Maryam Lemu was born on January 29th, 1973. Born to a Nigerian dad, Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Lemu and a British mum, Bridget Anne Aisha Lemu. She is the youngest of two children from her mother. Maryam has an older brother Nuruddeen Lemu. Maryam’s dad had two wives. And her stepmom is Aisha Matchima Lemu.
Maryam Lemu has a career spanning over 3 decades, she is an international speaker and an adept seminar and workshop facilitator. She is currently the Head of Administration and Resource Management at New Horizons College Minna, Nigeria, a faith based school. She is also one of the Directors of ProStart Consultants, a capacity building consultancy firm based in Nigeria.
Mrs. Lemu has travelled around the world delivering seminars on a wide range of topics including team building, leadership and personal development. She is passionate about human development and character building and helps her audience identify a sense of purpose and direction in life and the positive impact it exerts on both work and personal life. Also, she delivers engaging public talks on Muslim Identity, Living a life of purpose, marital and pre-marital topics and particularly enjoys relationship coaching and counselling.
She is a known face with regular television appearances in Nigeria. She is the host of the popular Islamic talk show Sisterly on Alif TV, and Ramadan shows on several networks. She also produces YouTube video series and has a large social media following, as well. Mrs. Lemu has a broad range of expertise including Public Speaking, Mentoring and Coaching, Leadership, Management, Communication and Negotiation to name a few. She also provides consultancy to Islamic schools based on her strong commitment to character development, social responsibility and values-driven leadership.
Maryam Lemu husband
Our parents, in spite of all the fun we had with them, were extremely strict when it came to values and morals. May Allah bless them for being that way and grant them the highest status in Jannah.
One of my school friends told me that her sister wanted to introduce me to their elder brother who had been living in the United States for about 12 years. One day, I got a letter from Sa’id. I was beside myself. I was so excited and eagerly picked up the phone and called him. That was the beginning of our courtship. We exchanged loooooong letters and even longer phone calls. He would record love songs from the radio that captured exactly how he felt about me.
I finally met Sa’id when he visited Nigeria in 1990. I would either go to his sister’s house to visit him or he would visit me at our house. My parents did it the halal way.
We had to sit in the living room to talk, while folks would be trouping in and out, past us. My dad always warned me not to allow the devil to be the third in the room. In other words, we should never be alone.
It was so hard and very unromantic, however, looking back now, I really appreciate that decision.
My mum and brother liked him instantly. Sa’id asked my dad for my hand in marriage and my dad asked him to give him time as he needed to do Istikharah first.
It took several months before my father finally gave his blessing. An engagement ceremony was carried out in Sa’id’s absence as he had returned to the States.
Marriage was definitely NOT what I had expected.
We had our first fight within the first two weeks of marriage, and I stupidly asked for a divorce. Yes, I know, it was stupid and naïve. I went into marriage with the expectation that my parent’s seemingly perfect marriage was what all successful marriages were like. I’d never seen my parents’ quarrel. I panicked that we were fighting over a very petty thing, when we were meant to still be head over heels in love.
Right there and then, the sweet nothings Sa’id used to say to me started to dwindle and they eventually stopped altogether. We went through a roller coaster of emotions. Love/hate, passion/disgust, disappointment/regret, you name it.
We fought for about 6 years. It was messy and at one point I truly couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had started to give up on the relationship because we just seemed to fight all the time.
When I was angry or upset, I would just say so, no filter. I used what I call my “greatest weapon of mass destruction,” my mouth, to say whatever rubbish that came to mind. I had no regard for Sa’id’s feelings or the effects of my words.
When Sa’id was angry, he would shut down and refuse to talk. When I pushed him into a corner, he’d snap and he had a very volatile temper. It wasn’t pleasant. We had both changed. We didn’t recognize each other and the beautiful person we each thought we’d married had disappeared. I had let the fights make me ugly. I focused only on what Sa’id was doing wrong, ignoring all the good in him. This is when I learnt that “what you focus on, expands”. The more I focused on his negative traits and his faults, the more they grew and vice versa.
Six years down the line, we had reached rock bottom and divorce was truly on my mind.
Sa’id came home one day and told me that he didn’t look forward to coming home to me. I was hurt and shattered cos all this time, I believed he was the problem. I had never stopped or slowed down to look in the mirror. I was too busy trying to remove the speck in his eyes, while missing the log in mine.
I sat Sa’id down with one last ditch effort to save the marriage. I asked him to critique me. I asked him to give me feedback by asking three critical questions. This was the true turning point in our relationship. I asked Sa’id, “What is it about me you do not like or don’t find attractive that you want me to change? What is it about me that you do like that you want me to continue?” and finally, “What is it that I am not doing now that you would like me to start doing?”
Surprisingly, Sa’id asked me to do the same.
It worked. This totally transformed our relationship and from then on, we both committed to work on our habits that were negatively affecting the relationship and work on supporting each other to be better. Alhamdulillah.
It wasn’t until this stage in our marriage that we both felt we were ready to have children, by Allah’s will.
Prior to this we had both agreed that we wouldn’t bring children into a world where there was no love or a world where they wouldn’t see the right example of how marriage was meant to look.
One thing Sa’id kept saying is that our children will be our witnesses before our Maker and we would each be held accountable for the examples we set for them in our actions, the things we teach them and what they witness in the home. That scared both of us. After the dust had settled, we finally felt we were ready and alhamdulillah, Allah blessed us with two lovely boys.
Maryam Lemu sons
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