By Nosike Ogbuenyi
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, signposts the committal of the remains of a woman of honour, late Mrs. Janada Joe Kyari Gadzama to earth in Lassa, Askira-Uba Local Government Area of Borno State. It is indeed a solemn and painful moment for her family members and close associates are grieving over the sudden departure of such a rare gem.
When the cold hands of death reached for the God-fearing wife of our big friend, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) last Monday April 7, 2014, the news was absolutely shocking and the impact profoundly devastating to those of us who either knew the adorable Janada well or are one way or the other associated with her versatile widower, Chief Joe Gadzama. As a towering legal practitioner of repute, Chief Gadzama was associated to many notable citizens including my boss, the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed.
As a person, I was really distraught upon hearing the sad news. It is really perplexing why this sterling stuff of a woman should pass away suddenly in her prime, but our God is all knowing. And death, everyone knows, is that eternal price which all mortals must pay. When it strikes, it leaves an emotional scar on the living and makes the heart to ponder for long if not life time. In the case of Mrs. Janada Gadzama, the consolation is that she died a true believer and is therefore heaven bound. Death in this case has lost its bite according to how it is written in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verse 55, “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?”
Until she passed on at 42 last week, the late Mrs. Janada Gadzama was a Principal Manager Grade Level 14 at the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Abuja. She joined the services of the NHIS as an Assistant Manager, Grade Level 10 in June 2001. In addition to her employment with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), her flexibility, interest in dispute resolution and quest for more knowledge led her to attend several seminars and workshops within and outside Nigeria.
Mrs. Janada Gadzama was born at the Nursing Home Hospital in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on July 16, 1971 to the family of Senator and Mrs. Bitrus B. Kajal. Her parents had six children and she was the second child in order of seniority.
In 1971, she proceeded to the city of Brussels in Belgium where she started her early education and later to the International School in New York in the United States of America in 1976. Thereafter, she returned to Nigeria in 1979 and attended Shehu Garba Primary School in Maiduguri, Borno State and later, Central Primary School, Gulak in the present day Adamawa State.
After obtaining her Primary School Leaving Certificate, the young Janada proceeded to Government Girls’ Secondary School in Maiduguri in 1982 from where she later enrolled at the Federal Government Girls’ College, Yola in 1983. It was from the FGGC, Yola that she obtained her Senior Secondary School Leaving Certificate in 1988.
The same year, she gained admission into the University of Maiduguri, enrolling in the University’s Remedial Science Programme. Upon completion of the Programme in 1989, she gained admission into the University’s Biochemistry Department from where she graduated in May, 1994 with a Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc) in Biochemistry. While still a student of the University of Maiduguri, she met her husband, Joe Kyari Gadzama and the relationship culminated in their marriage on April 27, 1991.
Following her graduation, elegant Mrs. Janada Gadzama was initially posted to Jos, Plateau State for her National Youth Service but was later redeployed to the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Baga Road Branch, Maiduguri. Having concluded the National Youth Service, she returned to University of Maiduguri a few years later and obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) between the periods of 1997 and 1999.
Janada’s marriage to Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama was blessed with six children (four boys and two girls). The eldest child of the couple, Madu Joe Gadzama, is a Bar Part II student of the Nigerian Law School. The others are Yahaya, Lamar, Bitrus, Mariam and Jemima.The late Janada thus left behind good children, the best form of love, care and training (a fact attested to by all and sundry) expected of an outstanding mother. Beyond that, she would be fondly remembered as a supportive wife who stood by her husband through thick and thin and spurred him on to greater heights in life especially her chosen career – Law.
Janada was a warm natured woman who adored nature in its best form and a fantastic hostess. Her hobbies included housekeeping, cooking, reading, interior decoration, event planning, and organisation. She was a member of several professional bodies such as the Institute for Health Insurance and Managed Care of Nigeria; Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (UK); Sisters Fellowship (EYN Utako); Marghi Women Association (Abuja Branch) and Alumni, Federal Government Girls College Yola (Abuja Branch). She was Patron, Boys and Girls Brigade (EYN Utako Command) and an accomplished Marriage Counsellor.
Come to think of it, the grim passage of this compatriot renders the rites of sorrow that her loved ones bear over her death quite severe. Really, the passage of the rare Amazon, Mrs. Janada Gadzama, who devoted great energy to caring for others, especially the less privileged is a peculiar kind of agony. Through Janada’s worthy legacies and imprints, the philosophers are right, who proclaimed that death can be life, a higher life, a regeneration of self, in the same way that the flower is pruned to groom greener foliage. We must all have the strong conviction in life-after-death and the possibility of Janada continuing to serve in paradise even after her transition.
Nosike Ogbuenyi is Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of FCT