A Creole Niqabi Muslim Lady? Who is she? 10 Things you Need to Know about her!
Amanatu Ajibola Thomas aka The Creole Niqabi Muslady is one phenomenal woman. An advocate and founder of several advocacy and charity organizations, Amanatu remains humble and grounded and does not really like to take credit for the work she does. In a generation where modesty is discriminated against around the world and yes even in Sierra Leone that is hailed for its religious tolerance, she has made the face covering her go to daily dress code. Now don’t let that distract you from the fact that she is a fighter, an advocate and a pioneer. She is not your typically stereotyped niqabi. She is visible, vocal and vibrant in her personality. So here are 10 things you need to know about “The Creole Niqabi Muslady” as she is casually referred to by peers and friends.
1. As the name imply, she is a creole by tribe; a tribe that is predominantly Christian. Amanatu said
“The best turning point in my life is when I became a practicing Muslim, the day I started wearing the hijab. It is what actually changed my whole concept about life, that which chose my career path of becoming a da'ee (caller to Islam).”
2. She has a personality that will engage you and leave you in awe when she passionately discuss the charity and advocacy work she is engaged in especially helping vulnerable women and children.
“Keeping people happy is kinda a priority in my daily life; you know seeing that beautiful smile on their faces is what I love, it kinda sparkles my heart and makes me feel special, like I have it all thus I do the extraordinary just to ensure that and when I can't help out, I get frustrated.
3.She values camaraderie and affirm that she is passionate about bringing people together, helping them stay united and she like to engage in match making and counseling as part of the things she love doing.
4. I first encounter her the week leading to World Hijab Day this year and I was alerted by a sister about a march happening in Sierra Leone to combat discrimination against hijabis in the professional arena. “The Creole Muslady” was a pioneer of that march and she was the brain behind the movement. I spoke to her few weeks later and I was mesmerized by her drive. In her words, “ I strongly detest the bullying of women thus I fight against every act of discrimination, marginalization, prejudice, sexual abuse and domestic violence against them.”
5. On her views of equality: “To me everyone matters and every voice counts as long as they conform to the principles of Islam thus I give voice to the voiceless, I address the ignored and unsolved issues through advocacy”.
6. Her parents are her inspiration “My parents are my heroes and my role models thus most of the definition of who I am, are inherited from them.”
7. “I love relationships, keeping people around me all the time, I do endure the odds but I have certain valuable principles and once they've been compromised, I lose trust easily and find it so hard to build it back. My weakness is I don't know how to say no when people need me, ask me for favors or request my assistance as long as it doesn't compromise my faith. Thus I can't sit and leave your wishes unfulfilled ”
8. Her style is unique and fiercely modest. “My dress code makes people deny my ethnicity. As my surname (Thomas) sounds, I am from the creole tribe - a tribe people hardly know consists of both Muslims and Christians. We are originally from the Yorubas of Nigeria thus I am called "Ajibola" and my "Amanatu" (Amana for short), is from the Qur'an, an attribute of our beloved Muhammad (PBUH) which means trust and I was named after my father's beloved sister.”
9. “One of my greatest challenge in life is love which has a very great impact on me, when I feel left out, it poisons me and when it glows my heart, it gives me hope to carry on. I excellently fulfill my part yet I have never got that feeling of being loved thus I have lost faith in it existence.”
10. “I have a very strong feeling for beauty, elegance, adventure and tourism but I buried them with a high control mechanism because of what I do, to keep me more focused and because I actually lack the means.”
Want to know more about Amanatu and her charity and advocacy work? Please follow her on Facebook here.