Hadiza Isma El-Rufai

Hadiza Isma El-Rufai (born June 21, 1960) is a Nigerian writer (novelist), and wife to the current governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. She was the founder of Yasmin El-rufai Foundation (YELF), a non-profit literary organization.

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Hadiza Isma El-Rufai
Hadiza Isma El-Rufai.jpg
Born (1960-06-21) June 21, 1960 (age 61)
Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
NationalityNigerian
Other namesHadiza Isma
Alma materAhmadu Bello University, Bath Spa University
OccupationArchitect novelist, politician
Years active1999 to present
OrganizationYasmin El-Rufai Foundation (YELF)
Known forWriter, philanthropist
Notable work
An Abundance of Scorpions
Spouse(s)Mallam Nasir El-Rufai

BiographyEdit

El-Rufai was born Hadiza Isma in Kano, Nigeria, to Mohammed Musa Isma and Amina Iya Isma.[1] Her father was a civil servant.

She has a BSc and MSc in Architecture (1983) and an MBA (1992) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, as well as a Masters in Creative Writing (2012) from Bath Spa University, United Kingdom.[2]

From there, she worked as a lecturer at the Department of Architecture at Kaduna Polytechnic, a few more years at the National Electric Power Authority, before working in private practice.

She also speaks French language fluently.

Family lifeEdit

In 1985, she married Mallam Nasir El-Rufai whom she met in 1976 at the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.[3] He later became the Minister of the FCT in Nigeria, and the Governor of Kaduna State.[4]

Literary careerEdit

In 2017, El-Rufai published An Abundance of Scorpions (Ouida Books),[5] a novel inspired by volunteer work the author did at an orphanage in Abuja, and her desire to write about an orphan.[6] It was presented at the 2017 edition of the Aké Arts and Book Festival.[7]

The work has been described by Helon Habila as "a heartbreaking tale of loss and an uplifting story of a woman's strength and determination".[8][9]

PhilanthropyEdit

Along with her husband, El-Rufai set up Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation (YELF) in 2013 to honour her daughter who died of an epileptic seizure in her flat in London in November 2011.[10][11] The literary nonprofit was fully launched in 2017[12][13] with the aims of nurturing creativity in children, "particularly the girl child, between the ages of eight and 19" and young/adult women, providing them "resources with teachers and the books that they need to enhance their literacy."[14][15]

As First Lady of Kaduna State, she has also used the office for philanthropic purposes to benefit the less privileged, donating drugs to sickle cell patients in Kaduna.[16][17][18]

Twitter comment controversyEdit

In April 2020, El-Rufai, had responded on twitter to a comment about her son using language with a threat of sexual violence against a critic during an argument on the social network[19] with "Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. All is fair in love and war." The remarks caused a lot of backlash on social media, including at Brittle Paper, a literary magazine, where an editorial disagreement between the editors about how to present the report led to the departure of the deputy editor.[20][21] El-Rufai eventually apologised for her comment, saying she had misunderstood the earlier conflict and would "never condone sexual abuse in any shape or form"[22] She later threatened to sue the group that accused her of condoning her son's sexual assault remarks.[23][24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation: Promoting literacy, creative writing". Blueprint – For Truth and Justice. November 11, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "Board Member-HADIZA ISMA EL-RUFAI | Safari Books". safaribooks.com.ng. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  3. ^ "I used to sing in the Catholic Church choir – Hadiza El-Rufai". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  4. ^ "BREAKING: El-Rufai wins Kaduna governorship election". March 11, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Bivan, Nathaniel (November 16, 2017). "Hadiza El-Rufai to present new book at Ake Festival". Daily Trust.
  6. ^ "How orphans triggered my latest novel – Hadiza El-Rufai (DailyTrust) – Sabi News". sabinews.com. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "Kaduna Gov's Wife, Hadiza El-Rufai urges Nigerians to adopt orphans – The Elites Nigeria". theelitesng.com. November 17, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  8. ^ "Hadiza Isma El-Rufai". Ouida Books. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "First Lady of Kaduna, set to release her Debut Novel – An Abundance of Scorpions – The Afro Reader". The Afro Reader. October 18, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  10. ^ "SERENDIPITY – Creative Writing, Yasmin and I (An Essay) by Hadiza Isma El-Rufai". Su'eddie in Life n' Literature. April 27, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "I used to sing in the Catholic Church choir – Hadiza El-Rufai". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Aza, Msue (July 23, 2017). "Tears As el-Rufai, Aisha Buhari, Others Launch Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation". Leadership Newspaper.
  13. ^ "Politics – El-Rufai Breaks Down in Tears Over Late Daughter". Nigerian Bulletin – Nigeria News Updates. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  14. ^ "I used to sing in the Catholic Church choir – Hadiza El-Rufai". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation: Promoting literacy, creative writing". Blueprint – For Truth and Justice. November 11, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  16. ^ "Nigeria: Mrs. El-Rufai Donates Drugs to Sickle Cell Patients in Kaduna state »". June 7, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  17. ^ "Mrs El-Rufai donates drugs to sickle cell centre". peoplesdailyng.com. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  18. ^ "Mrs. El-Rufai Donates Drugs to Sickle Cell Patients – Nigeria News by PRESS". press.com.ng. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  19. ^ "Bello El-Rufai, Sexual Abuse Tweets And Scapegoating Of The Woman". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. April 16, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  20. ^ "Controversies trail departure of Brittle Paper's deputy editor after Hadiza El-Rufai criticism". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. April 16, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  21. ^ "Outrage As Brittle Paper Censors, Deletes Deputy Editor's Story On Governor El-Rufai Son's Threat To 'Rape' Twitter User's Mother". Sahara Reporters. April 16, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  22. ^ "Hadiza El-Rufai Apologises, Denounces Son's Pro-Rape Tweet". MarketWatch. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  23. ^ "Hadiza el-Rufai threatens to sue group that accused her of endorsing son's sexual assault comment". TheCable. April 21, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  24. ^ Sadiq, Lami; State, Kaduna (April 23, 2020). "Gang rape comment: Mrs. El-Rufai threatens legal action against feminist group". Daily Trust. Retrieved May 18, 2020.