It is unusual to see most girls succeed in their studies after facing turbulence, BUT it is a very different case with Hawa Shabir.
Last Wednesday, Hawa managed to graduate from the University of Malawi (UNIMA) despite becoming a teenage mother few years ago.
Shabir told Muslim Media Agency that she was selected to study a Bachelor of Social Science in Social Work at the University of Malawi (UNIMA) formerly known as Chancellor College (CHANCO) in 2016.
“Unfortunately, the university saw a closure due to demonstrations for the ‘fees must fall campaign.’ During the period of closure while at home, I got married in 2017 and by the time the university opened I went back to school and Alhamdulillah, I had full support from my then husband and my family,” she told Muslim Media Agency.
Shabir adds: “Academically , I was doing well with some extra effort because I got pregnant in my first year then had a baby in my second year. My only worry during my period of study at the university was the frequent closures as well as long holidays which has made the total years of study too long. Today (last Wednesday) , I am graduating with a Credit.”
The fresh graduate says to balance education and the other important duties such as being a mother as well as a wife, took her so much determination, love and responsibility.
“I was still a teen (18-19) so there was also that pressure for me to not repress the fun that comes during that stage in life. Surprisingly, I was doing really well in all angles. For example, I made sure to attend all classes while pregnant even in the last trimester of the pregnancy which is usually accompanied with symptoms such as fatigue and vomiting. When the baby was born, I decided to complete my education. I took the baby with me to school and hired a nanny who took care of the child when I attended classes,” she says.
She adds : ” I also made sure to visit home almost every weekend to fulfill wife duties. However, the challenge was when it was time to do group work or group discussions which would usually be scheduled during the time the nanny was knocking off. I remember I had to carry the baby with me to group discussions at some point just to make sure I attended group discussions.”
Hawa Shabir was determined to achieve her dreams despite the obstacles .
“With determination, Allah makes it easy for you , such that the obstacles in your way, you won’t even see or face these challenges. You just hear from others of how strong you are to go through what you are going through,” she says.
Finally, Hawa Shabir requests the Yao community especially the parents to adopt a culture of unconditionally loving and supporting their children both emotionally and financially.
“I observed that our friends, the Chewa’s are very supportive of their children and this could be one of the contributing factors of their multitude success in education than us the Yaos,” Hawa says.
The fresh graduate also advises Sheikhs and Custodians of the Muslim faith in Malawi to encourage parents to create a healthy environment for their families especially children.
“I feel like this would go a long way to promoting education in the Yao and Muslim communities. The gap here is that, most Yao girls do not go far with education because their environment is not conducive for education unlike other girls from the other tribes,” Hawa Shabir a claims.
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