Even a chance encounter with Maryam Onikijipa Belgore will reveal a lot about her persona and idiosyncrasies. Beautiful Maryam, daughter of a popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Sulaiman Farooq Onikijipa, and wife of Abdulsalam Belgore, son of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Salhiu Modibbo Alfa Belgore, is known to literally run away from the klieg lights.
But her worthy deeds, through her Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, Maryam Onikijipa Belgore Foundation, has always brought her out of her cherished cocoon.
In setting up the foundation, her sole objective, it was gathered, was to keep touching the lives of every girl-child around her – this is a resolve spurred by the abiding philosophy of her father that “in all we do, humanity comes first.”
three has remained faithful to her vow, as she has been donating a huge bulk of her income towards their welfare by creating an avenue, where they can all access quality education through sponsorship, and frequent supply of sanitary pads for their menstrual cycle.
Besides, she has also demonstrated unflinching commitment to the advocacy against rape, child labour, child molestation and female genital mutilation.
In particular, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, she provided succour to the needy by donating edible items worth millions of naira in Lagos, Kwara and Abuja.
For a woman who has shown so much love to her fellow human beings, it was not surprising, therefore, that she was celebrated by all and sundry on her birthday on October 3.
In the build-up to the celebrations, the Crescent University Graduate, on October 1, 2020, had visited the Durumi IDP Camp in Abuja, where she donated edible raw food, cash and other household materials to displaced persons, among other items.
Society Watch gathered that on the evening of October 3, her husband hosted a few of her friends and close relatives to a private dinner at a highbrow joint in the heart of Abuja.
Maryam, who was fitted in a well-knitted black and gold gown, cut her gigantic black and gold birthday cake with her immediate family.