Abdulhafiz is from Nigeria. He is a Computer Enthusiast and likes everything around computers and new technology. He believes that helping people especially the less privileged is an obligation. That led to joining clubs like MGD in his early school years and volunteered with an organisation called WOTCLEF (Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation). They go to the rural areas and sensitise people about child labour and trafficking. Abdulhafiz Ali 's mentor is Akinwole Omoboriowo II.
Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!
A: I am from Nigeria. It is a country situated in the West Africa region. Nigeria is famous for her huge population of about 150 million people, the largest national population on the African continent. It is blessed with numerous natural resources like oil/gas, iron ore, gold etc. I was born in Katsina, an ancient town in the northern part of Nigeria. In a family of strong moral values, I have four siblings which three are older than me.
Born on September 29, 1990, I was raised and brought up a Muslim and I attended Primary School in my area close to my house. Being the fourth child I had a brother in the school. He was like my role model then, I learnt from him and tried to do what he did. I attended Secondary school in the same city before going to the university which is in another city (Ahmadu Bello University Zaria). It was after going to the university that I realized this world is diverse. I saw people doing things in different ways that I was familiar with, because of the difference in ethnicity and cultural beliefs. I got to learn that people are different in so many aspects of life. It was a great experience! I studied Computer Science and currently I am studying Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering postgraduate.
Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? and how do you define the concept of a better world?
A: The world is rapidly changing and progressing towards being a better place for humanity at large, although the progress is not equal because some places are far ahead of other parts due to exposure to technological advancements and other factors. So there is a lot to do in order to have those places to be able to catch-up with the rest of the world. I would say a better world is whenever we step forward and take even one leap to move ahead and get something better than what we have now. That is when all the people of this world are able to enjoy some certain benefits. Those benefits should not be anything other than the basic amenities like water, food, good healthcare and electricity.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?
A: There are many challenges in my society but to name a few, these are those basic amenities I mentioned earlier. Clean water, good healthcare and even shelter. At this point of time, I don’t think water or food should be an issue for people living in this world but sadly, it still is. Looking at my nearby society that is my immediate environment, the main challenges lie in education, especially girl education.
Some parents still don’t believe in the need of sending their female children to school. But with the help of some NGO’s like UNICEF, the problem of girl child education is being minimised.
Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?
A: Generally, growing up is not easy because there will come the time when you have to step up and assume responsibility for yourself, sometimes even for other people around you. Growing up in my area, there were issues of lack of proper and adequate materials for learning. Among them are inadequate libraries and books for young individuals to learn. And also there is just a little guidance and counselling which is a key factor for growth and development of youths. Young people are not given the opportunity to be in some key positions in the society. At some point, you have to overlook all the negative issues and try to overcome them in order to excel.
Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?
A: Mentorship is something we all need. Having a mentor can help you reach higher levels of success. A mentor helps in guiding and shaping individual into becoming a better person and thereby helping him into achieving his goals. Every right thinking man should have some certain goals he wants to achieve in life. I have my goals and I strongly believe that having a mentor would help me achieve them easily. Getting advice and sharing his experience in different aspects of life is something to make you feel lucky about and cherish.
Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?
A: Life has taught me many things. Every day we get to learn new things and gain experience. With each obstacle, there is a new experience regardless of whether we succeed or fail. In fact, in every failure, there is surely a lesson. So we should be able to learn from those lessons and move on. I learnt that it is important to always be humble and respect people around you. Treat people well because like they say: “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.”
Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!
A: I believe SSSC Foundation is doing great work. They are a non-profit organisation dedicated to catering for sickle cell patients in Nigeria. The foundation was founded by a lady who was born with sickle cell. They raise funds to cover costs of basic treatments for sickle cell patients and I think they are doing very well. They assist and take care of the patients.
Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!
A: “Stop wishing. Start doing.”
Nothing is impossible in this world. Just be proactive and hope for the best.
Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.
A: I have learnt to never ever give up in this life no matter the situation. When the current situation is not as good as you expect it to be, it doesn’t mean that the future won’t get any better. Keep faith and do not lose hope. Never take it lightly or for granted if you are lucky enough to have someone to take you under their wings and guide you through life. And if you don’t have a mentor, make it a priority to get one.