Interviewer: Anthony Murdock II
Q: What is your name, and what does it mean?
Murjanatu: My name is Murjanatu Mutuwa. I love my name, even though it’s difficult to pronounce. I love the way it sounds, but the most beautiful part is that it means the princess has arrived. It is a Nigerian name given to me by my grandmother. It’s not a name many people have, it’s pretty sacred. My last name is Mutuwa it loosely translates as death, my father changed his name mourning his father. But if you talk to many Hausa people they’ll say it’s a powerful name that means conqueror of death.
Q: Can you briefly describe your racial makeup, and explain how that makeup has influenced the way in which you view and express yourself, especially while attending a PWI like Butler?
Murjanatu: My father was born and raised in Nigeria, and didn’t move to the US until he was 30 to marry my mother. They met and fell in love while my mom was doing mission work in Miango, a beautiful small town in Nigeria in the pretty central surrounded by mountains. My mother is a white American. Growing up was very interesting in comparison to kids on my street. I grew up surrounded by white people, always knowing I was different and not sure why. Being African makes up so much of who I am, the culture influences many of my decisions and the way I think. However, I give most credit as to who I am from the fact that I was raised in a bi-racial and very [culturally] blended home. It’s given me an easier way to perceive things, and a better ability to understand what others may be going through.
Being at Butler has given me an environment to let that thrive, and hopefully influence others to celebrate differences.
Q: What are your career aspirations, and why?
Murjanatu: I’d like to be a family attorney specializing in International cases. My highest aspiration is to be a lawyer who assist families seeking to adopt children from third world countries. My little sister is actually adopted from Nigeria. That little girl is my light. It breaks my heart to know how many children like her are growing up without a family, or in extremely harsh situations because it is so difficult to adopt. My passion is to make it simpler to bring families together.
Q: Looking back at your first few weeks of college, what has been the greatest culture shock you’ve experienced and in what component of Butler’s campus, (curriculum, culture, etc) do you want to see or make the most change by the time you graduate?
Murjanatu: I was very shocked to see the lack of diversity at Butler. I was very excited to finally see more color, hear stories from more backgrounds, learn about more cultures, and I haven’t seen that. I grew up in a very small white town, so I am used to it, but I was really looking forward to breaking that cycle. The diversity is here, but you have to put in so much effort to discover it, and that’s been a little frustrating.
Q: What does the movement, Bust The B.U.B.B.L.E., and the blog, Double Consciousness, mean to you?
Murjanatu: I see fellow students breaking boundaries and taking steps forward. I hear conversations many are afraid to have. It has blood rushing through my veins.