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Maryam Awaisu is an author of three novels, a radio presenter, one of the founders of the #ArewaMetoo movement and a survivor of sickle cell anaemia. Maryam is a writer, activist and also a volunteer at a sickle cell foundation in Kaduna State called Sickle Cell Health Promotion Centre.
Here’s why Maryam is an Iconic Woman
Early Life and Career
Maryam Awaisu was born on April 2nd 1990 in Kaduna state, Northwest Nigeria. She graduated from the American University of Nigeria in 2012. She later went on to work as a teacher in 2017 and radio presenter. While working as a radio presenter for liberty TV radio from 2012 to 2015 she hosted a talk show along with three other presenters and then did her program, which was about the life of a typical single Nigerian lady. She wrote a script for the program and later became a published writer.
In 2014 she published “Burning Bright” a novel about the struggles of having sickle cell anaemia and surviving, this was then shortlisted for the NLNG literature prize. Along with Burning Bright, Maryam published 2 other novels “The Thing about Compromise” a novel about being a woman who wants more in a conservative Muslim Northern Nigeria. And her latest novel “Ms Joana’s rules”, is a children’s book shortlisted for the African Writers Awards 2018. The book, in a colourful story form, is written as a guide for parents and children to go through the very important discussion about their bodies in a bid to detect/avoid paedophilia.
On February 19, 2019, Maryam was arrested by Nigerian Police’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in her office in Kaduna. This arrest is believed was aimed at intimidating women right activists pursuing justice for victims of sexual violence and might discourage victims of sexual violence from seeking justice. However, since Maryam’s release, the police are yet to comment on the reason she was taken.
Awards and achievements
Maryam has been winning awards before she graduated University. She won Best Marketing Student in 2012 from the American university of Nigeria. She also won Best Student, School of Arts and Sciences, Class Valedictorian, President Leadership Awards and Miss AUN in 2011.
She won late Ambassador Segun Olusola’s NBMA Humanitarian award in 2015 and was named one of five forefront fighters for women’s rights in Northern Nigeria by BBC in 2019 for her role in #arewametoo movement.