By Oladapo Sofowora
Not many of her peers would shoulder the responsibility of creating succour to the less privileged around them. They would rather invest their resources on frivolities and absurd materials that would never impact peoples life positively. Maryam Onikijipa Belgore, chooses to be different as her giant stride towards creating an egalitarian society, where equity, justice and fairness thrive seems to be actializing. Just like the proverbial rattle snake that saunter through the rocky path without it’s presence recorded, Maryam has made an indelible mark, cresting her name in gold as history will forever be kind to her for contributing to humanitarian ideals. If Cheerful giving were to be a craft, maryam would have had a mastery of it. She does it effortlessly without blinking an eye.
During her formative years, she has always had this covenant with her creator on using her God given wealth to service humanity. She further promised that; she would invest in the education of many girl-child and empower them to reach their full potentials. She has since been living her dreams, fulfilling her heart desires. Not much people are blessed with such a benevolent heart Maryam is blessed with, she has showed the world that; you can be beautiful in and out and still be a kind person.
Despite having an aristocratic and bourgeois background, born into the family of popular clergyman; Sheik Sulaiman Farooq Onikijipa, she was raised Inline with the tenents of Islam which gives strong references to ‘Zakat’ ‘Giving’. Through her Maryam Onikijipa Belgore Foundation, she has done fantastically well. She has extended her hands of help to the downtrodden. She has visited several IDP camps in Nigeria, where she sponsored children educations, distributes sanitary towels to kids, distributes Food items, toiletries and other important materials for survival.
Apart from her philanthropic gestures, The graduate of Cresent Univerisity is an advocate against rape, child abuse, genital mutilation and sexual abuse. She has constantly lend her voice by galvanazing the private sector in the need to address illiteracy affecting children as they are all entitled to quality education and good life regardless of their background. Despite the recent surge in mental health related issues leading to depression, suicide, trauma and low self esteem, She has also assisted by raising funds through, mental health care and policy advocacy. The fund will be used to cater for anyone who needs mental health recovery either as a result of drug abuse or other mental health related issues.
Today the 3rd of October, the super pretty mother of three saunters into a new age on earth. At a time when the world is currently ravaged by a global pandemic, she spent million of Naira in distribution of palliative to people in Lagos, Abuja and Kwara. Like popular Nigerian Professor and writer and dramatist; Prof Femi Osofisan wrote in one of his masterpiece; ‘Birthday are not for Dying’; which aptly captures that birthday are for the living. Being alive to witness such day is a clear indication that the creator still watches over his own people. Maryam sees birthdays as a day not only to celebrate by throwing big soiree and entertain friends but a time to reflect on the past and work on the future.
To further show her commitment to humanitarian related works, on Thursday the 1st of October, Maryam and her crew visited the Durumi IDP Camp in Abuja, where she donated food items, sanitary towels, cash. She also cut her birthday cake with displaced children who sang and merried with her. For her, celebrating her birthday in such a way was the best. The children she fed matters more as it gives her great joy to put smiles on their faces and share her birthday cake with them.
As she would have loved to throw a massive Shindig in celebration mood, most expecially her Cosmopolitan husband, Abdulsalam Belgore, would have treated her to an expensive birthday treat, that would never be forgotten in a hurry but Maryam chooses to keep it on a lowkey and also spend time praying to her creator to grant her many more years in good health and wealth. For those willing to visit her Abuja Home, Maryam will be displaying her culinary skills as she hosts her close friends, family to a special dinner.
Those privileged to attend would be treated like Kings and Queen with grand opulence. Trust Maryam when it comes to hosting a shindig, you should expect the very best of continental and local dish laced with lavish supply of high cost Champagne, Cognac, Vodka, Rums, Whisky, Red and White wines. As she celebrates, we indeed wish her many more years with continuation of her philanthropic and humanitarian works.