Hafsat Sani Sami is a 27-year-old graduate of Business Management from Coventry University UK, and daughter of Rtd. Brigadier General Sani Sami, Sarkin Zuru, who is also a former governor of Bauchi State. In this interview, she shares otherwise unknown aspects of her father. Herewith are excerpts:
Daily Trust: What is the relationship between you and your dad like?
Hafsat: I’m my father’s first daughter, so I have always been a daddy’s little girl. Growing up, he was always there when I needed anything. I have very early memories of him teaching us how to fish on his farm, how to ride horses, and generally, just allowing us explore different hobbies. I look exactly like him too, so I have been referred to as his little twin.
DT: What trait of his would you say you admire the most?
Hafsat: His generosity. He looks out for everyone around him. He is a father to very many, and always makes sure everyone is taken care of.
DT: What kind of father is he, strict or relaxed?
Hafsat: He is a little bit of both. Relaxed enough to have conversations and laughs with, but strict enough to make sure you are always on course.
DT: How has your dad’s position as Sarkin Zuru and former governor of Bauchi, influenced your life?
Hafsat: I don’t really have much of that memory of him as a governor, as he served his full term before I was born. I hear stories about the great man he was while in power though, and all the great things he has accomplished, and that makes me really proud to be his daughter. As an emir, I would say growing up in a palace, his position has kept me very grounded, and has taught me how to maneuver around very different people, with very different personalities. They say kids from the palace experience a whole world, without even having left the palace gates.
DT: Have you ever felt like following in your father’s footsteps?
Hafsat: I have always wanted to follow in his footsteps. I have watched him be of service to his people both at the national and local level. He has always given back and changed the lives of so many people around him, near and far, and I only pray I’m able to do that some day.
DT: Can you remember a piece of advice that he gave you, which has stuck with you till today?
Hafsat: My dad has always told me to remain truthful in whatever I do, and to always treat people with the utmost kindness. Those are things I have heard over and over again.
DT: What is his favourite food?
Hafsat: My dad has a very big appetite. He enjoys all types of food.
DT: How does he unwind?
Hafsat: He likes taking night walks. He does that every night before he goes to bed.
DT: What do you think he would have done well in that he hasn’t explored yet?
Hafsat: I think he would have been great as a politician. He has a natural knack for leading people and ensuring that they are well taken care of. I have watched him do that my entire life.
DT: What unique aspect of your dad are most people not aware of?
Hafsat: His humour. My father appreciates a good joke, and enjoys laughing.