AS-SALAAM ALAEKUN WARAMOTULLAHI WABARAKATUHU We have in our midst today at 1one4.com, the youngest emerging medical doctor in 2014 from the University of Lagos. You are welcome, Miss Mariam.CAN WE MEET YOU? My name is Mariam Opeyemi Raji, a graduate of University of Lagos. I hail from Sango-Otta to be precise in Ogun state but I live at Bashorun in Ibadan, Oyo state of Nigeria. I love reciting and memorizing the Qur’an. I was born on May 11, 1993.HOW DO YOU FEEL EMERGING AS THE YOUNGEST UNILAG MEDICAL DOCTOR IN 2014? Alhamdulillahi, Robil-al-ameen. I feel very honoured and elated. I am not the only young doctor in my class. In facts, there are four other girls of the same age and even another Muslim sister whose month is September the same year as mine. So it’s the grace of Allah. WOW! A MEDICAL DOCTOR AT 21, HOW DID YOU SCALE THROUGH THE CHALLENGES AND MATURITY THAT COMES WITH THE COURSE? To say the truth, it has not been easy at all. You know going to class to receive lectures, when it’s time for solat rushing down to Masjid and reading. Well, it’s just the glory of Almighty Allah who gives me the strength and understanding. I have never being lazy about praying because I was brought up in a proper Muslim environment. There is also the challenge of what you are supposed to know and what the lecturers will teach you. But my maturity comes from relating more with older people. WITH THE STRIKE IN THE NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, HOW COME YOU GRADUATED THIS YOUNG? Allah has really being wonderful to me. I experienced strike two times throughout my years in school but because the College of Medicine’s calendar is not a semester thing, it was easy to avoid strike. At some point while we were still receiving lectures, ASUU threatened our lecturers and we stopped. But this last strike, we received lectures all through the six months and days after the strike being called-off, we started our professional examinations. DID YOU EVER SCORE BELOW PASS MARK? Yes, I failed and had to re-sit for an exam. Funny enough, the course is the one I know most. But as at that time, I was going through an emotional trauma from home and probably that affected me. "Failure is not a disease but giving up due failed is". IF NOT MEDICINE, WHAT ELSE? Hmmh! Nothing else, although I once thought of Psychology but that was before my admission into Unilag. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST PASSIONATE MOMENT IN THE SCHOOL? I would say my pre-clinical days. That is between 300 level to 400 level. We visited the wards in the teaching hospital where I met with a 13 year old boy with Leukemia (cancer of the blood). It’s like I could feel his pain and what the mother was going through. Though, they were able to get help and donations but all effort proves abortive, the boy died later. Imagine a small boy with such pain and I felt the need to save him. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS DO? ARE THERE MORE FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE MEDICAL LINE? My mother works in a Government parastatals while my father is late. I was raised by my step-father who contributed immensely to my career, he is a laboratory scientist. Aside that, I have only one sibling. My step-father is not just anyone to me but my lost but found father. He is a great man. WAS THERE A TIME YOU WERE ON SCARF NOW THAT YOU ARE USING KIMAR? I was never on scarf. In facts, I had asked my mum several times if I can pray with scarf but she says no. I started wearing hijab when I was very young because that’s exactly the way my mum dresses. When I first got admission, I had fantasized being like every other girls on campus. You know, using make-up, wearing trouser, fixing and braiding hair and so on. The flashy looks with their shapes out. But then, getting through those times was not a big problem because I was not brought up in such manner and hardly see people around me dressed like that. ARE YOU IN ANY RELATIONSHIP AND HOW ARE YOU COPING WITH FACEBOOK ‘I WANT TO MARRY YOU’? Well, Islam does not encourage dating before marriage and I can’t say no one has been coming but I just ignore them. My priority now is my houseman-ship and service, and then my residency. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER MUSLIM STUDENTS OUT THERE AND ISLAMIC SOCIETIES? My advice for them is to hold on to their faith. Pressure would come from friends and peer-groups to join them in what they do but do not succumb. Worship Allah sincerely and do istighfar every now and then. I would also enjoin other Islamic organizations to encourage students by sponsoring intending medical students who have no means. We should have more Islamic hospitals where we can practice health fully according to the Qur’an and sunnah of prophet Muhammad (pbuh). I want to thank 1one4.com for the opportunity and commendation I received from them. They are doing a great job by promoting Islam to all and sundry. I say Jazakumullahu khaeran to the entire 1one4 crew. Ma Salaam.
1one4.com Exclusive Interview of Unilag's Youngest Doctor, Mariam Opeyemi Raji.
The 1one4 team. 1one4.com is a digital hub for the Muslims in Nigeria and the diasporas. It is a veritable platform to share useful and valuable information and connect as a community.