Focused, Hard-Working, Inspirational, Under God
You could be forgiven if you take a cursory look at the Ahman Family in the picture above and say “Well, these folks must be uptown. They look so posh. Divinities must have cracked their kernels for them from the beginning of time.” Well, you are wrong. Few families start off in life tougher than the beaming beauties and dashing young men in this family portrait of The Ahmans. The head of the family, Alhaji Ahmadu Sardauna Ahman, a public servant, is no more. He passed on in 2002, quite untimely at the age of 39, when the first child of the family – the dashing young man left of the picture, Sulaiman Tahir Ahman – was a seven-year-old boy and the youngest child in the family, Ahmed – that’s the handsome chap on the right – was only two months old! At the time, thebreadwinner had just joined politics, to fulfill his dream of following in his late father, Alhaji Ahman Patigi’s footsteps. The Matriarch of this beautiful family, Hajiya Amina Alhassan Ahman – that her in the middle – was a full-time homemaker. It’s been a long and tough the journey of life for The Ahmans, before they got to the point of taking this beauty of a family portrait, which, The Dream Daily must admit, oozes upper class affluence often associated with Royalty.
The Ahmans, though, are solidly middle class and if you perceive the gentry in them here, it is a collective nobility acquired through prayers, hard work, patience and perseverance of each member of the family since the untimely demise of their breadwinner, under Allah’s guidance and loving charge of Hajiya Amina.
“I lost my husband 12 years ago, on 15th August 2002. It was a very trying period. I had four young children. The last was just two months old and back then I could only envision a bleak future because I wasn’t even working at the time,” Hajiya Amina, a senior editor with the LEADERSHIP Group of newspapers tells The Dream Daily in Abuja.
“When I first met my late husband in 1990, it was not love at first sight but there was mutual respect as our families were quite close. We met a few years later, and that was when the love and respect grew, ending up in matrimony. Like any young bride, I looked forward to a happy future well into old age with my husband and children around me. Indeed, it all shaped up very well at the beginning as Allah blessed us with four beautiful children in rapid succession. Then, death came knocking and my loving husband was gone, taken away from us through the hands of assassins. Although as a Muslim I believed that it was destiny at play and the wish of Allah, it was a devastating collapse of my world. I thought I could not cope but to Allah be the Glory, gradually, I picked up the pieces. I got a job and with the help of my family and in-laws, and with knowledge that my husband always encouraged independence, I started to support my children and myself. It was rough but God saw us through,” she adds in an assured voice laden with emotions.
“Only my first child, Sulaiman, has a faint idea of the happy family ambience we enjoyed when my husband was alive; the others were too young to recall it. I fill it in for them now from the sweet memories of that time that I remember just like yesterday and with family photographs taken in those beautiful times; beautiful times they were and I will treasure them till the day I pass on to meet my Creator,” says Hajiya Amina.
Perhaps there is a lot in a name or being named after a strong historical personage after all, for the strength of character with which Hajiya Amina raises her children under the twists and turns of fate mirrors the persona of the legendary Queen Amina of the great Zazzau Kingdom, better known as the Zaria Emirate today. It is to the glory of God and testament to Hajiya Amina’s efforts as well as support from her broher-in-law, Alhaji Aliyu, to raise responsible children that the Ahman kids are doing great in life today.
Sulaiman Tahir, is an undergraduate at Howard University, Maryland USA where he is studying to be a Computer Analyst. Children are sometimes compelled to grow up beyond their years by the loss of a father early in life. This is true for Sulaiman. From a very young age, life handed him the challenging role of father and big brother rolled into one in the Ahman Family. It is a role Sulaiman has played well. You cannot miss the wisdom beyond his calendar age in this promising young man in a conversation. “Nothing in life comes easy; if it does, then value it because it might not last long. To make it in life you have to work hard,” says this young, quiet, promising ICT geek who loves playing or watching basketball and football. He is an avid Manchester United fan.
Sakina, the family’s second child – is second right in the picture – is a young lady who loves learning and exploring the frontiers of knowledge. Having recently graduated from college, she wants to be a psychologist. Her culinary skills make meal time a delight at home, which many family friends love to grace on invitation or even gatecrash. Highly artistic, Sakina’s fashion designing and photography skills are blossoming by the day. She plans to leverage on these skills in the future as an entrepreneur to open a restaurant, fashion house and photo studio. Sakina’s inter-personal skills are obvious. She effortlessly makes people feel relaxed in her company and is always a helping hand to those around her. “I love the fact that we have been able to stay together as a family despite the rough times,” she tells The Dream Daily.
The third child, Amal, is on her way to SSS1 next school session. Amal wants to be a Neuro-scientist because she wants to understand and help patients with brain-related problems. On the quiet side, she is very compassionate and places high premium on others’ feelings. The multi-tasking hero of the family, 14-year-old Amal is amazingly efficient on house chores assigned to her and readily goes the extra mile to do more. She loves cooking too and is also a good artist with high hopes of doing something more with her art skills in life. “I like the discipline my mother gives us. She knows how to measure it out. It is never too much but always enough to keep us from doing the wrong things,” says Amal.
Ahmed is the baby of the house. Also known as ‘Baba’ having been named after his grandfather, Ahmed will be in JSS2 at the start of school next session. He is still undecided about future ambitions for now but Engineering and Science seem to be on the front burners for him. Encouraged to start reading at an early age, the PERCY JACKSON series by Rick Riordan tops his list of favorite books. Ahmed recently won a quiz show called “Brainpower” on radio and encourages others to try the show “even if they don’t win.” Like his age mates, Ahmed likes to play in his free time.
The Dream Daily is proud to feature of Hajiya Amina Alhassan Ahman and her beautiful family in the first edition of our “Family Of The Day” page, to the Glory of God and inspiration to all reading families. We wish the Ahman Family more success in the future.