Long Live Malama Aisha Ahmad

-Gimba Kakanda

I didn’t want to dabble in this petty debate of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad’s choices of what to wear, following her nomination as Deputy Governor of CBN, which is driving our underachieving men nuts, and which, they argue, fall below their moral expectation from a Muslim woman, but this clarification may make the sincerely insular characters see why she is not an invention of anyone: Aisha came from a place and people that enable the rise of strong women, almost to the point of matriarchy. The Nupe are culturally respectful of the choices their women make, noting the history of female singers like Hajiya Lolo during and after the colonial rule to present-day Aliya Pelemi and even down through politicians like Senator Zainab Kure. These women were, and are, revered for their talent, their intellect, their wealth, their education, their wisdom, their skills, their philanthropy – their substance. The musicians have a band of all-male drummers and all-female dancers, who all defer to the female band leaders. Sometimes I wonder whether my mum too, who preferred gele to hijab, could have survived this male-privileging labyrinth as an itinerant trader if she had come from a people who prefer their women chained with words at home. And I’m proud to be from a place that does not disrespect their women or police then rudely like these bleeding chauvinists, who possibly have not prayed today or in weeks, raising fake credentials of their qualifications as self-appointed litigators of God. Let this woman, who’s of course married, exhibit her right to not pander to your rude attempt to tell her what to wear and how to live. What’s even funnier is, some of the clowns attacking her are probably seeking a way to see her for help, and shamelessly they’d say “Ran ki ya dade, Malama!” – Long may you live, Madam! – as they beg for a thousand Naira to feed the baby factories they have chained at home.

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