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University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

Halimat Ojone Usman is a 400 level student of the department of Optometry and Vision Science, faculty of Life Sciences. She is the third and incumbent President of the University of Ilorin Debate Club.

Halimat Usman, born on 3rd of February, 1998, marked 21st birthday on 3rd of February, 2019.

Halimah – 3rd from left, at Genesis Debate Championship, Accra Ghana early 2019

UCJ: Can we meet you?

Halimat: My name is Halimat Ojone Usman, born on Feb 3rd, 1998 into the family of Prof. And Mrs Usman Shehu Onoduku. I’m from Ajaokuta Local Government of Kogi state. First child of 6 kid.

UCJ: Which day of the week were you born?

Halimat: Tuesday

UCJ: Describe the day in your own view.

Halimat: I think February 3rd, marked the beginning of the growth of a sensation. One that I now consciously try to build into a great personality. I’m still working hard though, I’m not there yet.

UCJ: How are you striking the balance between academics and extra curricular activities

Halimah: Academics and Extra Curricular Activities, wow. Really I don’t think I can say I found the balance. I think it’s been just God guiding my decisions and twitching a knot in my head to tell me when I get over my head and prioritize wrongly so I go back to factory reset.
But most times, I just remind myself that I must sustain my passion in both academics and Debating and that way, I do both with passion.

UCJ: Why debating?

Halimat: Debating was the very first hobby I built when I left my shell. I was pretty introverted as a kid and after speedily rushing through a compulsory class debate presentation and teachers felt I wowed them, I took the chance to see what’s up. This was in secondary school.

After my first year here (Unilorin) and a renewed introversion, I guess people just always see that debate prowess in me because it was a fellow student that got me back. I think I pick debating over every other hobby I might have suppressed because it gives me a sense of fulfilment. It’s just plain amazing and that’s why.

UCJ: How tasking is being a President of an association such as the UILDC?

Halimat: Very tasking. But not the too hectic kinda work tasking but the always having to live up to expectation type.

UCJ: Of a boy, a girl and a twin, which is your favorite?

Halimat: Ah twins scare me. A girl as my first, perfect.

UCJ: As a day Unilorin VC, what one thing would you do within 24hours?

Halimat: Wow. I think I’d actually endorse all UILDC programmes for a decade. All expenses covered.

UCJ: What’s your favourite meal?

Halimat: Rice, any kind.

UCJ: How much do you explore your cooking skill?
Do you even like cooking at all?

Halimat: I love food art. Although people say I don’t eat and I think my health agrees with that but the pictures of food are just amazing. So most times, I spend hours in the kitchen just to oppress people with statuses.

UCJ: How many countries have you been to and Which one would you like to visit again?

Halimat: 2. Zimbabwe and Ghana
Definitely Ghana. Accra has the best Suya or call it Kebabs. (Laughs)

UCJ: Would you like to take debating as a career?

Halimat: Hard one. If I can have 2, yes. Because I love Optometry just as much.

UCJ: Tell us a little about the laurels UILDC have won

Halimat: UILDC members have won medals and trophies both within the school, national, West African and African Championships.
Our Alumni have also been consistently repping us by constant invitations by institutions both in the country and in West Africa to come be a part of their Chief Adjudication Panel.

UCJ: Which African country would you like to celebrate your next birthday?

Halimat: Hmm… Ghana. I’ve got debate friends there.

UCJ: As you turn 21, what do you plan achieving at this age?

Halimat: I plan to be a better version of the 20 year old me. There were challenges, I must overcome them this year.

UCJ: Word of advise to fellow Unilorite, women and African?

Halimat: For women, there’s a soft spot in my heart. I’ve seen that even in a very liberal space like the debate I do, women participation is still on the decrease. I’d like women all around the world especially African and Unilorin women that you can go all out too to get what you want. Your genes must never be a barriers, that’s just in your head. If you believe you can and actively work to, you can and would achieve great things.

Thank you and happy birthday to you, Madam President.

Post Author: Fadlullah Azeez

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