This week on Young, Gifted and African, we will be shining a spotlight on Maryam Taib.
Maryam Taib aka SpoonFullOfHoney aka the only bubble in my Sprite.
We have so much in common, and have been friends for at least five years now. We followed each other to England (she followed me) and when I wasn’t visiting her in Keele, she was in Bristol with me.
Maryam is from Mombasa, Kenya and one thing I LOVE about her, and her culture is the way they speak Kiswahili. Yani, it sounds like a song, and is such a joy to listen to. Also, with me being West African – ya’ll know how we like our pepper and spicy food, she is the same! I have never met another Kenyan who loves chilli as much as I do.
More about Maryam and her YouTube journey below!
Maryam’s full name is Maryam Taib but she uses the alias “spoonfullofhoney” online. Originally from Mombasa, Kenya but currently living in Nairobi.
Maryam says that Kenya has some of the most amazing animals in the world and amazing scenery. Kenya is also very diverse in culture, and for those of us that LOVE food, one of the major advantages of this, is the range of food that you can sample there. “… we have some amazing, diverse and delicious food 😍 By diverse I mean you can find authentically Kenyan Indian food, Kenyan Arab food, Kenyan food and the Swahili food! And by delicious I mean -you’ll be licking your fingers while ordering a third plate- kind of delicious 😋”
Maryam described herself in three words, and said that she is – Impulsive, creative and funny.
Talking more about her passion, she said that her passion is to live life doing whatever makes her happy and gives her the income and platform to help shape this world.
“People always talk about their one true passion like they do their one true love. Some people will find just one person they will fall in love with in their lives but most people will find love a few times before finding ‘THE ONE’. Similarly I think we all have more than one passion and can grow passionate about different things as you discover and learn new things.”
She went further to explain that at the beginning of this year, she would have said makeup is her biggest passion in life, but as her YouTube channel is growing and she has become more comfortable using her camera and making videos – “creating aesthetically pleasing videos is now one of the top things I’m passionate about right now!”
She said that when it comes to her passion for makeup, she has always been obsessed with creating different looks and using makeup as an artistic outlet.
Whereas, with creating content for videos, she said that after making “a few mediocre videos” and uploading them on YouTube, she found that she was rarely pleased with the end result of the video quality. So taking matters into her own hands, she started researching ways on how to make videos and learnt of all the different ways you could tell a story using a camera.
What drove her to pursue this?
“I wanted to make a YouTube channel about makeup and my lifestyle because I wanted to show other girls from my community that our place doesn’t have to be at home and we don’t have to live our lives secluded and away from society. One of the ways I learnt this was by researching hijabi women like myself on YouTube and Instagram. So, I decided I would step in front of the camera and do what I love which is makeup. Through that I use my videos to speak on female empowerment and lead by example.”
This is something I am massively proud of her for doing. Maryam is not the only one on YouTube making videos about makeup. However, she is putting her own spin on things, and doing it her way. She is using her channel to not only share makeup tutorials, but to also talk about topics such as religion and tradition, marriage, female empowerment, education, and also giving advice to other young hijabi women like herself on topics such as these topics and more.
Maryam went on to say that her mum, dad and younger brother are her biggest supporters. Her younger brother Mzaham even goes so far as to help her with all her shoots and various content for her Instagram and YouTube pages. She looks up to her parents the most because, she says “they have taught me humility, patience, perseverance and how to keep your faith even in the most trying of times. Also Beyoncé, but I’m sure I don’t need to explain why for that haha you know why!”
Sigh – I feel like this girl would marry Beyoncé, if she could. *Rolls eyes* Don’t believe me? Keep reading!
Who would Maryam love to meet Dead or Alive and Why? – “Alive; I would love to meet Beyoncé, again this is self-explanatory everybody! She’s the queen of the world and I have a million questions to ask about how she works so hard, how she runs her empire, how to stay humble through it all and most importantly how to perfect your craft like she has.” See my point? Case closed.
She also went on to say that if she could, she would also love to meet the Prophet Mohammed (SW).
When asked about some of the biggest obstacles she’s faced so far, Maryam said (surprisingly) that, that would be herself. “When you’re a YouTuber you are your own boss, manager, videographer, director, editor and everythinger! things get tough”
She said when she gets insecure about a part of herself, it shows in her work, or if she is too lazy to do something, then the overall quality of her video suffers… the only person she can hold accountable is herself. She has had to push herself hard to stop looking at her footage and pictures from a vain point of view and instead, focusing on editing and shooting things very objectively – “as if the person I’m dealing with isn’t me.”
The most memorable thing to happen so far, is whenever someone who follows her on social media approaches her to say hello in person “it’s the best moment!!! I save those memories like little gems in my head that I’ll never forget about.”
Her most embarrassing moment?
“Haha all my spelling mistakes on my snapchat and even on my YouTube video titles!”
This happens so many times, I have lost count. Maryam has LLB and LLM qualifications, thank God for that, because if she was a doctor her patients would struggle (still love you though)
In the next three to five years, she sees her brand as becoming even more successful – especially her YouTube channel, and hopefully launching a makeup brand of her own.
I also asked about her plans for furthering her education, and how she will combine the two. “I currently just finished my Master’s degree in Law and I plan on taking a break between my PHD. Since I am educated in law of all things people usually say ‘oh what a waste since you are doing makeup and YouTube now.’ But actually it helps a lot in my YouTube and beauty career, I have been trained to research thoroughly, understand complex issues and fix them and most importantly how to draw up my own contracts.”
Any advice for someone that is just starting out, in a similar field?
“Just start!” she said. “Don’t over think it just wake up tomorrow and do it!”
Follow the homie on her social media platforms below!