Usmanu Danfodiyo University: The Home, Far Away From Home

By: Abdulrasheed Akere

There is a University situated in the seat of the caliphate (Sokoto state), called Usmanu Danfodiyo University (UDUS), named after an Islamic scholar, Usman Dan Fodio who led a Jihad war in 1804. This institution is one of the universities that were established during the military regime of General Muritala Muhammed in 1975.

The students at the prestigious citadel of learning are identified as ‘Danfodites’ while the newly admitted ones are fondly called ‘Jambitos’.

What distinguishes the returning students from the newly admitted students now called ‘Jambrabites’ is simply the years of experience on campus. It’s obvious that the returning students have acquired certain experiences and have seen several ‘shege’ (tough times) while the newbies are a replica of neonates on the soil of UDUS. So, the returning students used the viral appellation to separate the chemical solvent from the solution.

I personally don’t know why the ‘jambitos’ find the name infuriating and I always question if they have forgotten that the sophomores, penultimate and final year students were some years ago in their shoes.

Dear jambitos, sorry, new students, one thing you should know is that we are all students here, in other words, we are all strangers in this land. The only thing that matters is our academic performance, it’s our primary assignment, and we should attain excellence in it.

Permit me to illuminate your mind with your own cross that you will come across on campus. The first day you left your domicile and journey down to this far north was the day you were supposed to be informed by your relatives that you are no longer a full member of the family until you have graduated. Even during the holidays, you can’t stay longer with them than before. Adhere to this illustration that says, “Anywhere you find peace, make it a home”, in the sense that you should endeavour to find peace in the most peaceful university and make her a home.

In 2020, when Prof. A.M Inuwa of the Faculty of Education was addressing the new students of the Faculty at the ETF 3 lecture hall, he said: “Whether you like Sokoto or not, you have to adapt with it for the period of your stay in the university.” Sokoto state is well-known for its sunny weather that scorches the whole body, which makes some people call it ‘sun city’. Some often say nothing seems balanced in Sokoto climate; its dry season comes with excessive heat; the rainy season rains heavily and the harmattan period passes with inconveniences.

Some undergraduates have given up their pursuit because they couldn’t withstand the challenges. Whether you are a prince, princess or not, UDUS will treat you well — regardless of your traditional or social status, this university will show you your own shege in your very own time. UDUS has admitted students who know nothing about cooking, washing and other domestic chores prior to their admissions and it teaches them to do that perfectly.

Those students that are privileged to not do anything at home than just eat, maybe because of their position in the family, have all become chefs on campus. At home, some of us are not concerned with how a meal is made, ours are to get served, and if we try it here, we will be starved.

Every student together with Pablo, Odogwu and Ballers wanders the campus under the scorching sun. The examination period is even the best, where no one is exempted from the torment of mosquito bites at night classes.

Despite the hardship moments students face in Danfodiyo, we have seen several graduates that sailed through with excellent certificates. Everyone can do that in the possession of higher determination and great effort. The pioneer of the first reading club on the UDUS Campus, ‘Book O’clock’, Uchenna Emelife, a fresh graduate of Literature, who emerged as the best-graduating student of his class, once said, “If they say you can’t do it, tell them that Uche did it, so, you can do it”.

Stop mumbling that it’s too difficult, no success comes easy, it’s only those who devise comfort from un-comfortability that people will salute and congratulate. Keep in mind the distance you covered while travelling here and that you left home to feed home. Struggle hard to make your parents proud. Don’t miss your home too much, find a home here despite being far from home.

About the writer:

Abdulrasheed Akere is a 300-Level student at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS).

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