IWD2023: Dr. Falmata Umara Zulum, the Incredible First Lady of Borno and Her Success Story

By Duchess Magazine

Dr Falmata Umara Zulum, the wife of the Executive Governor of Borno State in Nigeria, is a woman who has faced incredible challenges and risen above them all to achieve greatness, trailblazing for other women and girls with dreams. She is a philanthropist, a humanist, Founder of Multi-Aid and Charity Initiative, and a woman who has the interest of women and children at heart – evident from her philanthropic activities.

Dr. Falmata’s strength and prowess is further evident in her heart of gold and her shining beauty. The reserved and quiet first lady breaks boundaries for breakfast.

Born and raised in Borno State, Dr Zulum’s academic journey was not an easy one. She faced financial and social challenges, but she persevered and eventually earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Liverpool and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina.

The Borno State First Lady and wife of the Governor, Dr Falmata Umara Zulum last year April, lost her father, Alhaji Kauna Bulama Kyari, aged 70.

Dr Zulum’s education and expertise in public health led her to work with several international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She played a key role in the fight against polio in Nigeria and was instrumental in the development of a comprehensive polio eradication plan for the country.

Dr. Falmata Babagana Umara Zulum flagged off the annual Maternal and New Born Child Health Week 2019 at the General Muhammed Shuwa Memorial Hospital Maiduguri. The annual event which is usually organized to monitor the mother/child from 0-58 months in terms of nutrition, hygine and care while Nutrition monitoring of Vitamin A of 6-59 months old children is being carried out every 6 months.


Dr. Falmata Babagana Umara Zulum flagged off the deworming exercise for children. The programme was initiated by Borno state ministry of health in collaboration with the home ground feeding programme and supported by the wife of the state governor.

Dr. Falmata Babagana Umara Zulum empowered 300 IDPs women with three different categories of skills acquisition working tools and kits after the training scheme.

In 2021, Dr Falmata Babagana Umara Zulum bagged the prestigious African Peace Ambassador Award, dedicating it to vulnerable women and children in Borno State.

She has also been encouraging parents, women and girls to always report cases of rape and sexual abuse as well as any gender-based violence to the nearest security agencies within their domain for proper and necessary legal action.

Aside from her work in public health, Dr Zulum has been a strong advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. She has championed initiatives aimed at improving the lives of women and girls in Borno State, including the establishment of a women’s center to provide education and training opportunities for women.

But her achievements go beyond her professional work. She is a loving wife and mother, who has supported her husband through the challenging times he has faced as the Governor of Borno State.

She has also been a source of inspiration and motivation for women across Nigeria and Africa, showing them that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

Dr Zulum’s story is a powerful reminder that African women are capable of achieving greatness despite the challenges they may face. Her resilience, strength and determination are an inspiration to us all, and her legacy will continue to inspire generations of African women to come.

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Joseph Omoniyi

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