My name is Mariam Ashley Yusuf; I hail from Agatu local government area of Benue State. My mum is from Kabba in Kogi state. I am a graduate of the department of Theater and performing arts (Ahmadu Bello University Zaria). I was one time Miss Ambassador for peace Nigeria and one time the face of Idoma carnival.
I have a gracious heart, moved by my love and passion for the well-being of children and changing lives. I am a grass root philanthropist that operates under my foundation known as MARIAM ASHLEY YUSUF FOUNDATION and this platform has consequently participated in various projects as it relates to the welfare and wellbeing of children and humanity by extension.
I was born in Abuja- Nigeria, attended All Saints Nursery and Primary school then proceeded to Anglican girls grammar school, Apo Abuja. I went ahead to obtain a diploma in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Art in theater and performing arts from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. I am currently running a masters’ programme in university of Abuja, (Media Arts).
HOW IT STARTED..
My career started majorly in 2011 when I participated in a reality show called the NEXT MOVIE STAR in Lagos. I went for the audition in Abuja, made it to the next stage which took place in Lagos. I got to find out about the show through my family friend Portia Yamaha. Portia was the 2006 winner of the next movie star. I got interested and promised myself I was going to participate when the time was right. Another of my family friends, Ilami White also participated and won and that was when I made up my mind to pick up the form.
In my case, I didn’t win but my roommate Tamara Jones won, I was so happy for her! I remembered how we all prayed that the winner should come from our room and Tamara became the winner.
I came back to Abuja and I continued my modeling and ushering career. It became more interesting because this time many people wanted to work with me. They heard I went to Lagos for a reality show and some even started calling me a super star.
I got a call from a group of people saying they would like me to be the cover girl for their magazine! I thought it was a joke but I agreed to meet up with them, we had a meeting and agreed on a day for the photoshoot. The naah fin came out and I was surprised to see myself as the cover girl. The name of the magazine was “ NEIGHBORHOOD MAGAZINE “.
In 2021, I decided to take my modeling career to the next level so I contested for a beauty contest called Miss Ambassador for Peace Nigeria. That was my very first time contesting so I had lapses, I didn’t do well but I didn’t give up. My mother was there for me; she encouraged me and told me how proud she was of me. The following year I bought the form, contested again and won. I was crowned Miss Ambassador for Peace South- South Nigeria.
That year, I launched my foundation, Mariam Ashley Yusuf Foundation. Its aim is to work and arrange activities for the development of education, to work for tree plantation control, to raise the voice against exploitation, injustice in corruption found against any individual or community and finally to work for uplifting the poor to aid improvement of the living conditions
- Model of the year 2012
- Most social model 2012
- Hall of fame award 2013
- Peace Ambassador award 2014
- Most sophisticated model 2015
- Nigeria goodwill ambassador award 2015
- Ambassador of the year 2018
- AGIA youth ambassador for positive change/ impact of the year 2019
- Global clean water initiative ambassador 2019
- Convener of the “campaign against trafficking and sexual abuse”.
- Convener of the “One Girl One Pad”.
My number one mentor also doubles as my biggest fan. She is my mother, Mrs. Yusuf. The truth is that she is much more than a mentor to me. She is my fall back, my support base and one who believes in me much more than I believe in myself. I sincerely will not be here today without her tremendous support and encouragement. Anyone who desires success in this life ought to have a mother like mine. She’s irreplaceable, there’s none like her and I love her deeply. My father also has and still remains a pillar of support. They can best be described as my “Ying and Yang”
I have always feared that I would not be heard, that I would never make a major impact in my generation. However my support system has ensured that those fears have been quelled significantly. Despite that as a human being I still harbor fears which make me human but I believe these are insignificant compared to how I feared for the future while growing up.
That would be my inability to impact more lives. I seek to look back sometime in the future and confidently know that thousands have had their lives changed for good through my works. I know that I cannot impact every life I come in contact with, but I believe I can impact as many as I come in contact with while I still have breath and strength in my bones.
They are actually innumerable. I will however ear mark a few which are the launch of my foundation, Mariam Ashley Yusuf Foundation, being crowned Miss Ambassador for Peace Africa.
My bible, my parents have made indelible marks on my life over the decades and my story shall never be complete without significant mentions of them.
There are just a few and a major one has been my inability to impact so many lives. I also wish I had started what I am into now a lot earlier and that would have ensured I impacted a lot more lives in my society.
WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT
Well I can confidently say that being myself stands me out from every other person on God’s green earth. As we speak there is just one Mariam Ashley Yusuf who heads MAY Foundation, a beauty queen and philanthropist. Also my strong love and desire to help the less privileged is one attribute I am always glad I have been bestowed with as a person.
To do what I am doing now but on a mega scale. I see MAY Foundation changing lives all over Africa, Asia Central and South America. There’s so much to be done and limited time and resources and I strongly pray my dreams and visions are shared by each and everyone around me.
ADVICE FOR WOMEN
Be yourself; never let yourself be put down by circumstances, people or the past. You are stronger than you seem therefore dig deep and unleash that strength which lies within. NEVER GIVE UP!