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Focusing on girl-child education, early marriage

A review of JTO Okediji’s book, Amina Rises to Stardom.

AMINA Rises to Stardom, by JTO Okediji, focuses on girl-child education, underage marriages and its consequences.

The story focuses on Amina, one of the daughters of Mallam Danjuma Bako, of Wudil-Sangaya village in Kano State.

The Bako family is a traditional Hausa/Fulani family where the girl-child is forbidden from going to school, while they are married-off to their prospective suitors at an early age; in fact, one of Amina’s elder sisters already has two children by the time she is 13 years of age.

However, male children are allowed to go to school, while the females take care of the home front, run errands for their parents and even hawker to contribute to the economic survival of the home.

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Amina, the subject of the story, finds herself hawking Fura de nunu for her mother, despite wishing to attend school.

However, one of the attributes of Amina is that she is so nice and caring, that one day, after selling her Fura de nunu, some Almajiri boys approached her to give them something, and out of the N50 she had been given earlier, she spared N20 for the Almajiri boys.

It was shortly after this that Amina and her friend are returning home that they encounter a medical team comprising European doctors who had come to their community for charity work, asking for the way out of the community.

Amina, after directing them, however, seized the opportunity to plead with them that one of his sisters, Maimuna, is suffering from an ailment which makes her urinate without control.

Surprised, the medical doctors followed her home, only to discover that Maimuna is suffering from Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF).

The doctors then give her a medical report, while directing her to the General Hospital in Kano.

In the end, Maimuna is operated upon to correct her medical problem, while Amina strikes a friendship with one of the European doctors, who takes her around the world for the conference.

Amina later becomes the champion of girl-child education in Wudil-Sangaya, while encouraging fathers to allow their children attend school.

She also start campaigning about the dangers of female circumcision, which is the cause of Maimuna’s problems, as well as child marriage.

The author, Okediji, with this work, has touched a very important topic, and it is hoped that it will further aid the campaign on these issues.

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