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Marriage propelled me to become best medical student — 24-year-old mother

Sumayya Abdallah has emerged the best graduating student of Medicine in the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. In this interview, the 24-year-old mother of one said…

Sumayya Abdallah has emerged the best graduating student of Medicine in the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. In this interview, the 24-year-old mother of one said her marriage affected her studies positively, thus she encouraged other women not to see their marriages as a barrier to education.


How did your academic journey start?

My educational journey started at New Horizons Nursery and Primary School. After my primary education in 2009 I proceeded to New Horizons College, Minna, Niger State and left in 2015. I gained admission via the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to read Medicine at Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

I also attended Islamic schools, including Madarasatul Nuril Islam, F-Layout; Abdulkarim Sambo Islamic School, Anguwan Daji; Tahfiz School; Firdaus International Schools, formerly known as Salafiyya in Minna.

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I was born on August 27,1999 to the family of  Abdallah Abubakar and Professor Hadiza Lami Muhammad. We are seven in the family.

I grew up with very supportive parents who have always been present to give their all to train us and make sure we never lack anything. My ever supportive father and heroine mother gave me the best.

I got married in 2021 immediately after my 4th year in medical school to Haliru Usman Bwari and Allah blessed us with a child in 2022.

dr sumayya displays her many awards
dr sumayya displays her many awards


You were the best graduating medical student of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS); how did you achieve this despite being a married woman and mother?

Alhamdulillah, life in medical school was not an easy ride considering the fact one had to balance school activities, marriage and taking care of a child at the same time. I spent a total of eight years in medical school owing to strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), as well as COVID-19 lockdown, but Alhamdulillah, I was inducted on December 9, 2023. It is indeed a dream come true.

This feat was achieved by Allah’s will and hard work, constant support and motivation from my family.

What informed your decision to read Medicine?

I have always had passion for medicine, even when I was very little.

Were you the only married woman in your class?


Did your marriage ever affect your studies?

Marriage affected my studies but positively.

Apart from being married, you are also a nursing mother; how did you cope with this during your studies?

It was not an easy ride, especially since I had to balance studies, marriage and taking care of a child, but Alhamdulillah, with the support of my parents, husband and siblings I succeeded. All hands were on deck to make me comfortable and assist me to concentrate, study and attend school activities. I had a nanny who helped me look after my child whenever I had tests, lectures, exams and other school activities

Did your husband ever oppose your academic pursuit, looking at the fact that Sokoto is far from Niger State where your matrimonial home is?

He never opposed my choice of study; he was supportive.

It is a known fact that reading medicine is quite challenging because of the number of years one needs to spend, among other things; was there any moment of regret during your academic journey?

Truly, there were some very stressful times in college, which could be draining, but Alhamdulillah, there was no moment of regret as I had a very strong support system.

How would you encourage other married women to follow your footsteps?

Marriage is not a barrier to achieving educational goals, so one should always be steadfast, focused and very prayerful.

Who would you dedicate your feat to – your husband, child or parents?

I dedicate it to all of them.

Do you intend to further your studies?

In shaa Allah, yes; after the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

What is your preferred area of specialisation and why?

For now, I have many options and have not decided on anyone yet, but hopefully, with practice, more experience, advice from my mentors and Allah’s guidance, I will decide.


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