I was declared dead at infancy, spoke English for the first time at 11 – Bolaji Abdullahi

By Nimi Princewill.

A former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has revealed some of the near miracles in his life, reliving his experiences as a child of poor parents.

Abdullahi, who clocks 50 on Monday, had while speaking in an exclusive interview with INSIDER, recalled how his mother’s stubborn insistence on getting him checked by a competent doctor kept him alive, having been declared dead by relatives and sympathisers.

“My mother always talks about a story of how I died and they dug a grave to bury me before I changed my mind and refused to die again,” Abdullahi said, making light of an event that he said was a miracle to his parents at the time.

Speaking also of how poverty and lack dotted his early steps in life, Abdullahi recalled how he started attending a school under a tree and spoke English for the first time when he was almost a teenager.

“I started school with a gathering of children under a tree in front of the palace of the village chief. I did not step into a classroom until I was in primary two, and I spoke english for the first time when I was eleven. My first four years of education was in Hausa. Even the English language we learnt was taught in Hausa,” the former minister recalled.

Abdullahi, who was a former Commissioner for Education in Kwara State, also spoke on other wide ranging issues, including his near expulsion from the University of Lagos; student unionism today as compared to his time as a student; his memorable and most challenging assignments as a Journalist; his time as a budding actor among others.

Read full interview on Monday, August 12

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