|L-R: Prof. Sheikh and Dabban
Hello Danfodites, and welcome to #HumansOfUDUS. I am your host, Uchenna Emelife. This week’s human of UDUS is popular Prof. Sheikh, one-time Lecturer of UDUS and patron of various associations. This is his story as told by recent graduate of Education Chemistry, Amidu Mohammed Dabban.
“I owe Prof. Sheikh my life and I mean this in every sense,” he says to me.
Here is his story:
“I reflect on my days as an undergrad student of UDUS and a recurring face is that of Prof. Sheikh.
Me in his office being engaged in a discussion about the future. Him in a Rotaract meeting listening keenly to what I’ve to say. My face lighting up to his text about some meeting he wishes I tag along to. Finding his office door ajar and walking in to say ‘hi’. Finding him eating and joining in the feast. Of all of my beautiful memories as a Danfodite, those shared with Prof form the highlight.
Everyone who knows Prof. Sheikh has a story about him that fits well into the kind #HumansOfUDUS tell. Everyone. I do not say this to extol him nor make you think differently about him. This is simply true. Prof’s kindness to his students is a wonder I’m yet to unravel. Ask Penguin. Ask Yazid. Ask Bunyaminu. They all, like me, have stories.
The one memory however that I would like to talk about is what has formed the bond I enjoy today with Prof.
|L-R: Prof. Sheikh & Dabban
It was 2019 and the SUG was going to have her elections. I had recently ended my tenure as an SRA and so I thought to myself, why not I take the next step in the leadership ladder? I purchased a form for Secretary General and the race began. Anyone reading this that has been a student since 2019, can recall just how heated the elections were. Student-journalists and politicians alike gave it so much media coverage that it built huge anticipation. Even the school permitted for lecture-free days to enable the smooth run of the elections.
What that meant was that candidates needed to be in their A-games lest lose to their opposition. I was everywhere, and places where I couldn’t reach to canvass for votes, my agents did. Enter election day and the tension spiked. I had done everything I could to ensure I won. But because I felt there was room for more efforts, I went to the field and tried to do some last minute campaign.
I was standing on the gravel-filled floor opposite FAIS. It was crazy sunny, yet my team and I stood there trying to convince people to vote for me. That was when it happened. I fell to the ground. Began jerking. My legs and hands trembled as my body was one with the ground. Because it was a hard floor, it cut me in several places and I bled as I shook.
The students around me were torn between picking me up or fleeing the scene. Some chose something else, they took up their phones and began recording me. This was entertainment for them, I guess. Trending online (I would later find out) was that popular Dabaan boy and Sec Gen aspirant amidst elections was ‘acting up’ and other slur expressions I have since buried inside me.
Amidst my frenzied state, I overheard people I thought were my friends saying to passersby and onlookers that they shouldn’t go near me, that what I had could be contracted. So as the crowd grew and my video circulated, I remained on the hard floor struggling for my life.
It took a student who grew uncomfortable with the attention paid me, and then chose to contact Prof. Sheikh whom he was aware I was close to. Prof. Sheikh had recently gotten a new car then, a Benz and those of us around him knew how he treated it like a bride. Yet, he got into it and in less than 5 minutes after the call, arrived what had become a sought after scene because the crowd had doubled. He penetrated through the crowd and ran to me.
|L-R: Prof. Sheikh & Dabban
Prof. was both furious and worried. Furious at the crowd who just stood watching, and worried that he might be too late. After throwing a disdainful glare at the students around me, he scolded them for turning me into some sport. As he did that, he bent down and took me into his arms. He didn’t care that I had blood stains all over and that I was leaving some on him. He didn’t care that he too had somehow become part of the entertainment the scene had become. He carried me in his arms and tried to calm me down. He took me to his car, opened the door and carefully placed me in it, the blood staining his new chairs. He drove me straight to the clinic dispersing the crowd.
In the clinic, Prof. demanded immediate attention and stayed with me until I was attended to, and felt better. He only became calm afterward.
Some times, I imagine what would have happened if Prof. never showed up? What would have become of Dabaan boy? I owe Prof. Sheikh my life and I mean this in every sense.”
This week’s story challenges the narrative of student-lecturer relationships, doesn’t it? Do you have a similar story of a kind act done to you by a lecturer? Mention in the comments.