Born into the ancient Kano royal family, Ahmad Sanusi Yusuf’s privileged upbringing did not deter him from learning common virtues. He grew up studying the obligations of princes. “It is a tradition for a member of the royal household to be trustworthy, loyal, and philanthropic. It is natural for me to accommodate and respect other people’s cultures.” Ahmad explained in velvety tones, perhaps a manifestation of his refined pedigree. From his early years, Ahmad received a guiding influence on goodwill and diversity. These instructions continue to serve him well today.
Ahmad began formal education in The Gambia, learning in a culturally diverse environment. “It was at Marina International School that I got to mingle with a lot of foreign students from around the world and The Gambia.” Said Ahmad. Back home in Nigeria, Ahmad’s father’s exemplary legal career earned him a secondment to The Gambia. His now late father served as a Judge of The Gambian High court. He went on to become the pioneer President of The Gambian court of Appeal. His mother also enjoyed an exceptional career. First as a lecturer at Bayero University Kano. After a stint in the ivory towers of academia, she moved to the Kano State civil service where she served as a Director and as a Commissioner for Women Affairs. She later joined the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). From where she was appointed Special Assistant to the Minister of Women Affairs. She soon joined the Federal civil service as an Assistant Director, Deputy Director, and finally a Director. With such great shoes to fill, Ahmad had his work cut out for him. His parents wisely invested in his education to set him on the right path.
From The Gambia to Africa’s Best Kept Secret
Upon returning from The Gambia, Ahmad was enrolled at Crescent International School in Kano where he completed his secondary education. Having acquired a taste for a particularly enlightening experience in school, he sought close counsel in his quest for higher education. “I got to know of AUN from friends and family and I was made to understand that AUN is a world-class American University. I had no choice but to give it a try. Luckily for me, AUN is the type of university that I can boldly say is indeed top standard, a university worth attending.” Ahmad explained.
Call it providence or even coincidence, but in the affairs of mortals, certain events herald good fortune. In Ahmad’s case, he remembers a conversation with visionary Nigerian diplomat and politician, the late Maitama Sule. “Alhaji Sule asked what I was studying at university. I told him International and Comparative Politics.” Bemused, the late elder statesman asked why Ahmed chose to study a course already in his natural disposition. At this revelation, they both shared a cheerful laugh. A memory Ahmad cherishes to this day.
Since his days at AUN, Ahmad has gone on to achieve success in public service and even established his own business. “My company GAZMAN Ltd provides logistics support, we also supply products to government agencies and large firms”. Ahmad believes the strong connections he made at AUN are one of the secrets of his success. “Establish a network of friends while you have the chance from different cultures. Especially your fellow students while in AUN. Funding is one of the most difficult things for young entrepreneurs especially at this moment when our GDP has tremendously decreased and with massive inflation in Nigeria. From my point of view, a good business plan and constant research is a good idea. Those interested in Agriculture, farming for instance can apply for a loan from NIRSAL or non-interest Banks like Ja’iz bank, and for those that are not in the agricultural sector, they can raise money from their savings, family, and friends which I did too.”
A Good Time in Yola
With a smile in his voice, Ahmad fondly recounts his time at university. “AUN is full of life and unforgettable moments; my fondest memory in AUN was when we embarked on a trip to Abuja to attend the Nigerian Model United Nations conference for universities in Nigeria. It was a great outing for us the AUN delegation because we were able to emerge chairpersons of five committees. Hon. Ibrahim Bala Hassan emerged as the President of The General Assembly by winning the majority votes, Radda Abdullahi Abubakar was unanimously appointed as the Secretary-General, Maryam Awaisu emerged as the best delegate and the AUN delegation emerged as the best university delegation that attended the conference. This feat made us appreciate the value of being AUN students.”
Despite his nostalgia, it took Ahmad a while to find his bearing in AUN. He enrolled as an Information Systems major but later changed course to International & Comparative Politics after taking a course with Dr. Lucky Imade, ICP 131 (Introduction to International & Comparative Politics). AUN’s liberal arts education allows students to explore outside their core studies to gain a better understanding of the arts, humanities, and sciences. For Ahmad, out of many professors in AUN, two professors, in particular, stand out. Professors Lucky Imade and Loveday Gbara. “I admire the teaching style of Professor Lucky Imade because he has a special talent in bringing out the potentials in a student. Another favorite is Dr. Loveday Gbara who is honest and a detribalized Nigerian who loves his country. In his class, it is a norm for every student in the class to give his/her opinion concerning events that are unfolding around the world especially Nigeria. He knows everyone’s weakness and he tries his best to see that his students think outside the box for solutions that will prepare you for the labor market or the private sector. He preached against tribalism and religious intolerance with emphasis on nation-building. He is blunt and straight forward. He says the truth no matter whose axe is gored. He sees Nigeria as one and he believes his students are the future revolutionaries that will save Nigeria and make it a better place.”
A Princely Reward
Indeed the lessons Ahmad learned from Dr. Gbara are significant today as Nigeria deals with socio-political upheavals across the country. Dr. Gbara’s nuggets of wisdom come in handy for Ahmad as he navigates through life as a public servant and entrepreneur. “My philosophy is never to give up on your dreams, have faith in God, do your best, make good and everlasting friendships, and be contented with whatever you have.
It turned out fortunate for Ahmad Sanusi Yusuf that he was born into the Yolawa clan of the Kano royal family. However, his journey to Yola in Adamawa State to study at the American University of Nigeria was a decisive investment. The fruits of which he continues to bountifully reap to this day. As a graduate of International and Comparative Politics of the class of 2016, he has indeed received a princely reward, an education not only fit for royalty but one with far reaching benefits in public service and entrepreneurship.
By Office of Communications