Globetrotter girl from Broby: 'Now it's time to think about myself'
When we meet, she still hasn't quite got over the concert on 26th May with Boney M in the Zinkendamm Arena in Stockholm, where between five and ten thousand people mingled during the afternoon and evening.
We meet one evening in Osby a few days after the concert. Mariam comes straight from work, but changes into the silver lamé gown she wore at the concert and poses elegantly. She feels at home on the international scene.
In Nigeria, where she spent the first four years of her life, the family had lots of friends where husband and wife came from different countries, such as Japan and Russia, a real mixture. What they had in common was that everyone went to church and that is where Mariam learned to sing along in the gospel songs.
Music was always present. But we didn't have the slightest idea that one day I would sing with Boney M, Mariam tells us.
Her father was a Nigerian microbiologist. Her mother, who grew up in Broby, was a speech therapist before she retired.
– Dad sang and was good at rhythms and dancing. Mum played the piano, and I remember that we used to play and sing in parts at Christmas. I grew up in a middle-class home and thought that everyone could speak several languages, had a chauffeur and a nanny. When the family moved back to Broby, that picture got a bit of a shake-up. And so did my creativity.
– It was quite hard, Mariam says, frowning. We were planning to move to England, but Grandpa fell ill and died, so we stayed on in Broby
Mariam and her younger brother tried to fit in. In Nigeria she was European, in Sweden she became African.
– I was lively, a bit of a tomboy, I played football, but it wasn't easy. I tried to think that instead of trying to fit in, I'll do my own thing.
Mariam has big hopes for herself and sets her sights high. She has followed distance courses at the Textiles Academy in Borås and AI at the university of Luleå.She has also attended the school of tailoring.
– Now it's time to think about myself. It would be fun to go on appearing on the big stages and produce my own music. Music, design and natural science are what I'm most interested in. I think it's a good idea to have several strings to my bow, not least when I think about my pension, she laughs.