She may not have read law like her mother, Justice Amina Augie, but you could still say Maryam Augie is chip off the old block. A Future Awards nominee in the category of advocacy and activism, she is the founder of AyahayFoundation, a non-profit inspired by the tragic deaths of her close friends. She speaks with Azuka Ogujiuba
You were recently mentioned as one of the nominees for the 2013 Future Awards in the advocacy and activism category. How does that feel?
It feels wonderful. I am especially grateful that someone recognized the effort we have been making to impact the lives of the underprivileged in our society.
What’s the AyahayFoundation about?
AyahayFoundation was founded in December 2010 following the deaths of my dearest friends in a car accident. To keep their memory alive, I set up a foundation focused on certain key areas that are crucial to sustainable development: healthcare, education, women empowerment and child development. We have undertaken and completed projects in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, and Kebbi. We have empowered women in some communities in Kebbi by providing them with grinding machines for business; built boreholes; distributed bathroom slippers to street children; renovated a skill acquisition centre. The foundation also has a national scholarship programme for children between the age of eight and 15 with four children currently in the programme.
What’s behind the name Ayahay?
Ayahay foundation bears its roots in the name of dear friends who passed away November 18, 2010 in a car accident. Both of them were sisters.
What is your view about the debate on the child marriage bill?
I support the growth, development and education of every female child and her right to choose her future.
Apart from your foundation what else do you do?
I’m an entrepreneur and Ayahay Foundation is my way of giving back to the society.
Has your mother supported your foundation?
My mother is presently the presiding justice of the Court of Appeal in Lagos. She is one of my biggest moral supporters and I pull a lot of strength from her hence, the reason she is chairman of the board of trustees of Ayahay Foundation.
What is your most memorable fashion moment?
A fundraiser I attended on breast cancer awareness in 2011.
Who has ever given you an advice you consider the best?
I have to say from my mother because she always reminds me to remember to be myself and never let anyone’s opinion of me hinder me from my ultimate goal. And she is also very supportive of whatever choices I make in my life.
Which celebrity activist would you like to work with?
Angelina Jolie and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. I love their passion for equality.
Who in the world will you like to dine with?
I have to say Hilary Clinton because I’m inspired by strong, successful women.
Which star’s phone would you like to flip through?
Which celebrity in the world do you think has a near perfect lifestyle?
Beyonce; I love the way she respects herself and most importantly her love for God.
Which celebrity in the world do you think has the sexiest body?
What outfit can you not be caught dead in?
I will not be caught dead in just my underwear.
If a fashion police could search your wardrobe, would you be arrested for any fashion blunder?
May be one or two, but I think my sense of fashion is on point.
Who is Maryam A. Augie?
Maryam Augie is a young Nigerian with a passion for growth and development of this beautiful nation but most important I believe in values of respect, equality amongst all, integrity and empathy.
How old are you?
I’m 28 years old.
Tell us about your background?
I was born in Lagos, had my primary education in Sokoto before moving back to Lagos for JSS at Queen’s College, Yaba. I completed my secondary school education at FGGC Gusau, Zamfara State. I have a B.Sc. in International Business from National American University Sharjah, UAE and an MBA from Ehsal University Brussels.
If you had to go on an island for an exotic weekend, what are the five things you will take along?
My prayer bag, my wallet, my smart phone, a box of clothes and shoes, a make-up and toiletry bag.
When or how soon do you hope to walk up the aisle?
When and how soon God wills it.
What does love mean to you?
Love means mutual respect, understanding and should be built on a foundation of strong friendship.
What is your most expensive fashion accessory?
My BottegaVendeta shoes. It was a gift.
What is your fashion fetish?
Handbags and shoes.
What do you mostly crave about?
Why do you think women lie about their age?
I think because age is equated with beauty; but I believe one gets more graceful with age.
Which is the most favourite part of your body?
What are your beauty products?
Any product that works for my skin at the time, but Clinique is my got-to brand when all else fails.
What is your present Blackberry ringtone?
Ada Ada by Flavour.
Apart from your job, what else do you like to indulge in?
Reading on relevant matters to increase my knowledge bank and spending time with my nephews.
If you were the president, what will you consider top of your to-do list?
Free and compulsory education for all up to secondary school level and the promotion of equality.
Which celebrity would you describe as a sex siren.