Malam Mamman Daura is quite simply a great man. I do not refer to his eminence as a renown elder from the North; I speak of the person. It is his simplicity which is the essential mark of greatness.
Baba Malam Mamman did not “develop” it, he always possessed it. When he was young, he was in considerable measure the man he was to become: relaxed, considerate, balanced, modest, and unostentatiously secure. No “intellectual,” he is more than intelligent.
Today we are all out to celebrate a rare gem, a father, and an icon of humility. Malam Mamman Daura was born on the 9th of November, 1939 in Daura. He had his basic education at the Katsina Middle School and Secondary Education at the Government College, Okene. In the late 1950s, he was sent to the UK for higher education by the then Northern Regional Government as part of a small cohort of brilliant young northern men chosen by the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello. Malam Mamman Daura studied English Language, English Literature, Latin and British Constitution at Advanced Level at Bournemouth College.
He was then admitted to the elitist Trinity College, Dublin (The Irish equivalent of Oxbridge) and received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics and a combined Masters degree in Public and Business Administration. He returned home and joined the mainstream civil service.
He subsequently moved to the New Nigerian Newspapers as Editor and eventually becoming its Managing Director. Thereafter, he left to set up a private industry – The Kaduna Furniture and Carpets Company (KFCC) which was at one time the largest furniture manufacturing company in West Africa. Malam Mamman Daura was a key driver of the northern Nigerian industrial revolution of the late 1970s and 1980s; with local and international partners and investors – setting up and managing the following industries: Kaduna Aluminium Ltd, Kaduna Machine Works, Boots Nigeria Ltd, United Nigeria Textiles Ltd (UNTL), Funtua Textiles (FTL), Arewa Textiles, Nortex and Finetex.
He was at various times a director or board member, managing director or chairman of Hagameyer, Dunlop, African International Bank and APICO Insurance. He also played a key role in the management of the Northern Nigeria Development Company (NNDC), Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Al-Huda Huda Printing Press. He was until recently, an active member of the philanthropic organisation – Gidauniyar Jihar Katsina (Katsina State Development Fund) as well as the Jama’atu Nasril Islam.
He is married to Hajia Ummu Kulthum and together they have 5 daughters, 1 son and 14 grandchildren.
In a tribute to her father, Fatima described Malam Mamman as someone who taught them contentment. She also admitted learning one of the most important lessons from her father, which is patience. Patience in adversity, patience in moments of lack and patience with the vicissitudes of life. We all are living witnesses on the patience exercise by Mallam Mamman on the character assassination meted on him by people who consider him to be their enemy. Malam Mamman had never once made a comment on the several allegations made on him. In fact, he refused any of us to respond to the character assassination because in his wisdom, he believes that they will reap what they sow in the hereafter.
Mallam Mamman has a unique and a down to earth personality. Celebrating Malam Mamman’s birthday has for me become virtually an avocational pursuit. At the time Mallam Mamman was in New Nigerian Newspaper I was a student and had the satisfaction of reaching to his works.
The time of celebration does not imply, for me, a time for analysis and I will not make the imprudence to try to define the wisdom of Malam Mamman.
He has also kept the marvelous power to remain young, ardent, warm always, carried away by his astounding strength.
Highly qualified writers have written enlightening articles on Malam Mamman, but here is only without the slightest pretention to add a stone to these learned tributes, the affectionate testimony of his oldest admirer, wishing him to continue to create new images while remaining on his always open goal.
Birthdays are among the most celebrated events of human lives. The days are always very special as they come with lot of gratitude, good wishes and hopes of better days ahead. We pray to Almighty Allah to increase our mentor and father Malam Mamman in helath, and fulfill his desires. Happy Birthday, Sir.
Gidado Ibrahim is the Director Communications and Strategic Planning,
Presidential Support Committee