By Uzair Adam Imam
An indegine of Kano, Abdulmalik Abubakar has emerged winner of the 2023 Historian Competition.
Abdulmalik Abubakar parted with a sum of N500,000 prize and a week-long trip to Kenya for tourism.
The competition was sponsored by the Restored Heart Foundation based in Abuja to inspire young undergradute students in Nigeria and Africa about the value of African history.
Isa is law student from Bayero University, Kano (BUK) and his victory surprised many people including the participants who were mostly history students.
Upon his success, Isa engraved his name in the history of Nigeria and Africa and was crowned 2023 “Keeper of the African History.”
I struggle with taugh history questions
Isa recounted how he had struggled with toughest history questions before he could defeat other history students and emerged victorious.
He added that most of the questions he answered at the inter-regional stage were not about Nigeria.
He stated that he was initially afriaid, adding that, “My fears were that I am not a student of History and all the questions were questions that digged deep into history.
“Like at the inter-regional stage moving to the top 6, I was never asked a single question about Nigeria, my first question was “What was the first country to get independence from East Africa ?” Likewise all the other questions were outside Nigeria totally.
How I knock down a history student at the final stage
“My emergence is an amazing one, because my opponent is a final year student of History at UNILORIN, but despite being a Law student I dedicated my time to read wide and trained well to see I emerge winner, which God makes it happened.
“When we reached quoter-final to be the top six moving to Calabar, I was the only Muslim hausa-fulani from North, and they required each to wear his native attire, I felt like I would be redicule there because some of our leaders were not friendly with the southerners.
“And, also I was given a topic completely different from my field of study which was “Nigeria’s oil boom and resources curse”.
“However, God granted me the wisdom and strength to deliver a marvelous presentation which received huge rounds of applause from all over the auditorium.
I grab this opportunity when surfing on social media
Isa stated that he was surfing online media platforms as usual, then he came across the link of the competition.
He added that the competition was both online and physical and he was among the 3,000 applicants who were invited for a screening.
He said, “It started with about 3k applicants where we were screened down to 800 then to further stages that included the top 100, then we got to be the top 30 (5 participants representing the 6 zones of the federation).
“We then got to compete at the intra-regional stage, where only 2 participants qualified from each of the 6 geo-political zone to be among the top 12.
“After I emerged among the top 12. We then had our inter-regional stage, I competed aginst one lady from South-east, I knocked her out to be among the top 6.
“As top 6, we moved to quoter-final stage at the University of Calabar for Presentation stage, were I passed the stage and became among the top 4.
“As top 4, we then moved to semi-final in enugu, but IPOB’s sit at home order made them to reschedule it to Bayero University for the semi-final stage, which was a debate stage, where l defeated my opponent from Southwest at the debate stage in BUK and qualified to be the finalist, who were the top 2 for the final stage.
“We yesterday had the Grand-finale at the Nile University Abuja where I defeated my opponent from North-Central (UNILORIN) to be the Winner as well as the “Crowned Keeper of African History 2023”
Reward for excellence
Hardworking pays as Isa emerged winner with the following prizes:
- Cash prize of 500,000.
- I week trip to Kenya for tourism
- Crown Keeper of the African History 2023.
- One year free data subscription package.
- Special guest to be invited to the grand final next year.
Words of wisdom, encouragement
“I want to encourage my fellow students to read wide and also outside their field of study, every knowledge is valuable. I never thought history could be my eye opener and way to be outside Nigeria.
“But my passion to read History and commitment to other areas of knowledge has given me all these advantages.
I made it despite tight schedules
“I want to tell my fellow students that as at now, I’m the President of Law Students’ Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN) BUK Chapter and a final year Law student with project and all that, and also the President Kaura Goje Students’ Association (KAGSA) and so many other several students’ engagements, but that does not forestall me from excelling in other fields of endeavors.
“So just be determined and confident, God will assist you to achieve your dreams,” he stated.