Honourable Munira Suleiman Tanimu is a young Kaduna State born daughter of a politician father. She is an entrepreneur, a politician and philanthropic Muslim woman who has braced the odds against the limitations of cultural and Islamic tenets to break-even in her business and political career.
HOME BACKGROUND: Munira Tanimu, as she simply calls herself, hails from Kaduna State in the northern enclave of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Her father is a politician, and that gives her a sound political background and orientation. She is the second of her father’s sixteen children but the first daughter of the family. Tanimu had learnt to shoulder leadership responsibility from her tender age. As the first daughter, she was the mother of the house in the absence of their mother because she played the role efficiently and with a sense of responsibility. This made her their father’s favourite at home and she learnt a lot from the role she played at home while growing up.
‘I used to my father’s fovourite while we growing up as kids. This was because I always assume responsibility over my siblings when our parents were not at home. For this, my father would hand over to me everything that he wanted to be done in the house. I felt happy doing that, and I learnt a lot from my role at home…..’
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Honourable Tanimu started her educational career at Essence International School, Kaduna, where she did her Nursery/ Primary and Secondary education up class five (SS2) before she moved to Government College, Kaduna where she sat her senior school certificate examination and passed in flying colours. From Government College, Kaduna, Tanimu proceeded to the University of Abuja to study Sociology for her first degree. She went on from there to bag a certificate in Leadership Communication from the coveted Harvard University and another certificate in business management from the highly rated Lagos Business School in Lagos State. Tanimu is currently nursing the ambition to pursue a Master’s degree in one of the reputable Universities in the country. This was utterly the reverse of the cultural and religious tenets of the northern people, especially those of the Islamic faith, that once a girl child from that extraction had experienced her second menstrual cycle she should get married. Hon. Tanimu broke out of these norms to make her mark in the business and political world, which, hitherto, was seen as men’s world.
BUSINESS CAREER: Hon. Tanimu is the CEO of a conglomerate of different businesses. She had started business at the age of eighteen. Her father gave her and her other siblings money to start their businesses when she was just eighteen, and she started at age to do business in Nigeria and across Nigeria. She has run many businesses and failed in them, but she didn’t give up. Some of the businesses she ventured into were: interior decoration/furnishings, fashion outfits, catering services and restaurant and eatery. Despite her many times failure in business, she was never daunted. Today, Munira is the CEO of Green Garden Farm, a poultry farm in Kano which currently houses well over five thousand chickens.) Hon. Munira Taminu also runs a town service transport-business, ‘MSTS ventures’ that has several inter-state buses, and cabs operating in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria as well as a very big event centre that brings in good returns. She is a fulfilled businesswoman and politician at the age of thirty-two years, something that is very rare among young Nigerian women, especially northern women.
PHILANTHROPHY: To say merely that Tanimu is a philanthropist is an understatement. She is a philanthropist in every sense of the word. Tanimu had started the act of charity since when she was ten. She grew up seeing her father carrying out charitable acts and she develops the passion to extend a helping hand to the needy from there. Today, Honourable Tanimu runs a registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) known as Green Heart Impact Foundation where she empowers tens scores of girl children across the country. Green Heart Impact Foundation focuses on rehabilitating girl children that have dropped out school to hawk in the streets due to lack of money and encourages them to go back to school on its bills. The foundation presently has over one hundred representatives across the country who help it locate such vulnerable girls in the states they represent and bring to the knowledge of Hon. Tanimu for proper action to be taken. So far, Green Heart Impact Foundation has helped well over fifty girls that had dropped out school to return to school in five different states in the Northern region of the country and is still doing more, including the empowerment of their mothers. This has been purely from the Honourable’s purse because Green Heart Impact Foundation (GHIF) does not ask for money or accept money from people to fund its charity projects. It wants to prove a difference that it is not like other NGOs that take advantage of the vulnerability of the less privileged Nigerian children to front themselves as helpers but end up enriching themselves at the expense of the real vulnerable ones.
Nevertheless, Tanimu said that Green Heart Impact Foundation is going to host her first ever gala night on the 6th of April, 2018, where it intends to sell tickets to friends and members of the public who will attend in other to raise money and support the foundation’s projects. She, however, stressed that this is coming in the face of mounting pressure from her friends and well-wishers who had insisted they want to lend their helping hands to the projects. It has not been her wish to request or accept money from people to execute her dreams.
RELIGIOUS DISPOSITION: Honourable Tanimu is of the Islamic faith. However, she is a Muslim that believes that humanity in one, irrespective of our religious differences.
‘…..religious faith is a thing of the heart. One does not have to force anyone to become what he or she does not want to be because region is a thing of the heart. I am a Muslim, but I don’t discriminate against people of other faith. I have a house help who is a Christian, and she has worked with for about ten years now. She goes to church every Sunday and I support her church any time they have something to do that required my assistance…..So I think that those who are trying to use force and convert people are not doing the right thing. How can they tell who is a righteous person or who is not? Only God knows that. That is why no one should try to force anyone into the religion he or she is not willing to be…..No one can fight for God, and God has not asked anybody, whether Christian or Muslim, to fight for Him. People should be allowed to make their own choices of the religion they want to belong and worship their God……I know that some Christians are converting to Islam and some Muslims are also converting to Christianity on their own. Therefore, those who are killing people in the name of fighting religious war are doing so for their own interests, not for God. They must stop the killing and the hatred so that we can live in peace with one another…..’
When asked if she was ready to stand the heat when people begin to label her with stigmatic names like for going against cultural and religious norms to pursue her career, Honourable Tanimu did not mince words about her answer: I’m ready for any name anybody wants to call me because I know I’m doing what I know is right. Besides, it is giving me joy’.
POLITICAL CAREER: Honourable Tanimu has a political background, and that makes her a politician by nature. She vied into politics fully in 2015 when she ran for a seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly to represent the people of her constituency but lost at the primaries level. She was the only woman among four aspirants that ran for the seat and she came second at the primaries poll. She said she is ready run again until she wins and gets into the state’s law making chamber because she wants to change the game of politics not only in her state but also in the entire country.
‘…..my aim of going into politics is to acquire wealth or achieve fame. I am already a fulfilled woman…..I am happy with who I’m and what I have achieved….So I’m in politics because I want to change the game. I want to change the way politicians do things to serve themselves instead of the people……I want my people to be involved in the scheme of things and have a sense of belonging in the affairs of their government. That’s the reason I’m in politics, to serve my people, not myself……’