At every attempt to keep her life off public space, the person of Maryam Onikijipa-Belgore keeps reoccurring within the public sphere —most especially for her philanthropic gestures to the downtrodden through her Maryam Onikijipa-Belgore Foundation, a non-governmental organisation. Maryam is a rare bred silver spoon and a well-privileged lady —her father is the popular clergyman Sheik Sulaiman Farooq Onikijipa while she is married to Abdulsalam Belgore, the businessman son of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Salihu Modibbo Alfa Belgore. One would then wonder what spurred her interest in humanitarian ideals. Sources close to this svelte mother-of-three said she is only being guided by her religious belief and most importantly, the teachings of her father, who often say; “In all we do, humanity comes first.” With a very daring ambition and vision to keep touching lives of every downtrodden, especially girl-child, Maryam has vowed to keep donating a huge chunk of her income towards their welfare. Asides her intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown when she provided succour to the needy in form of donating edible items worth millions of naira in Lagos, Kwara and Abuja, Maryam has also create an avenue where these girls can all get access to quality education through sponsorship, frequent supply of sanitary pads for their menstrual circle and also provide advocacy against rape, child labour, child molestation and female genital mutilation.
Last Saturday, the Crescent University graduate added another year to her age and as part of celebrating her birthday, Maryam visited the Durumi IDP Camp in Abuja, where she donated edible raw food, cash and other household materials to those displaced persons, as well as distributed sanitary towels for young girls. She later cut her birthday cake with them as they sang and celebrated with her. Spotlight gathered that later in the evening of the day, Maryam’s debonair husband hosted select family members and friends to a private dinner in honour of her wife at an highbrow restaurant in the heart of Abuja. With guests treated to the very best of continental and local cuisines and washed down with endless supply of assorted drinks, visibly excited Maryam —resplendent in a well-knitted black and gold gown— later cut her gigantic Black and Gold birthday Cake with her immediate family.