By; ECHE AMOS
There is a popular adage that says, “What a man can do, a woman can do better.” This adage is mostly propagated by feminists whenever they are trying to highlight the value of womanhood .
Even though some people, especially the male folks, view the above adage as sweeping and not reflecting the reality, but the fact remains, most women tend to go farther and beyond the projected or ‘pre-empted’ limits to deliver on a task or schedule, than their male counterparts.
Like the male folks, no successful woman achieved greatness or result which is celebrated today because they just sat down, did nothing, and with no affirmative response. They worked hard, wrestled and persevered for it; in fact, they broke barriers and stereotypes to get there, especially in a society that places little values and premium on women.
The name Hajiya Hussaina Suleiman Nagogo hovers around the sports space, mostly in the football circle, in Nigeria, and it’s gradually creeping into the continent of Africa, and by extension, the world.
Recently, at the Nigeria Football Federation’s Secretariat, Abuja, Hajiya Hussaina Suleiman Nagogo, alongside six others, were appointed and inaugurated by the Ibrahim Musa Gusau-led leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation, to constitute the Board of the Nigeria Women Football League, NWFL.
She is to serve as Vice Chairman in the Board for a tenure of two years. The NWFL Board is at par with the Board of the men’s Nigeria Premier Football League as both are to spearhead the elite domestic football leagues in Nigeria.
Before her appointment, Hajiya Hussaina was the Secretary-General of the NWFL Club Owners’ Association.
In year 2020, she was confirmed as substantive Chairperson of Nasarawa Amazons Football Club by His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi A. Sule of Nasarawa State, after serving in acting capacity following the death of the former occupant, His Royal Highness, Audu Nuhu(Gom Mama of Mama Chiefdom), the previous year.
Before the creation of Nasarawa State from the old Plateau State in 1996 by then Military Head of State, General Sani Abacha(of blessed memory), Hussaina played professional Basketball for Plateau State and also featured prominently for Nigeria’s Women’s Basketball Team.
After retiring from the sport, she delved into women’s football, and was one of the founding members of what is now called Nasarawa Amazons Football Club, formerly known as ‘Solid Babes.’
Hussaina served in different capacities at the Club’s Management, including as Team Manager, before succeeding the late Chairman, HRH. Audu Nuhu.
Since its establishment in 2003 by the first Civilian Governor of the State, His Excellency, Abdullahi Adamu, Nasarawa Amazons FC have won all the notable trophies available in women’s club football in Nigeria, ranging from the FA Cup, now referred to as the Federation Cup(twice, in 2005 and 2019), League title (twice, in 2013 and 2017) and the Shield Cup(title won in a game played between the previous season’s league’s champions versus FA Cup winners to herald the commencement of a new football league season).
The Club have also emerged runners-up, both in the League and Federation Cup competitions, at various times, respectively.
Owing to how it’s being administered, players and coaching staff from the Club are littered across the various National Teams, including the Super Falcons(Senior National Women’s Team), the Falconets (U-20 National Team), and the Flamingos(U-17 National Team), and are all doing very well.
During those periods of success, Hajiya Hussaina Suleiman Nagogo was hugely pivotal and remains so up until today. She is not only a voice but an administrator in deeds as a vast majority of the players in the Super Falcons’ squad participating at the ongoing FIFA Senior Women’s World Cup co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia passed through Nasarawa Amazons FC or have been tutored by the coaching staff of the Club, either at Club or National level.
In an industry that so regularly focuses on and is led by men, Hajiya Hussaina has persevered, broken barriers and defied the odds to have some shine in leadership as the Club she chairs is regarded as one of the most successful women’s football clubs in Nigeria, and most successful and decorated in the entire Northern Nigeria. More commendable enough is the fact that her shine is not just about uplifting young women to become successful sport athletes, but about diversifying the faces of leadership in sports for the total advancement of the industry.
Her approaches and diverse thoughts have continued to offer help to those in the industry, irrespective of whether it’s male-dominated or not, so that the stakeholders can find success.
The Nasarawa Amazons’ Chairperson is an inspiration to her colleagues, younger generation and the society as a whole. She proves to other women that they can aspire to be anything in life, even in a male-led space.
She resonates the ambience of hope for those already in the industry to keep pushing for higher heights, and by inference, the ultimate height, actually.
By implication of her position as Vice Chairman of the Board of the NWFL, the retired Nasarawa State Civil Servant can attend meetings of the Board of the Nigeria Football Federation, the pinnacle of football administration in Nigeria, in the absence of her principal, the Chairman of the NWFL Board.
As a sporty woman, Hajiya Hussaina possesses qualities that are uncommon in most women leaders. She has the motivation and energy to work hard to achieve success.
She is confident and dares the unthinkable; she possesses greater strength and resilience to go the extra mile to get the job done, no matter the obstacles.
The Chairperson doesn’t allow her accomplishments to make her complacent, neither does she allow her fears stop her from soaring.
She’s a team-player, disciplined and self-motivated, possesses a competitive nature, a drive to win, and awareness that success solely emanates from hard work, focus and unwavering trust in God.
Hussaina’s powerful breakthroughs in football administration are parts of the factors helping to correct the stark imbalance that exists in women’s leadership in the sports industry in Nigeria as she uses her extensive leadership experience to impart her wealth of knowledge on sports, particularly football, both in the leadership today and in the future.
With this astronomical and steady rise, there’s no mincing words that HAJIYA HUSSAINA SULEIMAN NAGOGO is on the path of attaining global influence in women’s football administration.
Nasarawa State, Northern Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole could not be more proud of her achievements and personality in the Sports Corridor!
Eche Amos is the Head of Public Relations at the Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, and Fellow, Chronicle Business School, Abuja, & writes from Lafia, Nasarawa State’s Capital