Can you please introduce yourself to us?
My name is Amrah Aliyu, An Activist, a Broadcast Journalist with radio and TV experience.
I am a women and children’s rights advocate, passionate about leveraging media and advocacy to create a safe haven for the most vulnerable in my community.
Can you tell us about your background & how growing up was like to you?
I was born and raised in Minna, Niger state. My growing up was not similar to that of every child who grew up with their parents. I grew up with a strong woman, my feminist grandmother, who was a philanthropist, giving was part of our daily routine. She was that generous and it was infectious.
She was a feminist unknowingly. She was fierce and fought for women who were treated badly by their husbands, she fought for children and injustice too, and every child was hers.
She didn’t go to school but she made sure I went to one of the best schools in town, she was pain and she was joy.
I must say I took much more of her traits so while growing up it felt like it’s normal to always give a helping hand. All of this shaped me into the person I am today.
How did your growing up motivate you and what impact did it have in shaping your person & personality?
My growing up has to be the reason I am the person I am today. It subconsciously had a really great impact on me.
You are a Global Goodwill Ambassador, an Activist, a Journalist and media advocate, how do you manage all that and have time for yourself?
Everything in my life is in phases, my being an Activist started when I became a broadcaster at a radio station, I was translating and anchoring a program in Hausa – Not just a pretty face; which translates to “ba kyaun fuska kadai gareki ba”. It was a program aimed at educating women and girls in the community on their rights and what to do if those rights were violated. The program was an eye opener even to me on what women are going through in my community and I knew right away that the world will do well with one more hand. I needed to do something, so I did.
You can say that what I did at the radio station was sort of a media advocacy, before I felt the need to join organizations who are fighting all of these causes. I first had to make people aware of what I was doing and they recommended me to be a Global Goodwill Ambassador. I went through series of tests and interviews and I was honored to be part of the awesome family of humanitarians worldwide.
Your LinkedIn profile says serial entrepreneur, why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?
I choose to become an entrepreneur because most of the things I did were voluntary, and to, or try to, effect some changes I figured I needed funds to achieve all of this. Hence, the reason why I started to use my skills and rendered some services to get funds and also for others to benefit from.
You are a Poet and Author, can you tell us more about that?
I was a Poet long before all of this started. I wrote about love, injustice and pain. It was basically what I felt that I wrote about. Even though I write less these days because of my so many engagements, I still write about women and children.
My collection of poems “Shy Dimples” will be out in a bit.
You are co-founder of ArewaMeToo, Minna?
Yes, I am.
“ArewaMetoo”as a whole started on Twitter where a northern girl was brave enough to call out her abuser which made a lot of others talk about theirs. So a movement started and we decided to start up ours in Minna. We had our first meeting and decided to go to schools to educate school children on rape, consent and how they can report, and much more
What challenges have you faced in running ArewaMeToo, Minna?
Well one of the big challenge we were faced with is people’s cooperation. People misunderstand us and say so many cruel things to us.
Is there any plan you have for ArewaMeToo, Minna, which you have not yet achieved?
We want to reach a point where every person takes responsibility of fighting for the rights of girls who molested or raped.
Has being a Muslim ever influence your decision in any path you have chosen?
Yes I believe so, especially since Islam preaches love and kindness
Tell us about your COVID–19 project. What inspired it and have you achieved your desired your result yet?
My COVID–19 project was influenced by the state of affairs in my community. I was worried so many people thought COVID–19 is fake so I wanted to change that through community sensitization and also wanted to give free hand sanitizer, hand wash and face masks to people who couldn’t afford it to make things easy for them.
Yes to some extent I have achieved a lot. I’ve been able to change perceptions and hearsay’s, and I was grateful I did. Because of my project I received a “Leader Award”. It is an award that celebrated the remarkable efforts of change makers across the world. SDGs youth Nigeria and BBC media action also featured me on their platforms.
What is/are your advice(s) for young Muslimahs?
My advice to young Muslimahs is to overlook the barriers or lack of support and try to do something no matter how little in their immediate communities.