Halima Usman Nagado is from Jigawa State, married with four children, an Economist and founder of Impact Sickle Cell Anaemia Foundation, Abuja.
She speaks to Tambari on her sojourn in life.
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I am a graduate of Economics from Bayero University Kano and I hold M.Sc. Economics from Nile University, Abuja.
Give us an insight into your career background
I did my NYSC in the year 2001 with CBN, Kano branch. I then worked at the National Assembly Service Commission from 2004 to 2005. I worked in First Bank Nigeria from 2005 to 2007, there I was the customer service officer. I also worked at Oceanic Bank from 2007 to 2011 as the Head Customer Service and cash officer. I started work at the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2011 and still there till date where I am the senior manager, Research Department..
Why I switched to humanitarianism
Impact Sickle Cell Anaemia Foundation is a long-nurtured dream that is officially launched in November 2018. So far, we have recorded remarkable milestones; we cater for one hundred and fifty children. We give them routine medication on a quarterly basis and when they require any kind of intervention to help them with complications, we play our roles and offer additional financial support.
Well, my main trial in life is sickle cell disease because my mother had it; my grandmother had four children with it. Before I got married, my husband was misdiagnosed as AA so we went ahead and got married. Along the line one of my boys was diagnosed as sickle cell; that was when we realized my husband is AS and not AA as diagnosed earlier. We accepted fate and took is as part of our destiny, regrettably, in 2012, I lost my son at 11 years. I decided that this should be a calling for me; to reach out to less privileged living with sickle cell and ensure we give them a quality life. When they grow up, they have their self-esteem and achieve their goals.
Aspirations growing up
I have always had the aspiration of engaging in humanitarian activities. I really wanted to impact the lives of people that are vulnerable, less privileged, or have a challenge.
Fond childhood memories
I miss reading a lot because it helped me while growing up. I belonged to a book club, but I do not have that time anymore.
What is my typical day is like
I wake up by 5:00 am to say my prayers. I exercise by jogging; I am a civil servant and I resume work by 8:00 am, so I prepare ahead for work. Averagely, I close by 5 pm so I come back home to be with my family. I give up my weekend and public holidays for service to the sickle cell foundation and during public holidays.
My most cherished gift
That has to be my first car from my husband.
Three fashion accessories I always have on me
A wristwatch, an earring, and a ring.
Best travel destination
Wow! They are much, but I like the United Kingdom because I feel at home there.
Mode of relaxation
I only relax when I am sleeping.
The last good book I read and how it influenced me
The last good book I read was ‘The Principle’. The book is about life; it shows you how to put an equilibrium in your life. It teaches you to balance your work life, family, and business.
Rice and vegetables, but I love salad.
My definition of style
I am comfortable in a flowing long gown
Favourite fashion designer
I have so many fashion designers. I am not a devoted customer to fashion designers.
Favourite perfume, designer bag, and shoes
Oud perfume. For designer shoes or bags, I go for what is functional and qualitative.
Fashion accessory you cherish till date
My favourite fashion accessory I cherish till date is my watch because I value time so much
Mum’s advice that has stuck with me
Be independent and do not expect from anyone. Her advice has helped me because I have never expected anything from anyone. It has also thought me not to ask (Probe).
What advice do you have for women who aspire to be like you?
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams, you will achieve it.
Favourite sport, colour, weather
I like basketball, but I do not play it anymore because of my schedules but I jog and walk. My favourite colour is red and navy blue; I like summer.
Favourite day of the week
My favourite day of the week is Friday because it is a day where I check all my deliverables for the week. I am able to summarize all that I have achieved in the week. On Friday, I get to draw closer to my God
Traditional and Morrocan Spa goes for my beauty routine. I try to do that at least twice or quarterly.
My number one achievement is that I have a supportive spouse. He offers me unflinching support in whatever dream that I have. Secondly, having a healthy family is an achievement for me. Having a good career and being able to achieve my dream of impacting the less privileged is an achievement for me especially people with sickle cell disease.
AS and AS marriage should stop, so that sickle cells can stop eventually.
My mother is my role model in life. I choose her as a role model because she is late, but all through her lifetime, she never gave up, she fought to the end.
What would you tell a younger you?
Believe in yourself and always aspire to leave a legacy behind.