“Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.”
Compelled by the desire to make people’s life a taste of paradise, Mrs Larai Tijjani Borodo comes forth as a contagion of compassion and kindness. This soft spoken embodiment of brains and beauty, a spitting image of some of the finest human virtues, and a quintessence of magnetic simplicity, blazes the trail like an angel amongst mortals. Born more than six decades ago, the life she leads is an instructive reminder of what it really means to be human.
While growing up as a little girl under the genial and harmonious care of her lovely parents, she learnt from her dad, the practical definition of human kindness. He was fond of taking in strangers and caring for them as though they were a part of his family. That early exposure to such acts of human kindness would over time, become the scent that reminds the world of Mrs. Larai Borodo. She realized early enough that significance is at the core of the perceptions that positively shape our view of our ecosystem. Thus, whatever she chooses to pursue, she pauses to ask: how relevant or significant is this, to other human beings? This explains why compassion laces every stride she has undertaken in her professional and entrepreneurial journeys.
Fortunately, the signs of overwhelming success came quite early in her life. Almost five decades ago, when she got admission on merit with full scholarship, into Queens College, Lagos, it was clear that something exceptional would come out of the Borno girl who would at that time, in 1975, fly a plane for the first time. Leaving home at that young age was not easy for her parents; but when they were properly told what that admission meant for the little Larai and the future of the family and community at large, she was allowed to go. She would, after the secondary education, return home to obtain a B.Ed English at the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State. A while later, while lecturing at the Kano State College of Education, Kano, she again obtained her Master’s degree from the Bayero University, Kano.
In her professional career, she taught for a while at the Kano State of College Education, a period during which she moulded young and impressionable minds as a college lecturer. That was later followed by a transition to Lagos, where she worked with the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). In NSITF, she worked with people in the private sector, enlightening and educating them about their pension scheme and assisting retirees to get their pension as they retire. She rose through the ranks over the years as she worked in NSITF and retired as a manager.
Working with students at the onset of her career, and later, with old people, was consistently a source of joy for her. No wonder, one finds in her, a woman who understands the power of words and ideas. She knows the consequence of effective communication. She feels the pulse of the universe and dares to offer time-tested solutions to whatever challenge she dares to surmount.
In business, compassion colours every step she takes. As the current Managing Director of Larabbake Ltd, a bakery, with offices in Lagos and Abuja, she is your perfect CEO: a merchant of smiles, comfort and care. To extend helping hand to women and children through charitable donations, she co-founded Loron, a non-profit organization. In Borno and Kano, she is into orphanages and foundations, offering a much needed assistance to orphans and widows – footing medical bills, school fees, and examination fees for students sitting for WASSCE. Further still, being a member of Small World, an international charity organization reaching out to women and children, her impact brings immeasurable succour and hope to many homes.
Speaking on why she joined ADSI, she says: “I joined ADSI because it’s in consonance with my dreams of bringing help to the needy in our society in general.”
Furthermore, helping old people, who often had issues getting their pension, fuelled her passion for helping the needy: a fire that still burns, ever so bright. She is presently in the process of opening an Old People’s Home. In her dream facility, she hopes to bring in the elderly to give them a home, make them feel loved, comfort them when they are lonely, and feed them. Having travelled to every continent in the world, one can expect that her view of the universe is very global. She noted in her tour of the world, how some countries are still battling to solve social dilemmas, while some have largely figured out how to manage them.
Her trips to Canada and India, particularly inspired the vision to create a comfortable shelter for the elderly. She saw the difference in the two countries and wants to do something unique back home in Nigeria. She believes that because change is a constant, she commits to ensuring that she is at the vanguard of positive change wherever she finds herself. As a result, she is consistently paving a path and creating a blueprint for future generations to pick up at any point she leaves off.
The path Mrs. Larai Tijjani Borodo has walked for more than six decades is centrifugal to the survival of our ecology. What is humanity without compassion? What is commerce without kindness? What is morality without a respect for the elderly? Luckily, as though God intends to show the world that it pays to be good, she is very happily married to one of the finest men the world has ever seen. He is her rock, her support system and her cheerleader. The almost four decade long matrimony is blessed with four handsome boys.
Mrs. Larai Tijjani Borodo, a queen indeed from the heart of North Eastern Nigeria, a personification of meekness, a constant bearer of a smile that awakens hope, a great ADSIAN, a generous giver, and a lover of mankind; inspires humanity. She is committed to making Arewa, and the world at large, a better place. You too can join her! All it takes to be a member of ADSI is that monthly sacrifice of at least, N2000, to skill and empower the less privileged in our region. Indeed, we are not successful, until at least, each member of our region can comfortably afford the basic cost of living. Let’s make Arewa great again!