INTERVIEW WITH FATIMAH IDOWU OLATUNJI – THE ONLY MUSLIMAH WHO GRADUATED WITH FRIST CLASS AT THE NIGERIAN LAW SCHOOL 2017
Fatimah Idowu Olatunji is an inspirational person, so we are proud to make her our debut interview here on the Proud Muslimah Magazine, a law graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile- Ife, Nigeria last year November Fatimah made history by being the only muslimah graduating from the Nigerian Law School with a Distinction.
In her interview with the Proud Muslimah Magazine, she shares her success story as a Muslimah with us and the challenges she faced on the road to collecting a red scroll at the Nigerian call to bar ceremony. We hope this interview inspires other Muslimahs out there to aim high and reach for the stars. Enjoy!
Question: WHAT IS HIJAB FOR YOU?
Fatimah: “I see hijab as a compulsory attire for every Muslim woman. It is not an option. It is a symbol of modesty. It is an attire that commands respect for the bearer anywhere anytime. And am proud using one. It’s not just a cover, it also adds to one’s beauty.”
WHAT KEPT YOU GOING AND WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND YOUR SUCCESS STORY?
“There is just this believe that the sky is the beginning for me. I believe that with hard work, dedication, commitment and most importantly prayer, I can attain my goals and get anything I want. You notice I added most importantly to “prayer.” That is how important it is.” I believe with God nothing is impossible.
When I saw my final CGPA after graduation as 4.46, I was done but I thanked Allah and I decided to do better in law school because I believe I can do better. Alhamdullilah, law school was a greater success.”
BARGING A FIRST CLASS IN LAW SCHOOL, WHAT IS THE SECRET? AND HOW DID IT MAKE IT YOU FEEL?
“For me the secret is hard work, determination, prayers and grace and I was very happy I made it. I wasn’t surprised when I saw it because I knew I worked hard for it but I thank Almighty Allah for crowning my efforts with outstanding success.
The result gave me the conviction that hard work pays and that if you put your affairs before Almighty Allah believing that He can do all you want. He will not fail you.”
WHERE THERE EVER ANY SITUATION AS AN UNDERGRADUATE OR IN LAW SCHOOL THAT TESTED YOUR IMAAN? PLEASE SHARE IF ANY?
“The situations that tested my imaan at the law school occurred during my first and second law dinners and then my call to bar.
During the first and second dinner, we were allowed to only use a cap instead of hijab but my neckerchief really helped in covering my neck, so I was a bit relieved.
Alhamdulilah, I used my hijab for my third dinner and I was very happy. That was my favorite dinner at the law school because I was at peace with myself. However, the experience at the call to bar was really something else.”
SHARE SOMETHING WITH US ABOUT THE HIJAB AND LAW SCHOOL/CALL TO THE NIGERIAN BAR.
“Although we used hijab for law school classes without any hitch. However, it is very unfortunate that we were allowed to use ordinary cap for dinner and nothing for the call to bar.
The compromise of removing the hijab call to bar is a bitter experience. Weeks to my call to bar. I couldn’t sleep. I kept imagining how sad I will feel on a day I should be very happy after working hard for a first class.
I was down throughout the program, I couldn’t feel the zeal of being called finally. I was just there. My parents almost missed entering the hall after I asked them to come out for VIP invitation to enable them sit where First Class students’ parents sit. I couldn’t go out with bear hair to give the IV to them.
Some people will say is it not to remove ordinary hijab. But the truth is they don’t and they can’t understand how it truly fills unless they are in our shoes. But in all, Alhamdulilah. I pray the issue of hijab at the law school is positively resolved in due time.”
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU AFTER THIS HUGE SUCCESS?
“Alhamdullilah, right now am a Corp member. After my service year, I intend to do my masters abroad in sha Allah and then my PHD. I love impacting knowledge on others. So I will love to go into academics and develop myself in the practical aspect of law too.
I will also love to be an expert in corporate law practice and alternative dispute resolution. So help me God.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT A MUSLIMAH IN THE 21ST CENTURY? WHAT SHOULD SHE PURSUE AND NOT PURSUE?
“I believe a Muslimah in the 21st century has to be extra ordinarily focused as there are so many distractions here and there. She should be able to distinguish between what Allah wants and what he forbids notwithstanding the distraction. So in all her affairs, whether academically, spiritual, emotional, physically or morally. She should pursue strictly what Allah forbids. She should also have it in mind in taking any decision that this life is not forever and therefore prepare more for the hereafter.
May Allah help us in doing what pleases him, may He be pleased with us and grant us Al- jannah fridaus Amin.”
ANY OTHER MESSAGE?
“Not all that glitters is gold, be focused and careful and let Allah guide your affairs as He is the best of all guiders.
To Fatimah Idowu Olatunji thank you so much for having this interview with us. We hope to see more Muslimahs like you who are making head way in academics.”
To our esteemed reader, we hoped you have gain one or two things from this interview. A little gist about Fatimah Idowu Olatunji – she just tied the knot this last Saturday! Congratulations! May Allah bless her new home. Ameen.
Find wedding pictures below.