Aminat Sule is a Young Nigerian that has beyond borders created her opportunities and filled in positions of leadership where she advocates for matters regarding her country, and for people of color. In this series, the bubbly Aminat Sule chats with us, telling us about her journey and her plans as a Nigerian living in the Diaspora.
Red Edit: Can you give the readers an introduction?
Aminat Sule: My name is Aminat Sule and I am a British born Nigerian. I am a political activist who is currently undergoing my barrister training. By this time next year, I would be a barrister.
Red Edit: What’s your career background?
Aminat Sule: My background is in Finance, Energy, and Corporate Politics. I have worked for Shell, Westminster, HSBC, and others.
Red Edit: What are your thoughts about Nigeria?
Aminat Sule: Nigeria, I clearly understand can be a frustrating place. I applaud anyone in Nigeria for even having a dream. Regardless, it is a beautiful place with a lot of potentials. I love the people, I love Nigeria.
Red Edit: Nigerians went HayWire about you when you shared your experience of making yourself a PA for Obasanjo. Where did that confidence come from? How did that come about?
Aminat Sule: (laughs hard) I knew I was going to come back to Nigeria so I had to make that connection because Nigeria can be a place where things work based on people you know. I had talked to other politicians previously and got no response. I knew about this event and that OBJ was going to be there, so I got prepared for it. My friend, Dayo has helped me gain access to the event. The woman for the Sunday Times was late, I took advantage of that and I went to her front seat. I was also active during the sessions. When OBJ talked about youths, I raised my hands and I asked and responded to questions. After that, I played the role of his Personal assistant, stopping people from taking pictures and taking him out. After all, was said and done, I went ahead and told him my agenda. That was it.
Red Edit: Now You are a politician, and soon to be barrister, what happens to banking.
Aminat Sule: I am no longer doing banking. Before COVID-19, I worked in the banking sector, handling accounts, wealth management amongst other things. However, COVID-19, change things. Currently, I’m focused on politics, advocating for things I am passionate about, and getting dusted with my BAR 1 program.
Red Edit: Are there other things you are passionate about outside law, politics, and banking?
Aminat Sule: (laughs) If all fails, academic wise, and nothing happens for me. I would do music. I would be a corporate DJ. Which is essentially being a DJ but only performing for corporate events or brands like First Bank.
Red Edit: You have really been involved in the black lives matter movement, and in issues that concern African, how have you been able to create this impact?
Aminat Sule: I am part of an amazing board. I have worked with organizations of change like the Damilola trust fund, Commonwealth, and the United Nations. These organizations cater to young people in the UK and also Africans. The black Lives matter, is a movement that happens around me, and I have to be part of the people defending it. Gun violence is also something I promote against because a lot of young people here have lost their lives to gun violence. Whenever I have a chance to speak up against it or fight for the cause, I do it.
Red Edit: Would you like to relocate to Nigeria?
Aminat Sule: It’s not enough to rule Nigeria from a diaspora point of view. To rule Nigeria and be involved in decisions, you must know and understand what it is, know the issues the people are going through. I have intentions to do my bar programs in Nigeria so relocating to Nigeria is in the books for me.
Red Edit: What issues surrounding politics would you like to impact.
Aminat Sule: The girl child. I think Patriarchy very much exists. In Nigeria, women are not allowed to be in certain positions, that needs to change and I hope that I can change that.
Red Edit: What would your advice be to young Nigerians who are interested in pursuing politics as well?
Aminat Sule: Having something to offer, you have to be valuable. Put yourself in the front row. Be prepared, always be ready to grab opportunities. Being ready means you have to do your research. You cannot be advocating for rape when you don’t know what it is about or you don’t know the laws surrounding it. Have something to offer.
Game Time: This or That
Red Edit: Would you rather wear dresses for the rest of your life or wear a power suit?
Aminat Sule: (chuckles) This is tough… I will rather wear a dress. I would wear a dress because it is versatile. I can play it up, look casual, go for any length: long, short. I have a stylist and we have a conversation when I dress up for events. There are things I may want to wear but she may advise me not to. My stylist is careful because there are times she doesn’t want me to be overwhelming or intimidating. Patriarchy still exists and a look could send a message that won’t be in your favor. With a power suit, I would always look intimidating and for a first impression, it may not work in some places like patriarchy zones.
Red Edit: Burger or Eba
Aminat Sule: Definitely eba. (laughs) Anything Eba pounded yam included is something I love. I’ll always appreciate a meal of Amala, Gbegiri, and Ewedu.
Red Edit: Nigeria or UK
Aminat Sule: Nigeria. (smiles joyfully) Nigeria is at home. It gives me joy. It can be frustrating, as Nigeria is unpredictable. You can go out in the morning and an okada man would insult you and ruin your day but the people still give joy. The smiles of people, Nigeria is home. I love Nigeria.
Red Edit: Is there any other thing you would want to talk about?
Aminat Sule: I appreciate the fact that Nigeria has put a rape law in place. However, the new rape law(penalty) is not well-rounded because some people get falsely accused so imagine the penalty for an innocent person. Rape is something I am passionate about. Rape is a very emotional issue but as a legislator, you need to separate emotions to make a clear decision. This is very difficult considering the subject matter, rape. I want to work with organizations in Nigeria that are advocating against rape. The main way I believe rape can be curtailed is by education. We have to educate the girls and boys on what consent really is. That is something I would do while I am in Nigeria.