‘My mum once wanted to be a soldier’
In August, last year, we interviewed the late daughter, Maryam Bukar Hassan, on her mother. Here, we present it again in memory of the late star. Maryam Bukar Hassan, 20, is a poet and an Information Technology graduate from Radford University, and the on
Daily Trust: What’s the relationship between you and your mum like?
I’d say it is like a best friend type of relationship. Being the only daughter she has, and losing 4 children before me, I think that actually helped build the kind of close relationship we have, plus the fact that she doesn’t keep many friends.
DT: What trait of hers would you say you admire the most?
The first thing that comes to mind is her selflessness. I know that’s basically the default setting of mothers, but my mum’s is on an entirely different level. She’s the kind of person that could have 10 opportunities and if I happen to come to show interest in all the 10, she would give them up for me. She’s also patient. And she’s a great dancer, too.
DT: What kind of mother is she, strict or relaxed?
I’d say she’s a combination of both, because my mum at a point can snap to be a disciplinarian, but at the same time she’s a relaxed mother. The next day she’s a funny person, and the next she’s strict. So her emotions are fluid, but as her daughter I know how to flip all that and get what I want.
DT: How has your mother’s fame played a role in your life?
It’s got its negative and positive sides. The negative aspect is that just as you have people who love you, you have people that don’t like you, too. At first that part got to me, but as I grew up, I realized that whatever line of work your mother is in to, she remains your mother. So instead of me looking at the downside, I look at the upside and how I could use that positively. The fact that now I’m into Islamic stuff, it’s kind of an additional honour to my mother who’s an actress. You know, having a daughter with such an interest. So I take pride in that, and the fact that I was raised by a single mother, so Alhamdulillah.
DT: Have you ever felt like following in your mother’s footsteps?
Yes. I was the president of the Drama and Culture Club in my secondary school. Then, if you’re familiar with the movie ‘Dry’ by Stephanie Okereke, I auditioned for it and I was supposed to play a role, but due to some unfavourable circumstances that could have caused unnecessary drama, I decided not to. But I love what my mum does, and I know people perceive me as an Islamic scholar which I tell people that I’m not even a student of knowledge. I love acting, and right now I am trying to promote Islam through that, with some certain programmes I do.
DT: Can you remember a piece of advice that she has given you which has stuck with you till today?
Be selfless, and love people. She would always tell me to love people and they will forgive you and give you the opportunity to grow. I am the kind of person who makes a
lot of mistakes, but I think because of the love I show people, it has decreased the backlash somewhat. DT: What’s her favourite food?
She loves pounded yam and egusi soup. I jokingly call her ‘Igbo Lady’ because of that (laughter).
DT: What does she enjoy watching on TV, and how does she unwind? Surprisingly, she doesn’t watch much TV. Right now she’s trying to develop the habit of reading. She enjoys reading Islamic books. My mum has this secret dream of becoming an Islamic scholar so we’re working towards that. However when I’m watching Disney cartoons, she joins me. DT: If your mum wasn’t an actress, what else do you think she would have excelled at? At a point in her life, she wanted to be a soldier. She actually applied for Short Service in the army. It’s hard to believe, I know, but she’s actually very fearless. DT: What unique aspect of your mum are most people not aware of? People just see her as an actress. Sometime I hear people insult my mum and say stupid things while I’m sitting there not knowing that I’m her daughter. Sometimes, I’d even join in and when they’re done, I leave, and somehow later on they find out. What people don’t know about my mum is that she is a mother, too. They just use what they see on the screen to judge her, but my mum is beyond an actress. She is a beautiful person, inside and out. I think that happens when people are trying to fit you into a stereotype to box you. DT: What’s the best part of having a celeb mum? You get a lot of favours and recognition. Sometimes when I go to some places, I have to say that I’m Hauwa Maina’s daughter. The funny thing is when my mum went somewhere the other day, she had to introduce herself as Maryam Bukar’s mother, the poet’s mother, and it opened a door for her. So I think right
The last time [Kannywood actress] Hadiza Gabon asked me that question, we all ended up crying. I’m really going to miss my mum, miss looking at her at night while she’s sleeping, asking her if she has eaten, telling me her problems and me being a friend to her
now the popularity goes both ways for us (laughter).
DT: You just got married yesterday (Friday). Considering how close you are to each other, how much will you miss your mum?
The last time [Kannywood actress] Hadiza Gabon asked me that question, we all ended up crying. I’m really going to miss my mum, miss looking at her at night while she’s sleeping, asking her if she has eaten, telling me her problems and me being a friend to her.
I’m going to miss her so much. But I think at the same time I might not. My husband is a really loving person, and I think he would even help care for her more, so she will get double the love she’s used to.