“There Is a Culture Against Women with Ambitions”
Binta is an educational and environmental enthusiast. She enjoys working on girls, women and youth empowerment initiatives. Most of her work history has been in the classroom which is the engine room for any community that aims to empower her citizens. She recently launched into blogging about Professional Development for Teachers; Public Science/Technology Engagement and seeks mentoring opportunities in Techplomacy.
Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!
A: Nigeria is an amazing country! The title of "giant of Africa" though waned in recent times was indeed earned. The most populous black nation that goes by the alias "Naija" was indeed a big brother to many countries within the sub-Saharan region and other parts of the continent especially South Africa during the Apartheid regime.
She stood as proud as the peacock making giant strides until the early nineteen eighties when the fortunes of the country took a downward spiral due largely to structural adjustment programmes. Nigeria is full of untapped opportunities in every sphere of human endeavour: from the tourism industry to the frontiers of innovation in technology and the fourth industrial revolution.
Nigerians define "grittiness" and are natural entrepreneurs! They provide the most basic amenities in the absence of the public sector to step up to responsibility. This is despite the fact that the nation is a relatively wealthy country in comparison to other countries within the continent; the citizens have been defined as one of the world's largest group of poor people.
Binta was born in Kaduna State-Nigeria and raised across several parts of the country! She has lived, schooled or worked in thirty-four
(34) of the thirty-six (36) States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She speaks and can communicate intelligibly in two (2) of the major three (3) languages spoken in Nigeria in addition to the official language (English) for all public relations and engagements.
Binta is a 2014 TechWomen Fellow (a United States of America Department of Education and Cultural Program)! She has several educational and professional background in the schools and environmental protection initiatives sector, but currently exploring career opportunities in Tech diplomacy.
Binta has experience founding and managing foundation schools in both the Anglophone and Francophone West African educational systems.
Binta is a married mother of four children and she is firstly very proud of her efforts since 2010 to promote educational and professional opportunities for young Nigerians in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Secondly: Her efforts to create a second chance at acquiring western and vocational education for married young Muslim mothers based in the south-eastern part of Nigeria until December 2015 which included in-house daycare services.
Binta currently shuttles between Kaduna State-Nigeria; Kano-Nigeria and the Zinder-Niger Republic where she volunteers at the Rosa Parks English Language Club (American Corner Zinder-Niger Republic) promoting communicative English language skills for University English Language Major Students.
Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?
A: There are enough resources to spread butter on everyone's bread if only we were less selfish! Binta is concerned about issues around migration both within the African continent and elsewhere around the globe. Migration, though a double-edged sword- involves the poor, displaced persons and like a recent visual capitalist report indicates even millionaires.
People seek new places not just for economic reasons, but including peace of mind, clean environment and security. Therefore efforts to protect against degradation of the environment by governments and the international community must be strengthened. Aside from what's happening around the world, as a Nigerian, she is bothered about xenophobia in South Africa which seems to target Nigerians and perplexed by the fact that the leadership in South Africa after Late Madiba (Nelson Mandela) seem to have forgotten Nigeria's effort towards bringing an end to the apartheid regime. It's important to note also that South African companies like MTN Nigeria and DSTV are making fortunes from investments in the Nigerian market and therefore should rethink their approach towards launching Nigeria-phobia actions in their country.
Lastly, Binta is enthusiastic about the power of technology for diversity and inclusion! This enthusiasm can be noticed especially with #tech4good #techplomacy #tech4humanity projects and programs to continually bridge the gaps and divides between opportunities availability and people of the world especially for women and the excluded groups.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?
A: The first source of challenge stems from the fact that the resources from the nation aren't working for the majority especially women and youths! The same crop of leadership keeps getting recycled after every democratic process. Educational Institutions aren't teaching knowledge and skills relevant to the workplace of recent times or the future. Inadequate Infrastructure in power and roads is a challenge for Entrepreneurs providing goods, jobs and services.
Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?
- Getting opportunities for professional growth and development!
- Funding opportunities to start small scale businesses.
- The culture against women with ambitions.
Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?
A: To help not repeating mistakes others have made before me.
Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?
A: To balance optimism with reality.
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: Funke Opeke
Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?
A: Majorly issues relating to mindset; cultural stereotypes and the challenges of balancing home and work life.
Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?
A: So many to choose from!
Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!
A: If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration. - Nicola Tesla
Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.
A: Thinking through processes! The alternative perspective - Seeing the big picture