Afakriya Aduwa Gadzama was born on 22 November 1953 at Lassa in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
He attended Barewa College, Zaria from (1968–1972), then School of Basic studies Zaria.
He later proceeded to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree (BA) in Political Science (1977).
In 2001, Gadzama attended the Senior Executive Course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS) Kuru, Jos.
Gadzama started his career in 1978 with the Ministry of Finance in Borno State and transferred to the National Security Organization as a Principal Officer in 1984. He rose through the ranks of the NSO and the subsequent State Security Service which was carved out of the NSO when it was dissolved.
Gadzama served as the Director General, SSS between 2007 and 2010.