursue of education as it has always been her desire to seek for knowledge at any possible time. Elated, and close to tears, she told Daily Trust that seeking formal education, which she had missed early on, was an error she had always wanted to correct.“When I was young, there used to be a primary school in Kurfi town were all my peers went, but I was not among them. After I got married, my husband started to teach me how to read and write, and it was with this I was able to guide my children,” Mama Kurfi said. When her husband left for England and she joined him there, her spoken English improved greatly during the almost three years she spent there.“During my stay there, I tried to do something about my education but could not. Upon my return to the country, I took up the challenge to get the formal education as all this time I was stilldoing my informal teaching and learning processes,” she said. She then enrolled in an Arabic Teachers College where she did her secondary school, then proceeded for a Diploma at Danfodio College, an affiliate of Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto. After three years there, she got admitted into Al-Qalam University in 2005 to 2009.To Mama Kurfi, age is no barrier to seeking education, as it is a very important tool for life. “An uneducated person is not complete. Even if he tries other ventures like business, his lack of education will limit him greatly,” she said.Recalling her secondary school days, Mama Kurfisaid she was enrolled in the same class with her grandchild. She said: “It wasn’t awkward at all. In fact it was fun. We’d meet and do homework together and share thoughts and information on various subjects. It was quite memorable.”Mama Kurfi has been an advocate of girl child education, as her Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has been up-and-doing in ensuring female children get educated. She also runs a private school were children of humble backgrounds are given access to both Western and Islamic education.Mama Kurfi’s husband was a federal permanent secretary and is the Maradin Katsina and District Head of Kurfi , Ahmadu Kurfi.For her 64-year-old son, Architect Mansur Kurfi, she has not only made them proud but has showed that it’s never too late to seek knowledge.“I feel proud, because she spent her early years guiding and teaching us how to read and write, with no formal education. I got my degree 41 years ago in 1975, so for my mother to do this at her age, it is both amazing and heart-warming,” he said.Some of her colleagues spoke glowingly about her, saying she fit into the class perfectly, with no hang-ups about age or status.Hajiya Fatima Abdullahi Aminchi, who has been with Mama Kurfi from secondary school to university said her dedication gingers the younger ones to do what is right. She added that she participates fully in all exercises, prompting some of them to joke that ‘If Mama can do it, why not us the small ones?’To some of Mama Kurfi’s grandchildren, like Ibrahim and Ummulkhair Kurfi, it was all praise to God to have their grandma’s fulfilment of a lifelong ambition.Ibrahim said: “If you see Mama a hundred times in one day, all she would want to hear is what is happening with school, with hopes that there are no problems, and she’d ask us to feel free to talk to her about it. From day one, she has been all-outfor education.”Ummulkhair said it was with joy she travelled down to witness Mama in her academic gown, asher dream, too, has been to witness her grandma’s special day.On whether Mama Kurfi intends to further her education, she smiled: “Ah, I don’t think I can do that. This is enough, but I can still research at home because my husband is a teacher and has written several books which I can go further with.”

(culled from daily trust)

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