Thirty percent of girls aged between nine and twelve in northern Nigeria? have never been to school.
The Malala Research Fund has also discovered that long-held cultural beliefs fuel the perception of families not seeing the value in educating girls.
In the midst of this prejudice, a sixteen-year-old gifted girl is fast becoming a model and advocate of education as a fundamental right.
Daily on the streets, school-aged children hawking, begging or just roaming.
This is a common feature across Nigeria but it is more pronounced in the northern region.
A gifted sixteen-year-old girl from Gombe is fast becoming a model for female education in northern Nigeria.
Having participated in several national competitions, Fatima has excelled in five major international mathematics competitions.
Now, her priority is promoting girl-child education.
One of the common grounds for attacks against female education is that they would lose their religious and moral values.
Fatima is proof that education does not corrode values.
In May 2023, she won the joint best Qur’anic recitation event hosted by the Emir of Kano.
Fatima’s pedigree of being from a prominent devoted Muslim family in the core north is an advantage.
It offers her the credibility to speak with other girls and influence opinions and behaviour in a fiercely conservative society.