From Homicide Survivor to Psychology Graduate: Meet Salma Ayisha Yakubu – As Told By Emma Morrison

This is Salma Ayisha Yakubu.  I call her my niece,  my daughter.  Her mother and I have known each other since primary school days.  We are still very close and we also live in the same neighbourhood.

I am proud of Salma, and she has taught me a few things.  I will get to that shortly.  First, I want to tell you Salma’s story because she being alive today is a miracle.  It goes back to January 2014; the 20th, the day everything seemed to go black.  Salma was almost murdered.  I say almost, but I believe she died.  Salma is strong-willed and even though she was in an extremely bad condition,  she never gave up.

Salma Ayisha Yakubu

Salma was doing medicine at the University of Development Studies, UDS, in Tamale; level 200.  She had left Accra for school a few days earlier and was at her family’s flat preparing to go to the hostel one morning.  There was a knock on the door and she opened it to a familiar face. A cousin of hers was standing at the door and Salma asked him in.  She turned around and that’s when he attacked her. Viciously.  There was blood everywhere.  And he left her for dead, putting his ear close to her mouth to check if she was breathing.  Then he quietly left.  Satisfied that he had accomplished what he came there to do. He left her for dead.  Nobody knows why he did it. He hasnt been caught. It’s been 7 years.

That day,  Salma refused to give up.  She crawled down three flights of stairs, covered in blood and ended up in front of someone’s door. God bless the woman who found her. I’m sure many will remember this story. It made headlines and there were gory pictures.  At the Tamale Teaching Hospital, doctors confirmed that Salma had a stroke.  She came out of hospital unable to walk or talk. Or even use her right arm.  That was the extent of her injuries.

Salma Ayisha Yakubu

 Salma had to learn how to talk and walk again.  Being right handed, she struggled to learn how to write with her left hand, and more. We were all traumatised.   7 years later this is Salma.  Graduated from the Algoma University in Ontario, Canada, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology after 4 years.   Some doctors were worried when she was leaving for Canada.  They said she couldn’t do it.  Here she is today.


So what has Salma taught me?

1.  You can do anything you set your mind on.

2.  Never give up

3.  It’s never too late

4.  It’s not over until you say so

5.   Breathe

6.  Believe

7.  Have hope


Salma, you are an inspiration to me and to many.   The world is at your feet.  Go and conquer!  God bless you!

By: Emma Morrison