A Conversation with Aisha Yesufu
Aisha Yesufu is a Nigerian socio-political activist, a businesswoman, and a co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement and End SARS Movement. She is a microbiology graduate from the Bayero University in Kano and bagged a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Microbiology from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
She is married with two children, and she is currently the founder of Citizens Hub, a non-profit organization that seeks to build a solution-driven and dynamic approach to building a financially independent, active, and responsible citizenry. Aside from activism, Aisha Yesufu loves singing and dancing, living life to the fullest, traveling, and acting goofy.
Yesufu was named among the BBC’s 100 inspiring and influential women worldwide for the year 2020. She was also named one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2020.
Watch Episodes Below
This Podcast features Professor Abimbola Adelakun, a major columnist at PUNCH Newspapers. She earned her Ph.D. in Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. She also specializes in Africa and African Diaspora. Professor Abimbola holds two Master’s degrees from the University of Ibadan and the University of Texas at Austin on Diaspora Studies, Communication and Language Arts. Her current works are now in the areas of Modern African Cultures & Performance. Abimbola has a forthcoming book on Pentecostalism with the University of Cambridge Press. This series also features Professor Temitope Oriola, who was also a part of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement. He is now the editor of the Journal of African Security and has received several honors and awards.
In this conversation, Abimbola Adelakun and Toyin Falola posed a series of questions to Aisha Yesufu on her background and upbringing, her role in the recent End SARS protests, and the link between the Bring Back Our Girls and End SARS Movements.
Aisha Yesufu describes herself as someone who is always very curious, right from her childhood days. As a teenager, Yesufu believed in her dreams and was still optimistic about everything around her. She believes Nigeria will work in her lifetime. Yesufu discovered who she was at the time the Chibok Girls were abducted in 2014.
She insists the End SARS protest was not leaderless, not just the conventional way of leadership. Yesufu explained that demonstrations have always been for the masses to make demands, and the needs can be met.
This series features Professor Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso, who has worked in various capacities in Nigeria. She has monitored elections and performed many times with Professor Jibril Ibrahim in the democracy movement. She is the current Dean of the Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences at Babcock University, and she writes on International Relations and Politics.
Aisha explains her experiences after her secondary school days when she sought admission to the Nigerian Defence Academy, but she was rejected because of her gender.
This series features Nathan Shaiyen, a photographer and political activist. He was actively involved in the recent End SARS protest because he feels injustice to one person is an injustice to many others.
On the question of “what next?” despite the killings and shootings of innocent protesters, Aisha Yesufu mentioned that people’s lives have always been on the line, and so, people have always been killed by armed men in struggles – but we do look another way in Nigeria. “What next is for people to become more active in political issues – silence is not an option.”