Hajiya Maryam Bolanle Yusuf FCEM, FAIE is the wife of Alhaji (Dr. Kamorudeen Ibitoye Yusuf FCSN, a successful business magnate popularly called KAMWIRE. In this interview with ROYAL NEWS, she spoke on sundry issues of national importance. Excerpts:
Can we meet you ?
I’m Alhaja (Chief) Bolanle Maryam Yusuf. I was born on 25th June 1969 to the family of late Mr S.A. Abioye, a lecturer and late Mrs. V. Abioye, a nursing sister of Ikoja Compound, Omu-Aran, in the present Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
I had my primary school education at St. John’s Primary School, Sabo Oke, Ilorin and later proceeded to Cherubim & Seraphim College, Ilorin, Kwara State for my secondary school education where i finished in 1986. Read also: http://www.royalnews.com.ng/2017/10/31/yeye-oba-afaaji-kamwires-wife-honoured/
I admitted into the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin to study English/Government in 1987 and and I finished in 1990. I proceeded to the prestigious University of Ilorin, to study English Language Education and later obtained a Bachelor of Education (B.A.Ed.) Degree in 1997.
Furthermore, I went to the great University of Lagos where obtained a Master Degree in Educational Administration.
Hajiya Maryam Bolanle YusufYou are adjudged as a multi-faceted business entrepreneur, what inform this compliment?
Well, I don’t know why but all I know is I am highly resourceful, skillful and enterprising. To the glory of God, I am the Managing Director of KAM Industries Limited, Managing Director of BITKAM Nigeria Enterprises, Managing Director of DIMKIT Nigeria Limited, Managing Director of MISTUFIK Venture, Managing Director of KAM FARM INVESTMENT and Managing Director of KAM Quarry Limited. I am a Fellow of the African Institute Enterprise (FAIE) and Fellow of the Certified Enterprise Manager (FCEM) of the African Institute of Enterprise Development and Management.
Nigeria became an independent country in 1960 and we are yet to have a female governor or a female president more than five decades after
independence; what do you think the Nigerian women should do to work towards getting such a feat achieved?
That is an important question but one has to hesitate and be mindful of the choice of words in answering the question because it is like being torn between facing the reality or having a wishful thinking.The dictate of our religions and that of African culture do not promote the ideas of having a woman as the head of the society or the one that will lead the society. For example in Islam, A woman cannot be a imam, there are so many other features that help in making it clear that men are design to be the head and the leaders. Imagine a woman as a female Imam in prostration during prayers and having the men queuing behind her, the distraction will be more than what they can bear. This does not imply foreclosing the dream of having a female governor or a female president and it does not also mean that I am against those dreaming to achieve those political powers. I only state my personal opinion that by designs, it is clear that God made men the
head of the family, the head of the society and the head of the
country. In the biblical account available, Deborah led the Israelites to war but was never made the king. Dorcas was also a virtuous woman but she was never made a king ditto for Esther.
In the recent times, a good number of female students have recorded exceptional academic excellence and the number seems to even be higher than that of men, does it mean women are really taking over? Well, I am not really sure about that because I don’t have the data, it is good news anyway but it does not in any way imply that women are taking over from the men. A man is the head of the family and the one
to give the wife the instructions. I know about a particular family where the wife is a medical doctor and the husband is a very junior civil servant and let me tell you this, the woman still shows loyalty and honours to the husband because he is the head of the family and the wife must obey him and take to is instructions. It is well stated in the Holy Bible and the Quran, a friend of mine do refer to a verse in the Quran which says ‘Arijalu qawamuna alanisai’. I also want to
note here that though Khadijat was older and richer than the prophet, she still had a hundred percent loyalty to the prophet Muhammad as the head of the family, the Yoruba speaking people also have a common saying that ‘obeti bale ile kiije, iyale ile kiise’, the import implication of the saying is to establish men’s authority over the woman. It is important to note, however, that a good number of woman
have excelled greatly in business, politics and the other callings and still maintain a peaceful and blissful marital life. Some are very intelligent, calm and focused, some have creative minds and are quite industrious which also goes to confirm the common notion that what a man can do, a woman can do better’. Read also: FG Urged To Resuscitate Technical Schools To Reduce Unemployment
We have some women as National Assembly members, ministers and they have contributed greatly to the nation building project. What is important is to ensure your career, business concerns and other callings do not affect your home.
Among the women in the political circle; who are the personalities you could consider as your role model?
I don’t really devote attention to getting them assessed but I respect the late Dora Akunyili. She was agile and intelligent, what she did in NAFDAC and her records there remain unbeatable, indeed she was an achiever. I also admire Dr. Okonjo Iwela though in my own view she was never a politician only that she took up political appointments. Dr.
Sarah Alade is also another woman that I doff my cap for and holds high esteem. The only person I can single out among the real politicians is Senator Gbemisola Saraki. She is pretty and calm, she is also quite good when it comes to politics, Senator Remi Tinubu too is strong-minded, intelligent and tough. I also appreciate the womansome people do describe as my look- alike, HON. Ayo Omidiran of the House of Representatives. She has been up and doing too. Mrs. Toyin
Saraki is not a politician but I can say she has done well in using her well-being foundation to touch people’s lives. I do see her on television traversing countries; sparing time and resources all in the name of making her foundations record positive touch in the lives of people. She is amiable and nice. Behind a successful man, there is a responsible and good woman, without Toyin Saraki there can be no Bukola Saraki. I know she has really supported her husband; she is also very strong but she is not a politician.
You are well-known in the society circle and as a celebrity, does the status come with challenges?
That is your own personal opinion anyway, I don’t know
about that; I am Bolanle Iyadunni Yusuf and I am a house wife, you are the one just informing me that I am popular but I don’t think so because I am not a politician, I am a housewife and a business tycoon but anyway if you say I am popular that could be among my people and in terms of challenges that come with being a known face. The truth is that with divine support, God has made it easy for me to handle things
and issues. I hardly go out, I am very private person and not someone that loves going out without restraints but I attend parties because as a woman the ‘Owanbe’ thing is there, it is an every Saturday affair and you can’t avoid it because you have family members, friends, religious group members who would definitely invite you to events that you must attend. One of the challenges is that people take you for granted and you dare not complain because different meanings will be
read to your reactions. There are challenges from different quarters but it is normal thing you learn lessons from such and can’t ever stop learning because life is a like a teacher. You learn every day in different ways, what you need to do is to adopt, ‘what gonna be gonna be’ as your watch words, I will turn 50 soon and I have seen a lot, what goes up must come down. There is nothing new under the sky, what
we should pray for is God protection and guardians, so that one can have strength to face challenges. One it comes, you face it, thrash it and get well-prepared for the other one that will teach you a lesson. However, whatever the forms or nature of challenges; prayer solves them all. But most importantly, I like to spend and hare some of my moments with the less privilege, Orphans and vulnerable children. In fact, I have put in place a foundation that will continue to cater for their needs in order to keep them hoping for a better future.
Could you share the secret of your beauty and how you maintain your skin?
The secret is God and having a loving husband in the person of Alhaji Kamorudeen Yusuf. Whatever I have achieved or things I have done, it has been with his support. Once you have rest of mind, you will definitely look good, the secret of every woman beauty is enjoying peace of mind at the level of the domestic front and enjoying divine support.