Founder of Afrovibe™
THE CITY TALK
HELLO MARYAM, COULD YOU DESCRIBE RIO IN ONE WORD ?
Crazy! In one day you can witness the most violent situation and the most positive scene filled with love, energy… It is completely crazy. Love and Hate.
DO YOU FEEL AT HOME IN RIO?
I do. Because I found myself. I found who I was.
I like living in a city where you don’t have to dress up all the time like in Paris for example. I feel freer in Rio, it has a cooler vibe and I feel connected to nature here.
YOUR SECRET PLACE IN RIO?
Near the SugarLoaf, there is a little trail leading to big rocks on the sea where I like to go because no one can see you and it is very peaceful. I go there when I really need to get away from it all and don’t have a lot of time to go to the waterfalls in the Tijuca forest.
I live in and like Leme a lot because there is no way out and you don’t come there to work, only because you live there or because you want to go to the beach there. It is very homely. Also I like the fact that the favelas that are in Leme (Chapéu Mangueira and Morro da Babilônia) are integrated in the neighborhood. There is a real sense of community.
I also like the lower part of Santa Teresa: Gloria, Catete, Largo do Machado… You get the city vibe without being in « Centro » (downtown). The real Rio. The real city. No tourists.
And of course I love Horto, which is right behind the botanical garden. It was where my first carioca boyfriend used to live (laughs).
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO GIFT FROM RIO TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHEN YOU GO BACK TO EUROPE ?
Cachaça! I love Seleta!
YOU GIVE CLASSES EVERYWHERE IN THE CITY BUT RIO IS KNOWN FOR ITS HECTIC TRAFFIC… HOW DO YOU BEST GET AROUND?
I used to ride my bike but then someone stole it. So now I walk a lot. Or Uber, it’s cheaper than taxis here.
WHERE TO EAT THE BEST ICE-CREAM?
Momo in Leblon!
BEST PLACE TO HAVE A SWIM?
Arpoador in the morning at 8am on week days.
BEST STAYCATION PLACE?
La Suite by Dussol in Joatinga... J’adore! And also I like going to Buzios, usually there I stay at some friends’ home on the beach of Geriba. Whenever I am in Buzios I stop by this amazing restaurant called peixe no mato.
WHAT IS YOUR SUNDAY ROUTINE?
I like to go have brunch or lunch with my friend Nayara. We change every time: Fabrica Bhering (a chocolate factory turned into an artists’ house); the açaï place in Santa Teresa where you have the best pão de queijo of Rio: Cultivar; Colab in Botafogo which is very good also; and in Horto I like going to Borogodo.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I like to do Hatha Yoga twice a week, at samatava in Copacabana. There I also treat myself to amazing shiatsu massages. I also really like to stay home, drinking wine with my friends. I am never going to stop drinking red wine. Obviously I don’t drink too much. I also like to go to the beach in Leme, in front of my home, or when I have time, I like to go to the beach of Macumba.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY IN MARYAM’S LIFE?
I wake up early around 6 or 7am. I drink half a lemon juice and spirulina in hot water, and then I have a tapioca with jam or with hummus. Sometimes I have a “crepioca” which is made out of one spoon of tapioca mixed with one egg and one spoon of chia seeds. I eat it with cream cheese. I have that with a coffee sweetened with cinnamon and a teaspoon of coconut oil. And when I have time, I make myself a green juice: cabbage, banana, lime juice, ginger and apple. Then I head out to work. I usually have one to three classes in the morning. Then I have lunch either at home or at a vegetarian café like Gaia in Leme or Prana in Cosme Velho. If I don’t have special events, I make sure I don’t give classes in the afternoon, to focus on developing the business, on the communication part with social media for Afrovibe, answering work emails,… Then I have an early dinner and off I go to Vila Isabel for my samba school rehearsal!