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MILESTONE! Nigeria’s Hauwa Usman breaks record in UK

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  • Bags 1st class in Aeronautical engineering
  • First northern lady to study discipline, first to bag first class
  • A General’s daughter who made her father proud

Nneoma Ndibe 


A young Nigerian woman, Ms. Hauwa Umar Usman has achieved a historic academic record in the United Kingdom (UK) after graduating with a First Class (Honours) degree in Aeronautical Engineering in August 2017.

Hauwa Usman is the first Northern woman to have studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Brighton, making her amongst the very few females in Nigeria to study such a discipline.

Findings on Saturday,  revealed that she is among the few to have bagged First Class in the history of the school and first Nigerian female to achieve such feat.

Hauwa is the daughter of a respected retired Nigerian Army Chief of Transport and Logistics, Maj-Gen. Umar T. Usman.

The elated father while speaking to Global Sentinel said “Hauwa have made us proud and she truly deserves to be celebrated”.

Hauwa was born in Kano. She attended Crescent International School in Kano from primary to junior secondary, she spent most of her childhood in Kano, at the age of 14 her family moved to Abuja, where she completed her secondary school education from year10-year12 at Lead British International School, after which she moved to England to further her Education.

Her education in England began at the EF Language school in Cambridge, where she studied Engineering for her University foundation preparation year 2012-2013. Hauwa got accepted to study Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Brighton in 2013.

She is the third daughter of Maj-Gen Usman Tudunwada Usman (rtd).  Usman is the International Vice President (IVP) for Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in Africa and chairman of the Africa Forum as well the former National President of CILT in Nigeria.

Hauwa with her award
Vice- chancellor Professor Debra Humphris shaking hands with Hauwa
Mrs Zainab Umar Raheem Elder Sister (left), Hauwa Umar Usman Graduate (middle), and Mrs Halima Umar Usman Mother (right).

Hauwa told Global Sentinel that her curiosity for an aircraft’s ability to remain airborne, flight control systems and related aviation safety issues in the country led her to choose Aeronautical.

She shared her story, saying: “My choice to study Aeronautical Engineering was one out of curiosity for aircrafts at a young age. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into due to how challenging and demanding the male dominated course could be.

“My Father has been very supportive since day one of my academic journey. He had always taught me to be patient, learn from my mistakes and always do my best, because ‘my best is enough.”

“Despite the odds, I was determined that i would not let myself down and most especially my Father. Because, I knew he had sacrificed so much to make sure I have the best education.

“During my studies in England, I experienced some challenges, which a British friend noticed where signs of dyslexia and suggested that I take a dyslexia test. I had never heard of dyslexia ever in my life. I contacted the dyslexia team at the University and they were very helpful in explaining the disability and I was told that even the smartest scientist like Albert Einstein had this disability.”

According to Hauwa, Dyslexia is a “specific learning difficulty” that can cause certain problems with the ability used for learning, such as reading, writing, and understanding a task among others.

She however, stressed that intelligence is not affected as she under took the stages of assessment for dyslexia “and it was discovered that I had a certain level of learning difficulty. The most important thing at that stage in my life was how to manage and develop a strategic way to understand where my difficulties affected me more”.

She further said: “Whilst studying, I had my ups and downs and at the edge of wanting to give up, I always remembered my father’s words ‘it’s a challenge studying Aeronautical and yet you have come this far and I am so proud of you”.

“My Mother had taught me to never lose hope in anything I do and that my hard work won’t go to vein and Allah’s mercy will always be with me.”

She stressed that her “success in Aeronautical Engineering has been through hard work, stepping out of my comfort zone, understanding strategic ways to manage my learning difficulties, having a positive mind set and most importantly the encouragement from my family and friends during my most challenging times, allowed me to be amongst the very few with a first class degree in Aeronautical Engineering”.

Hauwa had some words of advice for young Nigerians, saying:  “Verily with hardship comes ease” Quran (94:6)

“The need to diagnose dyslexia in individuals especially at a younger age by both parents and teaching staffs in Nigeria needs to be emphasized more.”

She urged that “no child should be hit or beaten because they do not understand a task”.

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3 thoughts on “MILESTONE! Nigeria’s Hauwa Usman breaks record in UK

  1. Hauwa Usman is not the first aeronautical engineer with a first class in from the North. My daughter Engr. Khadijah Abdullahi Habib graduated with first class in aerobatic engineering. Please cross check before you publish anything.

  2. You make the entire nation proud ,kudos to a lady general,who picks from where her daddy stops,wishind you more success in the future,sky is your limit.once again you are my role model.

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