Maryam Abba Dawud is the second born of three in her family. She is from the beautiful and peaceful town of Maiduguri in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria. She recalls how lovingly her daddy referred to her as doctor at a tender age because of her love for books and her passion to assist others especially in terms of food. Looking back, she realizes the accolade was a seed, her father was sowing on her infantile yet fertile mind.
She had her primary education at Hausari Primary school in Maiduguri, Borno State of Nigeria. She proceeded to the Unity Girls College Maiduguri, where she obtained her senior school certificate. After which she gained admission into the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria and obtained a bachelor degree in Agriculture in 2006. Exposition to the programme at University of Maiduguri, opened her eyes to the world of opportunities. She embraced the courses and knew without a shadow of doubt that a career in Agriculture was what she wanted. This is because it tied in with her vision to impart her knowledge to farmers especially the vulnerable women to enable them increase productivity and improve their living conditions.
With enthusiasm, she did her national service at Mohamet Lawan College of Agriculture, after which she lectured Agricultural courses for five years at the same institution. Quest for more knowledge drove her to apply for an MSc. in Plant breeding at the University of Maiduguri, in which she was attached to Lake Chad Research Institute for her research work. Her passion and hard work for the field work at the research institute lead to her employment to work as a research scientist. Having an opportunity to win a scholarship from West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme, Nigeria to study for her PhD at West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement is God sent. She believes she is closer than ever to achieving her dream. She is of the opinion that by the end of the programme, she would be fully empowered with effective tools to impact the farmers and graduates in her country; the knowledge acquired will be also utilized to improve the state of agricultural research and practice in the North-east and Nigeria in general. Maryam is a research scientist, happily married to Ibrahim Abdulkadir Koguna and is blessed with six children.